The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Movie Review: Mission: Impossible III

First, a message about Tom Cruise:

Mission: Impossible III is easily the BEST of the three Mission: Impossible movies. I really enjoyed it!

However, it is also the lowest grossing of the three (based on its opening weekend take). I’m not sure why this is – it can’t be because of Tom Cruise’s antics, moviegoers can’t be that petty. They’re missing out on a pretty good action thriller.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has left field work to become an IMF (Impossible Mission Force) instructor/trainer. He wants to live a somewhat normal life, have a normal relationship, get married, and so on. He has a beautiful fiancée (the scrumptious Michelle Monaghan) who knows nothing about his spy work. But when one of his most promising former students (Felicity’s Keri Russell) is captured in Berlin, he is drawn back into the field to rescue her.

This then brings him into conflict with a vengeful blackmarketeer, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who kidnaps Ethan’s fiancée and forces him to recover an object known by its codename “Rabbit’s Foot.” (We never learn what the Rabbit’s Foot is, except that it’s being sold on the black market for $850 million. For that kind of dough, this object has to be enormously powerful – this ain’t no chicken-shit weapon like a nuclear device or a deadly virus. One IMF techie posits that it might be an “anti-God” technology, something that can destroy our entire planet. God help us if it should fall into the hands of, say, Islamofascists who are intent on wiping out civilization!)

The action takes us to Berlin, the Vatican, and Shanghai, all of them spectacular venues for wonderful stunts, nifty gadgets, and clever ideas. The scenes in Shanghai are particularly memorable, reminding us with absolute clarity why these are called “impossible missions.”

M:I:III is enjoyable because it is truer to the M:I spirit than the second movie, Mission: Impossible II, which, in the hands of director John Woo, was merely a warmed-over James Bond flick. Director J.J. Abrams (who brought us Lost and Alias, and is going to direct Star Trek XI) does an admirable job, drawing as he does from his experience with the television spy thriller Alias, starring Jennifer Garner.

Performances are very good. Yes, even Tom Cruise acquits himself well. Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), as usual, displays his fine acting chops.

Major Thumbs Up! My strong recommendation is: Put aside the off-screen antics of Tom Cruise and go revel in this, the best Mission: Impossible film.


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