Saturday, November 04, 2006


Mission Impossible 3Tom Cruise Directed by J. J. Abrams
Starring Tom Cruise
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



One might picture Ethan Hunt as the American version of James Bond, and they would probably be on the mark. We Americans always have to one-up anybody who tries to top us, of course. If the USSR has bigger missiles with higher yields of plutonium, then by God we’d better get some bigger ones ourselves! And if Ian Fleming’s James Bond can out-maneuver the world’s bad-guys every time, then by God we’d better find a hero of our own who can too!

So The Impossible Mission Force (IMF) was created to the excitement of action film fans around the West. With it we got Ethan Hunt (
Tom Cruise, WAR OF THE WORLDS), a kick-butt-and-take-no-names kinda guy who’s out to save the world.

With the previous two Mission Impossible flicks, the focus was always on the action just for the sake of action. It was entertaining, but lacked the depth that we’d like to see from characters on occasion. So it is notable to mention that we get much more from Ethan Hunt in
MI: III thanks to a love interest named Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan, NORTH COUNTRY). That we have Philip Seymour Hoffman (as the bad guy, Owen Davian) also pumps up the character interactions to new and higher levels.

The story surrounds Ethan’s retirement as an active member from the IMF. He’s an instructor now who’s forced back into service when he learns that his star pupil, Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell, WE WERE SOLDIERS), has gone missing on a mission. She was tracking down the deadly Mr. Owen Davian (Hoffman). Back with his cadre of IMF members (including Ving Rhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Maggie Q) they locate Lindsey and pull her from the clutches of the evil doers, only to have her die in Ethan’s arms. Now out for vengeance as much as to find Davian, Ethan and his folk track down the bad guy and stumble upon something called "The Rabbit’s Foot," a deadly item that is never fully explained (gotta give the writers/director credit here, as this wasn’t what the movie was about, so the focus didn’t need to be on another world-destroying virus or whatever it might’ve been). And when Davian kidnaps Ethan’s girl Julia, Ethan must do double-duty as an agent and a man protecting the woman he loves (and recently, secretly, married).

Full of eye-popping stunts, shot on multiple continents, and loaded with great cars, boats, and beautiful people, MI: III has everything that the previous two Impossible films had. Except, as stated, this time we see more of Ethan’s humanity. He’s a husband now, a man in love who doesn't lose the wife just so, in the next film, he can meet the next Mission Impossible girl (i.e., Bond girl). So we have a departure from the norm, which was pretty refreshing. Not only does the audience get to see the action they’re so accustomed to, they also get this bonus.

But one has to wonder if Ethan’s wife might meet a deadly end if another Impossible movie is made. We can only hope that they won’t fall into cliche-land. Let us pray!

Click here for the Mission Impossible 3 movie trailer!


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