Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to check your prejudices for Tom Cruise at the door, before deciding if you want to watch him as character Ethan Hunt in the latest installment of super spy action “Mission Impossible 3”. I even surprised myself how quickly I forgot the off screen antics of its star and let myself sit back and enjoy this years first dance in the season of summer blockbusters.
While MI:3’s safe and popular super spy formula isn’t that inspiring, the way the action is served to you is current and comes through with a couple hours of mindless diversion. If you don’t expect any more than some air conditioning and your standard spy flick with a multimillion dollar budget, that spent some on expensive locations around our world, some on over paid actors and the rest in special effects, then MI3 is for you.
Michelle Monaghan, recently seen in last years “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, takes on the role of Hunt’s redemption as his fiancée, Julia, a nurse unaware of Hunt’s illustrious past. Asked at every turn to blindingly stand by her man, Monaghan holds her own. And while her scripted character as the hapless wifey at home for Tom Cruise is a strain to fully accept or believe at times, her screen presence holds her scenes.
As we’ve seen with many a spy-who-wants-out stories, the best laid plans somehow go astray. Cruise is quickly drawn back in to the fray, to his old way of life. Reluctant Cruise must leave domestic bliss behind and head for one last adventure, setting the film into motion. Along the way, Tom Cruises mixes it up with folks like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Lawrence Fishburne and even Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg shows up and cashes a check on the MI3 ride.
As with the previous "Mission Impossible" movies, the movie’s vision is allowed to be shaped by the director, who leaves their own unique stamp on the predictable spy movie storyline. With the case of “Mission Impossible 3”, the guidance comes from JJ Abrams, the television creator whose series “Lost” has turned into a weekly episodic addiction for rabid fans.
JJ Abrams brings over his favored storytelling devices to “Mission Impossible 3”. He time shifts the story events with a plot filled with the kind of duality conflicts that Abrams has refined so well, creating an engaging hook that he uses to pull his viewers in with. The JJ Abrams direction helps get this mission accomplished.
At the end the audience walks away remembering that the most memorable part of “Mission Impossible” is the original Lalo Schifrin theme music. Humming all the way to the parking lot, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2006 - Purple - Air Date: 5/10/06
Mission Impossible III
USA - 2006