MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III
Adventure: Possible and Assured
Release Date: May 05, 2006
Starring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour
Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy
Crudup, Michelle Monaghan,
Laurence Fishburne, Keri
Russell, and Maggie Q
Genre: Action Adventure Thriller
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 126 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: J.J. Abrams
Executive Producer: Stratton Leopold
Producer: Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner
Writer: J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and
Address Comments To:Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
Gail Berman, President
Motion Picture Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
M:I 3 opens with a shocking sequence of events as Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) sees his new wife, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), held at gunpoint by vicious arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Ethan is shackled to a metal chair and Davian is ruthlessly counting down before he pulls the trigger. These tense and terrifying opening scenes set the tone for a very different MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE thriller.
After these emotional moments (which end with an execution) and the series' trademark fire-lit match and driving score, the story backs up a few days to Ethan and Julia's engagement party. Top secret agent Ethan Hunt is now in love and publicly maintains that he works for the Department of Transportation. He has convinced himself that he can remain in the IMF agency, teach agents covertly, and still enjoy a safe and innocent family life in the real world, but the party is interrupted as Ethan is pulled away for an emergency assignment.
Ethan's team is successful but he watches a fellow agent die in the line of duty. So, despite criticism and strong warnings from his new Director (Laurence Fishburne), he decides to bring Davian to justice, but Davian is elusive and threatens to find and harm Ethan's new bride. Soon, Julia is abducted and Ethan is coerced to steal a mysterious weapon known only as "the rabbit's foot" in order to exchange it for Julia's life. Too soon, this story returns to the harrowing opening scenes of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III.
Notwithstanding all the explosions and ear-piercing gunfire, this story surpasses its predecessors with wrenching drama and a fixed focus on relationships. Credit again goes to new director Abrams for infusing tension and terror into a series seemingly on a collision course with its own absurdity.
This is not your typical, overproduced spy caper dependent upon implausible Bond-gadgetry, lingering views of exotic locales, and beautiful agents. Sure, Abrams includes just enough of these elements to be tantalizing, but he also shows he has learned a few tricks from his hit TV series, ALIAS and LOST. He succeeds here by taking the best elements of those shows and making them key components of M:I 3. Best of all, the plot does not get mired in the usual tired political posturing or international agendas. It remains a story of love and desperation, relationships and trust.
It is often said that a thriller is only as good as its story's villain. Again, Abrams delights us with an unusual choice in Philip Seymour Hoffman, a recognizable "unknown" with an Academy Award (Best Actor, CAPOTE) and an impressive portfolio of obscure character acting roles. Hoffman's villain may be merciless but he is also frighteningly normal, which is perhaps why he is so convincing. As a result, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III is a dramatic action thriller at the peak of its game.
Although MOVIEGUIDE(r) cautions that the movie has foul language and lots of action violence, in the final analysis, Abrams and Cruise (and a fine supporting cast) have collaborated to raise the bar on action thrillers. Amidst all the technical advancements, it almost seems as if Hollywood has rediscovered drama. Consequently, M:I 3 is a thrill-ride for adults and teenagers alike.
This movie's fine cast, including Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman, has collaborated to raise the bar on action thrillers. With a strong moral worldview and overt Christian content, M:I 3 is a thrill-ride, slightly marred by some foul language. The plot does not exhibit the usual political posturing or international agendas. Instead, the movie remains a story of love and desperation, relationships and trust. Pulse-pounding MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III delivers one of the most exciting and satisfying movie-going experiences in recent memory.