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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, 2006
Movie Reviews!

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III,  MOVIE POSTERMISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by J.J. Abrams
Starring Tom Cruise, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Kerri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg and Lawrence Fishburne
Review by Andrew Kosarko


SYNOPSIS:

Secret Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has decided to take it easy and lead a somewhat normal life. He's even found his perfect woman, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), and is engaged. But when newbie agent Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell)--whom Hunt mentored--goes missing while on assignment, the reluctant agent finds himself back in business. Soon, with his old buddy Luther (Ving Rhames) in tow, along with team members Zhen (Maggie Q) and Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Hunt is traversing the globe on the trail of Farris's captor, Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an elusive international weapons dealer. The stakes increase when the villainous Davian gets a hold of Hunt's fiancťe and uses her as a bargaining chip.

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REVIEW:

Badda boom, badda bang weíre right back onto the show here folks. JJ Abrams ďgets it.Ē This is a action film with heart and most importantly, a pulse. Every scene is well constructed in terms of character development and plot advancement. While Mission 2 is a strong film in itís own right, I never felt like it belonged in the franchise. This film, however, I could watch as a direct sequel to the first film and absolutely love it Ė AND it would work in terms of continuity.

The Story: First off, itís non linear. Which already puts the audience on their toes. Things happen out of order and the structure of the story is enough to draw you in. Abrams has an ability to grab an audiences emotions right from the word go. We see a nice balance of Ethan Huntís home life and what it would really be like for a spy. From lying to his girlfriend, over explaining traffic problems for his cover and even reading the lips of his fiancťeís girlfriends. He may have taken a step back in his job but heís still a full fledged spy. What I absolutely love about this film compared to the 2nd film is the creation of fully developed characters. Everyone has an identity and a character spine. Itís what drives the film the whole time. Itís very much a character based story Ė which is only furthered by the McGuffin Rabbitís foot the whole time. Thatís right. We have no idea what Hunt or the villain are after the whole film. And the best part is Ė it doesnít matter. Thatís how well structured and characterized the script is. Oh and yes, stuff still blows upÖ.and more realistically than ever.

Acting: What I loved most about the first film was great actors making cameo appearances in smaller roles, filling out the characters and defining them. Thatís what happens here. Thatís all we have. Great actors all working hard. I knocked Cruise in Mission 2 for a lack of trying but Mission 3ís performance is much more in line with the Ethan Hunt we met in the first film. Kerri Russell is alright for the 10 minutes sheís in the movie. Ving Rhames does a job of upping his performance to a more caring best friend to Cruise this go around. Simon Pegg is always funny but scattered in this film. Maggie Q I donít particularly care for but her martial arts ability is impressive. Billy Crudup does a great job of being almost librarian in his performance and contrasting that against Fishburneís over the top angry and fast paced boss. That gives a nice identity to both of them and leads the audience right where JJ wants them. But the hat comes off for Mr. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Good job good sir. He is by far, in my opinion, one of the best action movie villains of the last few years Ė and itís all due to his acting in this film. He really delivers a menacing performance that should be studied by actors for years to come.

Directing: What can I say? JJ Abrams is a director who knows how to tell a story and define characters. The medium doesnít matter. TV or film Ė the man can get a point across. Everything is well structured and implemented within the story. Furthermore he pushes himself to creatively raise the bar in the franchise as well as the action genre in general. He was even able to re-work the spy aspects back into the franchise. Maybe not as much as the first film, but because this is more character based than plot focused Ė itís easily forgiven.

Cinematography: I like the color palette of this film a lot. The strong oranges contrast and overpower a lot of the well defined image. The use of color in Abrams film is always striking and attention grabbing Ė BUT, itís never annoying (See Batman & Robin for annoying lighting with color. On second thought, donít see B&R Ė just take my word for it.) One way or the other, the shot design is well composed to convey the story to tell the story and pull emotions to the forefront.

Production Design: Things in this film are still brand new-esque like the last film, but the grit and grime column gets itís check too. Thereís a contrast of Ethanís worlds of being a spy and a normal person and that really is a great way to define the way he sees things. The production design furthermore goes into Abrams creativity on expanding the creative palette and grounding the film in a realistic setting.

Editing: The non linear blows me away. The way this film is cut is so well done it should have gotten an Oscar nomination. Yes Ė itís that good. But because itís an action film it gets the boot. Actors and story can deliver. Shot design has to hold up. But create a tense atmosphere and emotional arcs of every scene Ė you need excellent pacing and passion from the editor. Itís all here, people just take it for granted that they overlook the exceptional ability of it all.

Score: Alright, hereís my nitpick of the film. On paper, having Kanye West do the main theme sounds like a great idea. On execution of it, however, ehhh not so much. In addition to this Michael Giacchino is a strong composer, but always seem to over power his scores with a single element that ďirksĒ me every time. This time, itís the horns. Thereís just too much of it and it draws attention to itself and can break moments at times.

Special Effects: KABOOM. Just great. Breathtaking. Itís the stuff I go to popcorn movies for. 9 times out of 10 I never get this, but this is what I want. And itís well done. Iím sure thereís some CG drizzled in there but itís concealed very well if it is. The stunts? Iím pretty sure Cruise did all of them this go around and that adds even more to it all. The action delivers baby.

In closing: Mission Impossible 3 is a great film and a great entry into the franchise. The acting ability is phenomenal, the story Ė very well told and interesting, the characters are well developed and help move the story along. The action and stunts are breath taking. The editing well developed to pull your emotions in front of your brain. This is everything you want in a action popcorn flick that showcases the best of our generations talent. Itís definitely worth a purchase on DVD.

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