Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mission: Impossible 3 Impressions

My lovely wife Ruth and I went to see Mission: Impossible 3, the new Tom Cruise vehicle. First of all, before I get into impressions, let me tell you a little bit about my M:I experience.

The first movie I saw when it came out, and didn't understand a word of it. I mean, I liked the action sequences, but the whole thing scrambled my brain. I saw the second one and loved it. Now, this was when I was a dumb kid. I mean, I loved Batman Forever. That should tell you about my movie tastes back then. Now, when I watch the movie, I can't believe how dumb it is, but I did like it way back when.


I liked Mission: Impossible 3. It has its flaws, no doubt. Let's get the dumb stuff out of the way first. First, they have a machine that can analyze your brain and give you a real-time X-ray image, then detect and analyze a foreign object through bone and tissue, but they still have a defibrillator that takes 30 seconds to charge.

Second, because Tom Cruise is basically indestructible in these movies, there really isn't any suspense as far as his character goes. Wisely, they choose to put other characters in danger instead of Cruise, making it more suspenseful.

Third, the twist at the end is kind of predictable.

Those negatives out of the way, there was a lot to like about this movie. Philip Seymour Hoffman is very menacing. He's an interesting actor, and this gives him a chance to play around. Someone was telling me that they're mad that he sold out, but you can't make Important Movies all the time. Every once in a while you have to cut loose and have fun, and Hoffman does.

Tom Cruise is many times maligned for his acting. In this movie, though, he does a superb job stepping into Ethan Hunt's shoes once again, making you feel that he's actually concerned about these events. Hunt and his fiancee, played by Michelle Monaghan, never really generate a whole lot of heat, but that's okay. They're not supposed to. She's there to give him something to protect, and as a plot device, it works well.

Finally, the direction, handled by J.J. Abrams in his feature debut, is fantastic. If you've watched Alias in its first few seasons, you know what to expect. If you haven't, you're in for a treat, as Abrams enjoys taking the movie everywhere he can. Literally. He goes to the Vatican, Shanghai, everywhere. It's a fantastic ride, and he knows when to slow it down to give the movie weight.

All in all, this was a very well-made movie. It should get a lot more love than it's getting in the theatres, and it's my mission to make sure it does. My final score:


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