8 May 2006 | PizzicatoFishCrouch
Thrilling, Entertaining and Occasionally Smart.
J.J. Abrams, creator of Lost, takes on the third instalment of the action franchise, which sees human yo-yo Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in rare human mode as he plans on making an early retirement to be with his nurse wife (Michelle Monaghan), only to be go on another impossible mission as he plans catching sadistic arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). To aid him are Ving Rhames, Jonathon Rhys-Meyers and Maggie Q, and, this being a third, there are gadgets, explosions, sets and plot twists like now other.
You've got to hand it to Abrams he certainly knows how to keep an audience on their toes. Drawing on a few of his popular plot devices from Lost (flashbacks, a crescendo to the turning point), he sets us up neatly into his little world, where Ethan Hunt is now a man trying to live a normal life. Whilst that scenario may be a hard to buy, this is redeemed by the many action scenes in the film which are each exhilarating. To go into detail would be spoiling it, but let's just say there is an extremely breathtaking sequence involving a fulcrum, an amusing one involving Tom Cruise disguising himself as someone, and lastly, but by no means least a helicopter chase which is utterly awe-inspiring and barely lets the audience pause for breath. All this, and you get a Michael Giacchino score that perfectly blends action, anxiety, fear and anger.
The cast in themselves are a treat. Tom Cruise, though not given the most trying of tasks in playing an action hero, does a good job with his usual intensity. In the action scenes, his facial expressions are concentrated and focused and utterly convincing. However, Cruise fails in having any genuine chemistry with Michelle Monaghan, for and the romance comes across as rather bland. This is not aided with the poor writing in these scenes. Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Maggie Q merely look cool as his helpers, and Laurence Fisburne and Billy Crudup successfully bring that edge of moral ambiguity to their characters. And Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellently malicious as the elusive and extremely dangerous Davian, shining in his lizard-eyed role and bringing some genuine terror to the villain. His scenes aside Tom Cruise are superb, as they practically tremble in tension and quiet hatred on both characters parts.
You will go to see Mission Impossible III expecting some grand-scale set pieces, and you will not be disappointed here. Each one of the four is masterfully executed, with a breezy slickness that is both cool and exciting. We're talking non-stop action, occasionally interspersed with those corny Hollywood love formulae, cruising as "emotion." Its big, its bombastic, and it could be the Summer blockbuster of the year.