Impossible 7’s Nuke Scene Is Surprisingly Realistic, Bomb Expert Says
Nov 19, 2023
EOD technician Jay Ly grades Benji’s attempted defusal of a nuclear device in the Abu Dhabi airport in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Ly awards the scene a high grade of eight out of ten, explaining that the use of a “hoax device” to gather information is a common tactic in the field. Mission: Impossible movies excel when they balance fact and fiction, living within their own heightened realities instead of adhering to real-world elements.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s nuclear bomb scene gets put under the microscope by an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) technician, and it’s surprisingly realistic. Directed once again by Christopher McQuarrie, the latest installment in the long-running Mission: Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise return as Ethan Hunt to take down an AI threat known as the Entity. The film features a number of standout set pieces, including one early on in which Simon Pegg’s Benji attempts to defuse a nuclear bomb in an Abu Dhabi airport.
Now, in a recent video for Insider, experienced EOD technician Jay Ly breaks down Benji’s nuke scene in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, drawing attention to its inclusion of a “hoax device”.
While Benji certainly makes some mistakes while defusing the AI-controlled device, the scene as a whole scores a surprisingly high grade out of ten. Check out Ly’s full explanation below:
“If someone is just going to make an improvised nuclear device, like this cipher, anything is possible. There’s many ways that nuclear weapons are armed. There’s state-sponsored and non-state-sponsored. State-sponsored are going to have all kinds of different protocols in place, safeties, what have you. Non-state-sponsored – if someone is just going to make an improvised nuclear device like this cipher, it can be armed when it hears your voice, my voice, whatever the case may be.
“I can’t even with this one. He’s talking to it. How does he know if he answers this question it’s not going to go off?
Apparently it was a mud suck. A hoax IED or a hoax device. In real life, hoaxes are actually very common. Very common, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were utilized as intelligence-gathering devices, essentially. They’d put it in the road, totally fake, just something that would key up an EOD response. They would be watching, video-taping, the whole procedure. Despite all of the craziness that was in the scene, using a hoax to gather intelligence about people, absolutely true. We’ll give this one an eight [out of 10].”
Mission: Impossible 7’s nuke scene comes into play during a subsequent set piece in the movie, with the Entity using Benji’s voice prompts to recreate his voice over the phone.
How Much Does Realism Matter In Mission: Impossible?
The Mission: Impossible movies aren’t exactly known for their stringent levels of realism, but each entry, although featuring outsized stakes and stunts, does remain somewhat grounded in reality. The same is true for the latest installment, which features a science-fiction-type threat in the Entity, which is actually starting to feel more like science-fact with each passing day.
The movie comes at a time when fears over AI are at an all-time high, and there remains a great deal of uncertainty over just what the future holds for this novel technology. AI villain the Entity straddles the line between fact and fiction to an effective degree, ultimately helping to give Mission: Impossible 7 real stakes that feel relevant and timely. Striking this unique balance across an entire film is crucial for the franchise, as the best installments have always managed to bounce between feeling thrilling, comedic, and emotional from scene to scene.
What’s more important than Mission: Impossible’s adherence to reality, however, is its adherence to its own manufactured reality, which can really be said for any film. Achieving a level of verisimilitude is crucial, as it allows audiences to suspend their disbelief, ultimately keeping them engrossed in the story instead of fact-checking in real time. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s reviews are all glowing, suggesting that McQuarrie and Cruise’s latest collaboration has once again achieved this balance.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Release Date: 2023-07-12 Director: Christopher McQuarrie Cast: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Haley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, Esai Morales, Rob Delaney, Henry Czerny, Cary Elwes Rating: PG-13 Genres: Action, Adventure, Crime Writers: Christopher McQuarrie Story By: Christopher McQuarrie Characters By: Christopher McQuarrie Budget: $290 Million Studio(s): Skydance, TC Productions Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures Sequel(s): Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two prequel(s): Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout Franchise(s): Mission: Impossible
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