If it’s not apparent that artificial intelligence is having the biggest summer ever, now it’s made an enemy of Tom Cruise.

AI is everywhere right now in the real world, and a pesky fictitious digital villain proves formidable – and pretty far-fetched – for Cruise’s secret agent Ethan Hunt in the action thriller “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (★★★ out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters July 12). Directed once again by Christopher McQuarrie, the seventh “M:I” is chock-full of gloriously bonkers stunt sequences, fresh and familiar faces alike, and Cruise running (usually literally) from one international locale to the next.

Having a computer be the antagonistic heart of the film instead of a human baddie is a huge swing, though, and consequently this first of a two-part story line faces some narrative obstacles amid the usual face-swapping, double-dealing spycraft.

When the world is in serious trouble, that’s when you call in the Impossible Mission Force − though Ethan continues to own his rogue status like a champ and as usual is wanted by various authorities, including his own. Still, his old boss Eugene Kittridge (a returning Henry Czerny) has a dangerous assignment for him: An evolving AI dubbed “The Entity” threatens global security, and Ethan needs to obtain two halves of a key that are integral to stopping this new menace.

Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) are back as Ethan’s high-tech teammates, and “Dead Reckoning” reunites Ethan with love interest Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), a former British MI6 secret agent who’s the first stop on this densely plotted adventure. (There's an entertaining exposition dump early and it could use at least one more.) The race for the key more importantly introduces the enigmatic thief Grace (Hayley Atwell). She gives Ethan fits with her pickpocket and escape skills but ultimately they become an effective duo navigating a wild car chase through Rome in a tiny Fiat and a hellacious train trip on the Orient Express.

'Mission: Impossible':Tom Cruise races through Rome in 20 minutes of 'Dead Reckoning' footage

Pom Klementieff plays the deadly French assassin Paris in "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One."

McQuarrie has rounded up a talented coterie of complex female characters in “Reckoning”: While Atwell’s Grace steals much of the movie as a new pair of eyes seeing Ethan’s deadly spy world for the first time and Ferguson’s no-nonsense Ilsa is always a pleasure, Vanessa Kirby’s shady arms dealer White Widow makes a return appearance (after debuting in the sixth “Mission,” 2018’s “Fallout”) and “Guardians of the Galaxy” regular Pom Klementieff lets weapons do the talking as a new French assassin named Paris. (A little on the nose but it works.)

Paris works for the Entity, as does a confidently sinister dude named Gabriel (Esai Morales) who’s connected to Ethan’s tragic past. (While one doesn’t need to be an “M:I” expert to enjoy “Dead Reckoning,” a rewatch of the original 1996 film is helpful beforehand.) However, the problem of having an AI supervillain in our connected world is it all seems too easy: Sounding like an angry Transformer, the Entity works hard to foil Ethan at various points yet this supposedly all-powerful thing also seems hamstrung when it shouldn't be.