'Mission: Impossible 7' Director Addresses 'Uncharted 2' Comparison

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has wandered into some unexpected controversy. Comparisons have arisen between its climactic train set-piece and a similar sequence in the 2009 video game Uncharted 2.

It led to Uncharted 2 co-director Bruce Straley addressing the matter on Twitter, though Straley appeared to be amused by the homage. “The sincerest form of flattery,” he captioned a round-up of four photos comparing the sequence in the game to that in Tom Cruise’s newest adventure.

In Dead Reckoning, Cruise’s IMF agent Ethan Hunt battles an AI technology referred to as The Entity. After two hours of increasing mayhem, including that much-publicized cliff jump, the film moves for its last hour to a careening locomotive.

If you’ve seen the trailer, or any behind-the-scenes footage, you know the train crashes spectacularly. When it does, the villain exits the picture and the final act essentially plays out as Titanic with more butane, as Ethan endeavors to save his new paramour (Hayley Atwell) from certain doom.

It’s undeniable that the sequences share similarities. During the moments in Dead Reckoning when Cruise and Atwell hang from inside and outside of the train, the shots are nearly identical to those in Uncharted 2.

Yet Uncharted’s version of the scene confines the mayhem to the outside of the train, while M:I 7 presents a view of what would happen inside a crashing locomotive.

Now, Dead Reckoning’s director Christopher McQuarrie has weighed in on the matter.

When asked by a fan on Threads whether the penultimate sequence was inspired by Uncharted 2, McQuarrie admitted that he was “not remotely” influenced, as he’s not immersed in video game culture.

“I honestly know very little about that world,” the Usual Suspects screenwriter clarified.

After being told by another fan that he’d really dig the Uncharted games, McQuarrie shrugged off the suggestion. “I used the word in the literal sense in a post years ago and have been hearing that ever since,” he replied. “Games are just something I know nothing about.”

As revolutionary as it was in the video game world, Uncharted 2 was not the first title to attempt a version of this scene.

A tonally and visually similar set-piece in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 Jurassic Park sequel, The Lost World, finds Julianne Moore and Jeff Goldblum dangling from an imperiled RV. Even Christopher Nolan has pulled off a version of this scene, with the rotating hallway fight in Inception (2010).

As with many Hollywood cliches, success lies in how well they are deployed. Judging from Dead Reckoning’s 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, nearly everyone is pleased with the result.

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