The first Mission Impossible, which is my favorite, had a complicated story and some incredible action sequences. Mission Impossible 2 watered down the story but with John Woo behind the camera, made up for it with a lot of style. This third instalment is weak in both substance and style. It is a rather average action film that has gotten the summer movie season off to a weak start.
IMF's Ethan Hunt(Tom Cruise) is now settled down and engaged to Julia(Michelle Monaghan), who thinks that her fiance works in the Transportation Department. Hunt is brought in by an old friend John to rescue another agent but that operation doesn't go too well. And now Hunt has a new mission - to capture international arms dealer Davian(Philip Seymour Hoffman).
It feels as though the MI series is running out of ideas. While some aspects, like the use of the latex mask, have become series staples, this film feels like it was cobbled together from different parts of the earlier two films. So we have a mysterious product called the Rabbit's Foot (like Chimera in MI2) that everyone wants to lay their hands on. Matters are complicated by the presence of a mole in the IMF (like MI1). And there's a sequence where Cruise has to infiltrate a high-security high-rise building to steal something (again like MI1). There's also a bit of True Lies in Cruise's double life and the trouble his wife gets into because of it.
But we go to a movie like this primarily for the action and even that is rather uneven. The action sequences range from the well-staged(like the attack on a convoy on a bridge) to the over-the-top(like Cruise's method of getting into the high-rise building). And in the tradition of recent films, some action sequences are quite chaotic with so many fast edits that we have no idea whats going on. On the other hand, sequences like Philip Seymour Hoffman's kidnap work because of a nice combination of both brain and brawn. Cruise has taken a lot of risks and sequences like the dash through some slums in Shanghai are exciting mainly because we can see that its Cruise and not a stunt double.