Reviews & Previews - Mission Impossible: III

Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 at 06:00 PM

Mission Impossible: III

By: S. Tran

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Running Time: 126 Minutes
Rated: Rated PG-13

Cruise-ing Along

I'm pretty sure the play on Tom Cruise's name in the title of this review has been used by at least 500 entertainment writers in the past so I know its not completely original. However it fits because the film itself doesn't have that many original elements either, but still has enough to help you waste a couple hours.

In the latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise Cruise returns as agent Ethan Hunt who works for a super spy group called the Impossible Mission Force, or IMF. One of the better jokes in the film is an acknowledgment by one of the characters as to the goofiness of such a name. Anyway, the film opens and we find out that Hunt has semi-retired from field work because he has fallen in love and wants to get married to his fiance Julia (Monaghan).

Of course we aren't going to pay our hard earned money to watch Cruise sit around the house mowing the grass so we soon find him back in the action trying to save an IMF member who has been captured by an international arms dealer named Owen Davian (Hoffman). Hunt and Davian spend the rest of the movie playing cops and robbers around the world and as usual Hunt has to devise ridiculous plans to rescue his fiance, save the world and capture the bad guy all while using cool gadgets and making as much noise as possible.

I've always wondered why a super secret agent is so unconcerned about drawing so much attention to his activities, but apparently the IMF team has a great PR department to divert attention away from themselves after Cruise destroys half a city on his missions. Speaking of PR departments though, I think the movie suffers a bit because of Cruise's lack of PR savvy the last year or so. While watching Cruise I kept thinking of his bizarre behaviour in the media recently, from the Oprah couch jumping to his "psychology is evil" rant in his interviews. I just found it hard to lose myself in the story and characters because I kept thinking what a whack job Cruise is.

Beyond crazy Tom the other actors do an adequate job. There's not really much for anyone to really sink their teeth into and the only person who gets to have fun here is Hoffman as the bad guy. Davian is a quietly dangerous character who knows exactly what the game is and doesn't waste time beating around the bush. When he finally faces Hunt for the first time he doesn't bother with the pleasantries or bad speeches. He simply asks Hunt what his name is so he can find his loved ones and start hurting them. He doesn't threaten, he just tells Hunt what he's going to do which makes him even scarier.

Director Abrams does a decent job with the action and fans will get their money's worth in that department. Interestingly, despite the body count in the film there's not really much blood. Not all the stunts are grade "A" but there are enough good ones to get your fix. I also liked the creative gadgets developed for the movie.

As with these kinds of films most of the money is spent on blowing things up so there's not much left over for the writing. There are the usual plot holes and moments of stupidity but overall things hold together enough to deliver what we all came for. The movie isn't the best of the genre but I think fans will still like the finished product.


3 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to