Ok, I’ve seen Mission: Impossible III more times than anyone should, and have finally figured out what I like and don’t like about the movie. Let’s start with the basics of the plot, first. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is engaged to Julia (Michelle Monaghan), a nurse who doesn’t know that he works for the IMF, a secret government agency. He returns to active duty to go off on a mission to rescue an agent that he trained, and in the process discovers that the notorious arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is planning on acquiring something called the “Rabbits Foot” for $850 million. Obviously they can’t let him get it, so the mission begins! However things are not as they seem, and as things start spiraling out of control, Julia gets pulled into Ethan’s secret life.
Ok, that’s the gist of it. So here’s what I liked about it: The pervasive action sequences. The high energy. The Vatican sequence was a great team effort, like something in the original show. The look of the film was crisp and nicely lit. Many of the vfx were seamless. The music provided a lot of energy in a big fun way.
Here’s what I didn’t like about it: The characters are still simplified, and the relationship between Ethan and Julia feels like it has the depth of television show. The plot is simple, and yet there are some inconsistancies. Secret agents shouldn’t behave the way Hunt behaves, ever. I don’t care if they’re threatening to find your girlfriend – you don’t blow your cover. I don’t get what it is that Davian did that was so bad to make him “scary”. Some of the action pieces felt like leftovers from other movies. Hey, James Cameron called, and he wants his bridge scene back!
This is director J.J. Abrams’ first film, believe it or not. And when you consider that, it’s actually not a bad thing. Sure the film isn’t perfect, but what movie is? The problems with the film don’t detract from the experience, but many times it felt like a glorified television show.
So in the end, the film is a lot of fun, and quite a ride. But it’s a flawed ride, and while the rush will be there during and just after the film, it will fade with time, and with reflection you will feel like you just watched the most expensive episode of “Alias”, with Tom Cruise in the lead. But guess what – you just did.