Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible II didn’t go down too well with most folks. John Woo’s style seemed at odds with the franchise and was too different from the twisty thriller that Brian Depalma delivered. It appeared the franchise was stalled. But Tom Cruise wasn’t about to let that happen. They brought in popular television director J. J. Abrams and gave him his first shot at a big budget motion picture. Was it worth the gamble?

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is settling into a nice quite life with his fiancé Julia (Michelle Monaghan). Sure he stays in touch with his old pals at the MI office and does some teaching of new recruits. But he wants to leave that life behind. Which means he’s going to get pulled right back into it.

One of his former students, Agent Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell) has been caught during an investigation of a powerful arms dealer Owen Davian (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Lindsey has vital information and Ethan is pulled in for one last job, to save Lindsey and find out what info she has. For this impossible mission he’s going to need the help of his old pal Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames reprising his role from the original film) and two new agents Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Lei (Maggie Q). But there’s a catch, Davian seems to be one step ahead of them, and he’s not going to allow any of Ethan’s missions, impossible or otherwise, to succeed.

Good Points:
  • Does a great job balancing thrills and action
  • Captures the intensity of the first film with some intense sequences
  • The story makes Ethan a bit more human 

Bad Points:
  • Some annoying overuse of shaky camera style
  • Seymour Hoffman seems a bit underused
  • Tom Cruise is playing Tom Cruise… again

Abrams did a fine job with his first full-length movie, and a big budget star vehicle at that. The story has a bit more of a personal edge to it, allowing us to get to know Ethan a bit better, but Cruise is still Cruise no matter what the script says. Some of the actions scenes get a bit confusing with the camera work, and some of the dialogue scenes have the shaky-cam syndrome. But the pacing is pretty solid and Michael Giacchino’s score is a great mix of modern cool with the classic themes from the television series. The film takes itself deadly serious, and a little humor could have helped. An enjoyable thrill ride for weekend viewing.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 4
Acting: 3
Script: 4
Music: 4
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 3
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review. 

Mission: Impossible Reviews


  1. I should check this one out. Chris Stuckmann on YT has been reviewing the the MI franchise as there's a new movie in the works. So far he's only reviewed the first one, but I'm curious how he'll review the others. I assume they will mirror yours here. They'll have to get someone new for the Ving Rhames role, it should be interesting to see what the new films is about.

    1. First of all, thank you for recommending Stuckmann's work. I've been enjoying his reviews quite a bit, and he's a really solid critic who keeps things fun and interesting. Besides, he seems to like anime as much as I do.

      I was really excited to see him tackling the M:I movies, and I really liked his review of the first one. I'm hoping he gets to the rest, because I really want to hear what he thinks of the rest.

      For this one, I know a lot of folks think this is the best of the bunch. But some of the camerawork really got on my nerves and as I mentioned it really didn't have much humor in it. Still, some great stunts going on in this one.