Mission: Impossible 3 is pretty much what I expected it to be: Tom Cruise does action, Tom Cruise does romance, Tom Cruise does serious, Tom Cruise does tough guy, Tom Cruise does masks, and Tom Cruise does looking-good-in-black. M:I 3 is better than M:I 2, but M:I 1 is still the best of the lot. I guess that’s all you need to know, but I can ramble on for a bit about it.
As Jeremiah mentions, the plot is thin. Indeed, it’s a mere skeleton on which a capable cast hangs fascinating action ornaments. I’m a sucker for action sequences, so of course I found these ornaments fun to watch. The harebrained schemes remind me a lot of the plots in Knight Rider: no matter how crazy it sounds, the good guys can always pull it off (but if it does fail, the good guys will come up with an equally crazy plot that will succeed). Clearly, Team Impossible has a lot of luck and/or God is most definitely in their corner. Many times I was thinking, “Oh Tom is going to be seen for sure lying right there in the open” or “Well, Tom’s definitely doing to snap his neck now” or “There’s no way Tom will get there on time.” I was always wrong, but that’s good otherwise the movie would have been awfully short and Ethan Hunt wouldn’t be the legendary super-agent that he is. I’m all for suspending copius amounts of reality for the sake of a good action plot.
Turning to the acting, I wished they had used Laurence Fishburne more than they did. I think he’s a superb actor, and I enjoy seeing him on the screen. Unfortunately, for this role he only had a few lines, and half the time I didn’t like him as the pushy boss. Ving Rhames does a good job as the technical catalyst for Tom’s brilliant schemes, but he’s given some lame, predictable lines. Simon Pegg (the dude from Shaun of the Dead) delivers a fun performance that adds the bit of comedy relief, allowing the audience a chance to catch it’s breath. According to the IMDB trivia page, Ricky Gervais was supposed to play Pegg’s character. That would have been hilarious. Tom himself gets his job done quite well, in my opinion. It’s a typical Cruise performance, and I hope he counts his lucky stars that his only schtick looks good on the big screen. Personally, his real world antics are easily forgotten when I see him on screen, so I think I’m less Tommed-out than most others. The real star of the show is Philip Seymour Hoffman, but this was to be expected. Hoffman is a fantastic actor and pulls off the vicious, cunning, coldly calculating villian fantastically. His final scene is great. It hits the audience like a speeding truck, leaving them stunned, looking around in disbelief, and muttering, “Did I just see that?!”
Final recommendation: It’s worth a matinee for sure, and it’s a winner for the action flick crowd.
Pros: fun movie, crrraaaazzy schemes, Tom Cruise, really sweet bullet noises,
Cons: Tom Cruise, good actors used little, not enough explosions, really thin plot, destruction of killer cars