Written by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & J.J. Abrams
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Running Time: 2:05
Mission: Impossible 3 was a non-stop thrill ride and was easily the best in the series so far.
Agent Ethan Hunt has retired from active duty and is now training prospective agents. He's fallen in love and is close to getting married when he gets a call that one of his trainees has been captured and needs to be retrieved. Hunt, along with his team, head to Germany to get her, because she has information that will help in the capture of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a known arms (and other bad things) trader. The mission does not end well and Hunt and his team must then head to the Vatican to capture Hoffman. But things within the IMF are not what they seem and the tables are turned on Hunt, who must now head to China to get the 'Rabbit Foot' in order to save the life of his wife. This could be Hunt's last mission.
There is no doubt that this is the best of the Mission: Impossible movies so far. The first one was good, but had a plot that got very confusing. The second one had the same issues. In this one, the plot is fairly simple, if somewhat simplistic, but it allows the action to get ratcheted up a notch and make the movie feel more personal. Hunt gets reinvolved in the IMF because a trainee he was close to gets captured and he wants to make sure the man responsible pays. Then it's his wife that is taken and he needs to get her back alive. In all the missions they take on, Hunt has a personal interest. It allows the audience to feel like he's human instead of just an agent going after some random bad guys. Yes, there is a 'we must save the world' element going on as well, but for the most part, it's all about the personal connections.
That however is the one downside to the movie. Making it all about relationships means that you have to believe the relationships mean something, and Cruise doesn't manage to get that across. In Jerry Maguire, you could see him falling in love with Rene Zellweger's character. In M:I3 he didn't have that same emotion. They tried to make us feel like he was in love with his wife by having an emotional scene on the rooftop of a hospital, but I never quite felt like he was in love. The words were there, but the feelings were not. It didn't take away from the amazing action that was going on, but it did bring the movie down a little bit.
The actions however, was tremendous. From the opening sequence at a warehouse in Germany, to a kidnapping at the Vatican, to huge explosions on a bridge, to racing above the city of Shanghai, the action was almost non-stop and extremely well done. The warehouse set piece went on for almost 20 minutes and was just amazing in scope. Things were happening left and right, explosions, gunfire, and it all ended in a helicopter chase that will leave you hanging on to your seats. The kidnapping sequence was a lot of fun because it had a couple of things that were shout-outs to the previous movies. One was a quick shot of Hunt on a wire falling towards the ground and landing just a few inches above it. The second one was even better. In the first two movies, especially the second one, there were a lot of scenes involving people with fake masks and fake voices. We were just told that it was all possible and to accept it. Here, they actually show how it was done, step by step, from mask to voice. While you still question how possible it all is, especially in the amount of time they had, it's still nice to let the audience in on the secrets, rather than just telling them, we can do this now let's move on. The China scenes were incredible and the best part was, we didn't follow Hunt through the scenes, we only saw him in the beginning and the end. What happened inside the building was never shown and I think that's smart because you don't want to hit the same mark over and over again. Take the audience to a point, then let them imagine what happened and smack them in the face with the exit. Although this was J.J. Abrams first feature film, he did a great job making the movie look and feel personal, while keeping the action high flying.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I would definitely go out and see Mission: Impossible 3. It's a great way to kick off the 2006 summer movie season with a bang.
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