I forgot to post the review here since it's part of the festival. It'll go up on the regular site tomarrow.
Mission: Impossible III
Written and Directed
by J.J. Abrams
One of these days we’re going to have an action film where the plot is actually interesting. There comes a point where just blowing stuff up just doesn’t cut it. This doesn’t mean that I’m against doing that in movies, I love a really good explosion, what I don’t like is a tiresome story that appears that Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and the redoubtable J.J. Abrams took about ten minutes to write the first draft of this sucker. At least they kind of admitted it when they had
super-spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) say: “There comes a time when bold becomes stupid.” Truer words were rarely said.
We start with what might be called: The “how’d we get here?” introduction. Ethan is chained to a chair and is sitting across from his significant other Julia(Michelle Monaghan), who is in the same predicament, as über-villian Owen Davian(Philip Seymour Hoffman) prances around threatening to shoot Julia and then use his nifty enema bomb to blow up our hero’s head—>cut to the burning fuse and the “duh-duh-DUH-da, duh-duh-DUH-da” Theme music.
Apparently, Ethan is semi-retired and is about to get married to Julia, when his boss Musgrave (Billy Crudup) gives him a call and gives him the usual package. Apparently they’ve decided not to disavow agent Lindsey Ferris(Keri Russell) and instead have our hero and his usual team: Luther (Ving Rhames) Dermot (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen (Hong Kong star Maggie Q) head off to Berlin to recover her. We’ve got lots of explosions, but not the one we wanted. It’s okay to have Lindsey get killed at the last minute, but why not have her head actually explode when the enema bomb goes off? That would have been cool!!
We finally get to see the IMF headquarters, something that allegedly didn’t exist before, and there’s also internal politics between Musgrave and his boss Brassel (Laurence Fishburne) as well as IMF’s version of Q (Simon Pegg), who’s got some of the best lines in the film. There should have been more of that.
We go from Virginia to Berlin to the Vatican to Shanghai, where we get to see ancient Roman art blown up for little or no reason, to full scale war on the Chesapeake bay bridge. The writers at least acknowledge that the media might have noticed something that big.
But this is pure fantasy, and as such it’s completely unoriginal. The acting is professional, as one would expect, and we know that it’s going to make a ton of money because attendance is mandatory.
If you’re in the demographic, you should only see it once, at a bargain matinee, and forget getting the video. If you’re not, don’t bother at all.