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Mission: Impossible III

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

May. 05,2006
| Adventure Action Thriller

Retired from active duty, and training recruits for the Impossible Mission Force, agent Ethan Hunt faces the toughest foe of his career: Owen Davian, an international broker of arms and information, who is as cunning as he is ruthless. Davian emerges to threaten Hunt and all that he holds dear -- including the woman Hunt loves.


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The action is excellent, with countless expertly directed sequences throughout (see the opening cliffhanger, bridge assault, Vatican City heist featuring a cool look into mask-making). The character work is great too, even if Hunt's emotional thread doesn't break any new dramatic ground: PSH's villain is truly menacing (see his chilling plane threat) and the secondary cast is likeable as always (the final silent greeting scene was a lovely touch). The red herring-mole twist confounded, though. 7.5/10


The third instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise took a while to get off the ground. Originally trusted to director David Fincher (which would have been fascinating to see), the Fight Club director opted out when another project caught his eye, so the reigns were passed to Joe Carnaghan, who had his supporting cast ready to go before a dispute with the studio resulted in his departure also. In stepped J.J. Abrams, who faced the difficult task of reviewing the previous movies' vastly different tones in order to settle on which Ethan Hunt he wanted to bring to the screen. Quite wisely, he went for a bit of both. This was the intuitive, opportunistic Hunt from Brian De Palma's well-staged original, rather than the trigger-happy super-agent from John Woo's effort. Yet he still retains an edge, and Abrams sets out his movie's darker tone from the get-go, as we start during the third act with Hunt in precarious situation with Philip Seymour Hoffman's big bad.Hunt (Tom Cruise) has left the IMF in favour of a normal life with his bride-to-be Julia (Michelle Monaghan). He has kept the extent of his work for the government quiet and seems to be enjoying being a regular Joe, but his head is soon turned when fellow IMF agent John Musgrave (Billy Crudup) contacts him regarding his former protegee, Lindsay Farris (Keri Russell), who has gone missing in the field while investigating an arms dealer named Owen Davian (Hoffman). Hunt accepts the job and assembles a team (consisting of the returning Ving Rhames, as well as Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maggie Q) to track her down, but when the mission goes spectacularly wrong, the group are left to track down an item known as the 'Rabbit's Foot', a device capable of global catastrophe. With the head of the IMF (Laurence Fishburne) breathing down his neck and Davian proving himself to be a ruthless and cunning foe, Hunt and the rest of his troupe face their most difficult task yet.He may have been third choice (although he was cherry-picked by Cruise himself), but the then up-and-coming Abrams proved to be the perfect director to steer the series back on course without upsetting the tone. He finds a perfect balance, delivering spectacular set-pieces that Cruise is, as always, keen to sink his teeth into, as well as re-establishing the team element and tasking them with missions that require a combined effort, and not just Cruise blowing away bad guys in slow-motion. De Palma's original may have been spectacular on occasion, but this third instalment is probably the best of this opening trilogy. There is also an uncomfortable atmosphere throughout, and this is mainly down to Hoffman's spectacular turn as Davian. He is a one-note big bad, and hardly physically intimidating, yet Hoffman's dead-eyed delivery oozes menace, and when he threatens the lives of those closest to our hero, we completely accept that he's capable of butchering the innocent in his pursuit for riches and power. It's hardly new territory for the action genre, but Abrams should be credited with reinvigorating a franchise still going strong 22 years after it introduced itself.

Karl Meyers

I was hesitant to see it because of how bad Mission Impossible 2 was, but I think it more than makes up for the 2nd flop and I would even argue that it's better than the first. The action really is non-stop, and there aren't any cheesy love scenes slowing anything down. The bad guy doesn't change every five minutes either. The plot moves quickly but it doesn't lose the audience at all. You don't need to have seen either of the first two to understand what is going on (I can't remember the plot from either). Lots of guns, loud explosions, cool gadgets and fun locations. I can remember on more than one occasion where the audience clapped or reacted to the action. It does everything an action movie should do very well. I would highly advise anyone who likes action movies to go see it. Even if you think Tom Cruise is a little insane, MI:III is extremely enjoyable.


J.J. Abrams is the director for part three in the Mission: Impossible franchise, meaning that there is an excess of lens flares but also a surfeit of top-notch action making this one yet another small step in the right direction for the series.This time around, retired agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) goes back in the field to try and apprehend Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a sadistic arms dealer who is trying to get his hands on a device code-named "The Rabbit's Foot". In doing so, Hunt not only puts his own life at risk but also that of his wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan).Where parts 1 and 2 were sparing with their action scenes, Mission: Impossible III's pace is much faster, Abrams going all out for tension and excitement, including a superb helicopter chase through a wind-farm, Hunt breaking into the Vatican to capture Davian, an explosive attack on a bridge, and a perilous leap for our hero from one skyscraper to another. As slam-bang Summer blockbusters go, it definitely doesn't disappoint, even though the plot does tend to get a bit silly at times (yes, the rubber mask disguise routine makes an appearance and is still as daft as ever).In the supporting roles, Hoffman makes for a very credible villain, Monaghan is likable as Hunt's Achilles heel, Simon Pegg is reasonable enough as comic relief tech geek Benji Dunn, and Maggie Q supplies the glamour as IMF agent Zhen Lei (while also adding appeal for the Asian market). Billy Crudup and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, on the other hand, are forgettable and Ving Rhames is sorely wasted.