Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There are a couple of things we know about Tom Cruise:  One, he’s flat out his mind, nutty as a fruitcake, crazy as a loon, two eggs short of a dozen… however you want to put it.  Jumping on couches on national TV is one thing, but Tom; securely in the category of Off-limitdom are pregnant women.  Leave them alone brother.  If they aren’t drinking or smoking crack during their pregnancy, they can do anything they want.  Leave ‘em alone.  The second thing we know about Tom Cruise is that if you go to the megaplex to see one his movies, chances are you’re going have pretty good time.  With exception of ‘Days of Thunder’ back in 1990 and ‘Cocktail’ in 1988, I can’t say the Mr. Cruise has ever made a movie that flat out sucked.  Even Mission Impossible 2 was more disappointing than bad.  Well, Mr. Cruise once again proves that he is well worth the 8.2 Billion he gets paid per picture with Mission impossible 3, the best film in the series so far, by far. 

IMF super agent Ethan Hunt has returned to us all domesticated and stuff.  He is engaged to be married to the lovely Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and is no longer a field operative, but an IMF instructor.  Now Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) thinks having long-term relationships in this particular line of work ain’t such a good idea.  Ethan of course disagrees.  Somehow I’m thinking somewhere down the line, Luther may be right on this one.  Julia thinks that her Ethan monitors traffic for DMV, despite the fact he often gets calls in the middle of night calling him away for sudden ‘conferences’.   One particular ‘conference’ requires Ethan, Luther and the rest of the team rounded out by John-Rhys Meyers and Maggie Q (hey, that’s the girls name) to extract to safety a captured agent (Keri Russell) who was assigned to survey and provide intel on a Master black market arms dealer named Owen Davian, played by Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  Things don’t go so good on the mission, which leaves a disgraced agent Hunt and his handler John Musgrave (Billy Crudup) to be dressed down severely by IMF Director Brassel (Laurence Fishburne). 

But this Ethan Hunt we’re talking about here and we know he’s not bowing out like some kind of punk.  He knows that Davian has some super weapon he’s trying to sell to some non-descript middle-eastern client so without authorization Hunt goes all Rouge Agent on us and preps his team for, you guessed it, an Impossible Mission to stop the evil dealer and his evil crew.  Now stand aside while all hell breaks loose. 


MI:3, believe it or not is, a throwback to the great popcorn action thrillers of the 80’s.  Where all of the agents could easily be super models, where all of the bad guys are impossibly evil with no redeeming social values, where big plot holes are filled with bigger explosions, and where the action is over the top and non-stop.  And I do mean Non.  Stop.  For example, the parking structure I usually park at is full, so I have to park at a meter with an hour time limit.  I wait for a brief lull in MI:3 to go stick four more quarters in the meter and by the time I get back, mind you I’m gone all of two minutes, A freeway is blown up, commandos are on the attack, remote control planes are dropping bombs and Julia is about to be kidnapped.  It’s like this pretty much like this from start to finish.


You would think first time director J.J. Abrams, best known as a TV producer for Alias and Lost would be hard pressed following legendary directors Brian DePalma and John Woo, but as far as this series is concerned, they are the ones who are following him as this flick is bigger and badder than the first two combined.  This is a director who took ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’ very seriously as a teenager.  Of course all is not perfect though.  The story that encases the action scenes is perfunctory at best, there are elements of the story that are introduced early and then completely forgotten later on, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is woefully underused.  I would estimate he had about five total minutes of screen time, which is too bad because when he was on screen, you knew you were observing a very bad man.  Spending a little more time developing his character and giving him more to do would have only made the movie better.


That aside though, MI:3 is a definite winner.  So the summer movie season for 2006 is being ushered in quite properly and MI:3 will no doubt pull in about a gazillion dollars, and rightfully so.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy this one folks, and make sure you put enough loot in the parking meter and use the bathroom before head in or you just may miss some awesome.

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