Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mission:Impossible:3


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.

17 Comments:

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Prasanna said...

balaji,so 1 among the eagerly awaited movies of 2006 has proved to be an average one. This was one film which raised lots of expectations. Even i was waiting for the release of MI3 and from your review, luks like i don't need to wait eagerly for it to hit the theatres in Chennai. But can't predict the Chennai crowds.They cld make the movie a big hit. The earlier 2 releases were huge hits.I still remember girls drooling when Cruise took his mask off his face.The guy's a terrific crowd puller in Chennai.

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger Babs said...

It was betta than Mi-II though, but I shd agree with u on the story line nothing compared to MI (me fav too), nevertheless it had some good action scenes and very fast screenplay which never gave time to think back (pretty much a like a brain wasabi :-), btw Wasabi is Japanese Horseradish).

I think JJ Abram is a very potential action director.
Cant wait for Nolan's next venture, who has already made his mark in Batman Begins, good to see young directors coming up in Hollywood.

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous ram said...

I havent watched MI-3 nor do I plan to. Know this is off-topic, but y'day I watched this brilliant, gripping film, "United 93." It was a stunning depiction of the events of 9/11. I was just left totally shaken and paralyzed at the end of the movie.
A powerful experience. Do not miss it.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I don't know Balaji. My thinking was the reverse of yours. I thought MI2 was horrendous in comparison to MI3. MI2 had several long-drawn and dragging sequences especially in the second half of the film. Moreover, (I don't know about you!), I couldn't stand the sight of Thandie Newton (Hollywood has a very deranged notion of 'beauty' at most times!).. I definitely found Michelle Monaghan more attractive. (and NO!.. it has nothing to do with being the first being African American and the latter being caucasian. Anyways, why does that stuff matter in a Tom Cruise film? Nobody comes to see his heroine anyways, unless she is a big name herself!)..

If anything, I had only one problem with the film: Philip Seymour Hoffman. What was he supposed to be doing in this film?.. A robot could have done his role and it would have been the same.

I guess, it is the season for superheroes to settle down. Now that Spiderman has himself settled down with Kirsten Dunst, why shouldn't lesser heroes like Ethan Hunt do the same?.. Though I have a feeling, they will finish Michelle off in MI4, as she will predictably get in the way of his job! :-)

By the way, Balaji, I had one question: If this Rabbit's Foot was such a big deal, why was Musgrave holding it at the end? Agreed that Davian and Musgrave were working together, but based on previous conversations, doesn't it sound like Davian has more to gain by selling the Rabbit's Foot? Also, they had so much time after they catch Hunt, to hide the Rabbit's Foot from him? Why didn't they do it?.. Did they think that Hunt wouldn't go after it or after them?..

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Shwetha said...

Owwwwwwwwww, Im surprised you didnt like MI3. I just loved the film and thot twas complete paisa vasool right from start to end. Kept me on the edge of the seat from start to finish with some awesome visuals, stunts and a pretty interesting story line. I am no fan of Tom Cruise, ever since his Eyes wide shut came out and after his loud Katie romancing, but I completely loved him in MI3. You must watch it again and rereview this for us :)

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

prasanna, cruise is a terrific crowdpuller anywhere in the world :)

babs, i thot the action scenes were pretty average. maybe i've seen too many actions films and now i want a film to really do something different to get my pulse racing during the action :)

ram, will wait for the dvd on that one...

sandya, u'd have noticed from my reviews that i really like style in movies. naturally, i'm a huge fan of john woo and his style of filmmaking. so i enjoyed MI2 also(but only the first time. MI1 has so far held up after several revisits).

i thot thandie newton had some individuality. michelle was just too ordinary(that might have had something to do with her character too). having seen her, i still wouldn't be able to pick her out from bunch of actresses...

i don't even remember enuf to answer ur questions there. i guess that shows how much i was involved in the movie! the whole scene where cruise plans the break-in into the high-rise building was where the movie lost me completely. and the way davian dies was plain ridiculous...

shwetha, will be watching again when dvd comes out since wife hasn't seen it yet. but don't think my opinion will change. here r a few of my complaints... the first action sequence with the helicopters and the windmills was too chaotic; could see who the mole was miles away; the stunt to break into the high-rise building was ridiculous; and the way they didn't show how he actually got the rabbit's foot inside the building and just showed him jumping out points to laziness on the part of the writers...

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Siva Nara said...

Balaji,

This is a movie and you can't think of so many logics behind it.

I did see the film during the weekend and really enjoyed it right from the beginning.

I heard lot of good things about United 93 too and want to watch that movie too.

Siva

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Sandai-Kozhi said...

Its an 'OK' movie. kinda predictable but enjoyable as well...

ps : blog hopped here

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger KK said...

Balagi,
I some what liked MI-3 more than MI-2. I too agree that MI-2 has style and I am big fan of John Woo but this movie has quite a lot of edge of the seat sequence every now and then. May be this is because I did'nt set a high expectation.
Regarding United 93 it is a very well taken movie with lots of details both in technical aspect of events and time line of events on 9/11. I some what felt the camera was moved way too much that it causes headache when watched in a theatre. But the movie was really moving and most of the people including me came out of the theatre sad and sobbing. But surely one of best watch this year.

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

Balaji,
Tom Cruise padam pathi review paNNi irukeenga. magaLir aNi auto la unga veetuku vandhuda poraanga. Paathu ;-)

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

siva, u'll see that i didnt talk about logic in the review. i wasn't looking for that at all in this kind of movie. i was complaining about the lack of genuine thrills :)

sandaikozhi, thanx for hopping by :)

kk, that 'edge of the seat experience' u mention was what i didnt get in this movie. that was my biggest complaint. the stunts were very average...

ferrari, but cruise pathi thappa edhuvum sollaliye... so i'm probably safe :)

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was Philip Seymore Hoffman who gave a great performance. He is just so talented. Of course, I agree that MI3 wasn't the best of the series, in fact I felt "what's Tom trying to do? Rival Shah Rukh in those emotional scenes?". To my mind, no one can rival Shah Rukh there. And MI is suppose to be an action flick, so Tom should have gone easy on emotion!
Cheers.

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous sks said...

It was lucky that philip s hoffman was drawn in the cast much before he won the oscar last year. His earlier credits 'along came polly, Patch Adams, Scent of a Woman, i guess he also had a minor role in beautiful mind' but never made it to the big world. JJ abrams is some sort of JM mathan of the sarfarosh fame, good in bits but not as a whole. Feel in accordance with some people that MI3 was better than MI2 whil MI1 is still the best. However the overwhelming influence of tom cruise can be seen in MI3.

 
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