Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers:  Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams
Cast:       Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames

Ethan Hunt comes face to face with a dangerous and sadistic arms dealers while trying to keep his identity secret in order to protect his grilfriend.

Mission Impossible was a TV series in US television that was broadcast from 1966 through 1973. It introduced the agency IMF (Impossible Mission Force) which operated primarily by using confidence tricks, infiltration and high technology on its targets. The IMF agents usually deceive their targets into cooperating with them without detecting any kind of deception until the impossible mission is carried out. The structure of an episode followed a predictable path with the first half used to develop the story of target with the IMF agents coming only in the second half. The famous soundtrack usually kicks in during the opening credits shown against a fuse being lit.

The film franchise based on the TV series kicked off with the Brian Dd Palma directed installment Mission Impossible. In the films the agents are more like a commando unit rather than ones operating primarily through cleverness and deception. There is not much time given for developing the bad guy. Mission Impossible when it came out was received very well primarily because compared to other action films from that time it was kind of different due to its grittiness. Obvious comparison is to made with the Pierce Brosnan starring James Bond films which were you know well shit. Mission Impossible One hasn't aged very well but is still a good one time watch. The greatest thing about it is that the legendary tune is not used until the final action sequence. The second Mission Impossible was directed by John Woo and ten minutes was all I lasted. The laughably bad opening rock climbing scene followed up with the self destructing message (a running theme) was enough to fuck it off. I haven't seen the fourth one, Ghost Protocol, which was received quite well when it got released.

The best thing about Mission Impossible 3 is Philip Seymour Hoffman with the rest of it being very average. Ethan Hunt is kind of semi retired with him taking a trainer role for IMF recruits and is trying to lead a normal life with his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) who doesn't know about his background. The core of the story is supposed to be him being forced to do an impossible task to save his girlfriend. Tom Cruise and Michelle Monaghan have next to no chemistry. You get all the running themes of the franchise like Ethan Hunt falling and hovering above ground on a thread, self destructing message,  Boss being bad twist and of course the soundtrack. The customary Tom Cruise sprinting scene is also there about which there is a funny compilation video in youtube titled evolution of his runs.
There are plenty of set piece sequences, some of them good and some average. The film starts off really well with the flash forward scene of Ethan Hunt being interrogated by Philip Seymour Hoffman's character (Owen Davian) establishing who is really going to boss the film. We are literally waiting for Owen Davian to appear again on screen amidst Ethan Hunt doing all his circuses. To be fair to Tom Cruise he himself does most of the stunts giving it some authenticity. The script is at times terrible doing expositions and laughably cringe-worthy lines with the 'Oh wait, I love you' (give me a fucking break!) being the highlight. The film marked the end of the distribution partnership Tom Cruise's production company had with Paramount Pictures which was a big setback for him.  The main reason for Paramount to end it was his private life antics which was turning the audience against him. Thats what you get if you are part of the studio big budget tent-poles- you live by the sword you die by it. J.J. Abrams got the directorial gig on the strength of 'Lost'  and  'Alias' both of which I haven't seen. The film had the highest budget for a directorial debut with with it coming around $150 million.

Rating: 2/5