The reason for the success of MI I and MI II, for this viewer, was the sophisticated, scientific devices and plans used to manipulate evil by good. It was always a pleasure to watch the superior minds win. But somehow MI III seems far more interested in pyrotechniques and mass explosions and derring-do than for smart ideas and for that reason it seems less successful – but then that may be the result of watching it on the home television instead of the vast spaces of a theatrical screen.
The story is negligibly the same as usual: impossible villain is superceded finally by Ethan Hunt. The role still fits Tom Cruise well, if a bit repetitious, but the strong point of this third installment is the supporting cast. We have the pleasure of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s acting gifts as the arch villain, and the added pleasure of fine actors like Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Laurence Fishburne and the beauty of Michelle Monaghan, Keri Russell, and Maggie Q. And when they are not all covered by fire and broken glass and whirling helicopters and collapsing bridges etc they do make us notice them.
Not a movie for those who prefer intelligent scripts, but for an evening’s diversion it is entertaining, Grady Harp, October 06
Was this review helpful to you?
It must have been very gratifying for JJ Abrams to make this movie because he always said he conceived of Alias when he was working on Felicity and he thought: “what if Felicity [played by Keri Russell] was a CIA agent?” He finally got to answer that question in this movie. I thought Abrams did a great job with Alias (and also with Lost) so I was expecting this to be the best installment of the Mission Impossible movie series to date and better than his show, Alias. However, while this was not one of those movies that make you think: “that’s two hours of my life that I’ll never get back,” it played less like an installment of Mission Impossible and more like a long of episode of Alias. It would have made a really good episode of Alias, but it didn’t feel like Mission Impossible or the Mission Impossible characters.
It started out the way Alias usually started out, the first scene of the movie being the near climax of the story but something that actually happens later in the sequence of events, getting you invested in finding out how everything happened to get them there. From there you go to a party scene where Greg Grunberg (who played Eric Weiss on Alias) has a cameo appearance, and everything gets really weird from there. The gadgets (such as the gun that shoots an electrical device into the brain through the nostrils) and situations (like the wall climbing scene and the jump from the warehouse) were so much like Alias (and at one point like Lost) that by the end of the movie I was expecting Ethan Hunt to rip off a face mask and reveal that he was really Sidney Bristow and his wife Julia to rip off a face mask to reveal that she was really Dr. Jack Shephard underneath. (By the way, are they about done with those face masks already?) Luther Stickell seemed less the Luther Stickell of the past and more a combo of Eric Weiss and Marcus Dixon; in fact an early scene while they were beginning an operation had Luther and Ethan talking about Ethan and Julia and the conversation went a lot like the conversations Eric Weiss and Michael Vaughn used to have about Vaughn and Sidney’s relationship during their operations. Lawrence Fishburn’s character seemed like a combination of Jack Bristow and Arvin Sloane, Owen Davian’s character somewhat like Julian Sark, even Marshall Flinkman was represented in Benji and the “Rabbit’s Foot” may as well have been some Rambaldi artifact; thank God they never defined it.
Like I said earlier this movie wasn’t a waste of time, I may even buy it when it gets to the $5.50 bin in Wal-Mart. It was just too much like Alias to be satisfying as a Mission Impossible movie. Still, it’s impossible to despise JJ Abrams given his sweet romantic streak, and now that I’ve seen this movie what I’d really like is for him to make an actual “Alias” movie starring all the old characters from that show. But JJ if you do make that movie please don’t guest star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt because watching this movie morph Mission Impossible with Alias is as confused as I care to get without alcohol being involved.
I heard nothing but good things about this movie, so I rented it the first day it was available recently…..and I wasn’t disappointed. Oh, it does have a bit too much action and a few politically-correct annoyances but neither are much and overall the movie is a lot of fun to watch.
The action scenes are not only interesting; they’re spectacular at times. Overall, the photography is slick. It’s a good visual movie. Not only the cinematography, but the director did a nice job with many of these shots. The version doesn’t have all the gimmicks the first Misssion Impossible film, but it certainly has the best action scenes. The action is improbable as Cruise’s “Ethan Hunt” would have to be Superman to perform the stunts and acrobatics he does here. (I would never claim this movie is credible, or even “intelligent” – just escapist fun.)
Just put your brains on hold, and go along for the wild ride.