Mission Impossible III (12A)

This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.

Tom Cruise has put himself up for an easy kicking with the media lately, but luckily for him manages to pull out a good enough performance in his latest blockbuster.

The opening sequence of the film sets out right from the start to take us straight back into the world of Cruise as Secret Agent Ethan Hunt. The plot is, as you would expect, far-fetched, but for the most part too much so. This isn’t helped by the fast-paced nature of the film, which constantly jumps from place to place quicker than a rabbit on heat, leaving the viewer bemused as to what is happening. In some cases events are completely bypassed and left to the audience’s imagination.

The most noticeable is of the theft of the ‘Rabbit’s Foot’, something which the film alludes to throughout its narrative then decides to show you barely a second of. It would be easy to blame the director, J.J. Abrams, for this failure, but bearing in mind his other major credits include high suspense, drawn-out TV dramas Lost and Alias, this is hard to believe.

Aside from the incoherent narrative Mission Impossible III does still have some great moments. The showcase action sequence that takes place on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is impressive to say the least with car-chases, explosions, gunfights and espionage all rolled into one. The main failure, aside from its incoherence, is the highly predictable twists in the film. Without giving too much away, devices are used from the other two Mission: Impossible films, which six years later seem so very dated now.

Although the director insists he wanted to recreate a Mission: Impossible based on the aspects of the original TV series, and does so with its clever use of Cruise leading his own team of loyal agents against the IMF regime, they have still missed a trick with this latest installment. M:I films, much like their British James Bond counterparts, are supposed to be innovative and leading the way in film and diegitic technology. Seeing Tom Cruise fire a zip-wire up to a building is more reminiscent of Indiana Jones than pioneering film.

Despite all this the saving grace of the film is some excellent acting from Oscar winner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and unexpectedly, Spaced and Shaun Of The Dead star Simon Pegg. Hoffman portrays easily the best villain seen in an action film in recent years. Pegg on other hand adds the only (deliberate) comedy to the film playing a wacky English computer boffin.

Mission: Impossible III will entertain you, even if you just laugh at some of the incredibly tacky Hollywood moments throughout, most notably the last 30 seconds of the film. It certainly won’t have harmed Cruise’s reputation either, even if the film seems more Mission: Implausible, than impossible.