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Awesome: 20.29%
Worth A Look42.03%
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12 reviews, 66 user ratings

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Mission: Impossible III
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by Matt Seaver

"Now THAT is how you start a summer."
4 stars

Ignore the ridiculous amount of negative press Tom Cruise has recently garnered. Ignore his ego. Ignore the less-than-stellar opening weekend. Ignore people that can’t separate real life from the film world. Go see this film. Regardless of whatever reservations you have about any aspect of the production, the opening sequence to “Mission: Impossible III” negates all that by grabbing you by the neck and throttling you for three minutes just to make sure it has your attention, and makes sure it doesn’t lose it for the rest of the film.

Make no mistake, this is the epitome of a commercial blockbuster, and producer/actor/Supreme Master Cruise doesn’t really allow anyone else the chance to take the film away from him, but if you can do something well… for an hour and a half, I had a fantastic time in a movie theater, and for this kind of film that is what matters the most.

Ethan Hunt (Cruise), superhuman ultraspy, has settled down. Now, he only trains the crazies-with-a-death-wish that work for the Impossible Mission Force, and lets them do the dirty work. He’s even getting married to a nice, sweet, gorgeous nurse named Julia (Michelle Monaghan) who has no idea what he actually does for a living. So when the call comes in that IMF needs him to go into the field to save one of his former students (Keri Russell) from Owen Davian, a sociopathic evil arms dealer (Philip Seymour Hoffman), he says, “Thanks but no thanks,” right? Ha. No, Hunt goes barreling balls first into danger, and lo and behold, captures said evil bastard in a job well done. And then shit hits the fan. Seems Mr. Davian is a little more connected than Hunt or the IMF anticipated, and Davian escapes, determined to wreak havoc on Hunt while pursuing the “Rabbit’s Foot,” a doomsday device with enormous destructive power.

This sounds pretty typical, I know. It is, but in truth that places M:I-3 on solid middle ground between the first two films – the plot of the first film was near-incomprehensible without careful analysis, and the second was laughable and impossibly silly. This time around, the film is actually mostly believable, due in no small part to J.J. Abrams and his writing team, many of whom worked with him on “Alias.” I’m told it shows, as the film follows much of the same pattern as many episodes of Abrams’s show – start with the hero in peril, flash back to how that happened, then work up to the present and find some resolution.

It’s simple, but it works very well for one reason. Abrams’s opening sequence is perfectly brilliant. In the three minutes before the opening credits, audiences will connect instantly with Hunt in a way they never did in the first two films, and Davian is immediately established as a force with which to be reckoned. It sucked me into the film like no other I can remember. By the time the title credits rolled, I was hooked, as was my girlfriend, who had been entirely skeptical about seeing the film at all.

Cruise may own the film onscreen, but the person who will benefit most from this is Abrams. He proved that he has no issue making the transition from “Alias” and “Lost” to the big screen by competently and deftly handling a huge-budget action film as his directorial debut. Not only did he blow stuff up with remarkable reliability, but he forcibly inserted some heart into a franchise that seemingly skipped that step in its development. To Cruise and Monaghan’s credit, their relationship is real and sincere, and they are given enough screen time together to make you care about that relationship in the midst of the high-tech action sequences. It even makes Monaghan’s inevitable turn as hostage bait forgivable, because there’s been time dedicated to establishing exactly how much Hunt would do for this woman, and then eventually why she is something of a perfect match for him.

Also of note is Philip Seymour Hoffman, since I don’t think he can be in a film without giving a performance that is at least “of note.” Yes, he’s playing a pretty stereotypic evil guy, but he does it with such a casual, natural demeanor that he really is threatening. He is smarter than Hunt, he knows it, and he will do what he must to eliminate the threat from his operation. There are moments of smugness that come out when it seems like Davian has no options that are just beautiful – you really get the sense that no matter what, this man is never out of control.

All that being said… the plot is kind of silly. Sure, it makes perfect sense to me, but that’s because I have watched “24” this season, and the idea of people cooperating with deeply stupid plans for the chance at a million-to-one payoff is not a new idea to me. Some of the revelations near the end of the film are very much out of deep left field.

But for sanity’s sake, you need to run with it. Vicarious escapism is necessary sometimes, and popcorn was invented so it could be eaten while watching “Mission: Impossible III.” The film is too much fun to have it ruined by dwelling on the weaker moments, which are glossed over in a convincing-enough way. Hell, the last couple of years have given us some “stranger-than-fiction” moments, so why not buy into this fantasy for two hours? Hero-Action Cruise, while somewhat single-minded, does get to show a little emotional depth where Monaghan is concerned, and the film strikes a nice balance between the two modes. Bottom line is that J.J. Abrams has arrived on the big screen, and he will make an impact, even if it’s a somewhat superficial one.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14510&reviewer=412
originally posted: 05/16/06 15:54:37
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell action movie goodness 4 stars
7/23/12 cr not good as part 2 was, tom cruise performance keeps movie from sucking. 2 stars
3/14/09 R.W. Welch Best of the so-so series. A little too gimmicky but moves right along. B- 4 stars
2/04/09 Faraz J Atlast a name worthy of the title. Fun ride. As i say thats what a GOOD movie is. 4 stars
12/15/08 Random M:I3 = a Cruise at breakneck speed. Best of the trilogy. 5 stars
5/22/08 Charles Tatum Sleepy actioner, with a ridiculously bad finale 2 stars
5/17/07 Matt All 3 are shit. I haven't been able to watch one to the end. 1 stars
3/19/07 man best of the three 4 stars
2/04/07 AJ Muller Surprisingly entertaining mix of 1 and 2; superb popcorn flick. 4 stars
1/20/07 Monday Morning Hey...rabbit's foot. Ooooo...scary, kids! All action, minimal plot. 3 stars
1/09/07 Mike I was pleasantly surprised. GREAT movie!!! Non-stop action!!! 5 stars
1/09/07 Logan Bray Awsome movie definitly buy it 5 stars
12/18/06 Indrid Cold Not a waste of time, but nothing memorable. 3 stars
12/03/06 JeromeBosch Ostentatious pétard mouillé…no more fizz left in this franchise 3 stars
11/22/06 burp A damn slick and enjoyable action flick 4 stars
11/21/06 Austin Wertman WHAT DO YOU MEAN "WORTH A LOOK"? AWESOME MOVIE! 4 stars
11/20/06 mr.mike accept this "mission" - by far the best 5 stars
11/19/06 Jim Not bad, but ending is lame. Nice to see Shaun of the Dead has a new job. 4 stars
11/09/06 Anthony Feor I had a feeling I had saw this in the other two movies 3 stars
11/01/06 action movie fan good action in james bondish story--bridge scene is the best 4 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Glad it's over. Bye, Cruisy-boy. Abrahms' directing is worth the cash to see this. 4 stars
7/15/06 scott watterman this movie sucked so much ass 1 stars
7/12/06 Gayblade Another ego vehicle for the man who likes shots showing him running. 2 stars
7/06/06 malcolm it's that easy to teach a doctor to use a handgun? 4 stars
6/25/06 Zed Absurd love story ruins the movie 2 stars
6/17/06 MP Bartley Clever script, good action and team-work for once. Hoffman steals the film predictably. 4 stars
5/28/06 Charlene Javier Loved it loved it loved it! 4 stars
5/27/06 Koitus "How" does being dead stop a nitroglycerine bomb? Also, improbable ending-mtg the IMF team. 3 stars
5/19/06 Staci This Mission features Tom at his sexy best! I give it 2 thumbs up! 5 stars
5/17/06 Quigley amazingly, tom didn't ruin it. hoffman was awesome, and so were the stunts and action 4 stars
5/17/06 michael average and wait for the DVD 3 stars
5/17/06 Gavin Bamber Will keep this series going ala Bond 4 stars
5/17/06 Alfred Guy Tom Cruise = not believable in any action role. 2 stars
5/16/06 Paddy Big bold, brash & beautiful! Dont agree with the review. Look for the padding he straps on! 5 stars
5/16/06 John Terrible acting except for Hoffmann - a real waste of time - 2 stars
5/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon TOM CRUISE OMG! I CAN'T GET ENOUGH!!! 3 stars
5/15/06 katinka poo 1 stars
5/14/06 Ethan Hunt Sucks Don't waste your money 1 stars
5/13/06 K. Pearlman Could not pay me enough to have to see this one.... 2 stars
5/11/06 ES I went and saw it; even though I hated the first two. It was terrific. 4 stars
5/10/06 Adrian A two hour Tom Cruise ad. Screw this shit. 1 stars
5/10/06 NoRefill I hated the last one, but his one was pretty exciting. A few stupid things, but forgivable. 4 stars
5/10/06 Paul action, acting, plot, fun, entertaining, great, money's worth, fun, funny, fine, frollick 5 stars
5/09/06 Aldo personally i didn't like 1 & 2 but this was way better - good cinema movie go & watch it 5 stars
5/09/06 Mase The "mission" series is getting seriously stale. Watchable but completly forgettable 3 stars
5/08/06 cpbjr much better than anticipated. 4 stars
5/08/06 y2mckay Great action and supporting cast, but too predictable and dead-set on a happy ending. 4 stars
5/08/06 zaw I mean, good guy need to loose sometime like a wife or g/f something. It was so perdicitbl 1 stars
5/07/06 jmelrose Awesome. Best of the 3. Great story, Internal corruption angle IS old, but minor issue. 5 stars
5/07/06 Nobody Way better than the first 2 5 stars
5/07/06 Blutarsky Matrix trilogy?? Feh. MI3 rocked the audience like a hurricane. 5 stars
5/07/06 Paul " Diddy" Sutherland Deep Plot miraculous action scenes and just a enough comedy to keep you engaged. 5 stars
5/07/06 sg72 Great action sequences but plot was nearly non-existent. 2 stars
5/07/06 Carol smart flick, exciting, fine acitng, colorful, for the discerning, passionate, big screen 5 stars
5/06/06 GoGo THIS was why sequels were invented. Best one so far! 5 stars
5/06/06 Philip Buckley-Mellor Borderline-perfect 5 stars
5/06/06 KingNeutron 2nd half was better than the 1st, but whole int.corruption thing has been done 2 death... 3 stars
5/06/06 al too much hype. worth a rental not a full movie price..... 3 stars
5/06/06 Eevil Wolfie Makes up for the wreck that was Mission Impossible 2. 4 stars
5/06/06 Dan This is a dumb movie for dumb people. 1 stars
5/05/06 k oh please.. this was NOT a good movie... 2 stars
5/05/06 Heather Runyan this movie was ok 3 stars
5/05/06 jcjs no brainer wonderful, fast, impossible delightful, wonderful acting, lost the plot, 2am 5 stars
5/04/06 Doc Hollywood An entertaining flick. Rather predictable ending. 4 stars
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  05-May-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Oct-2006



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