Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Mission: Impossible Difficult.
I don’t know why I do this sometimes, but I watch series in reverse now and then. I did it once before with the Harry Potter series, and now I’m doing it with Mission: Impossible. It’s okay though…I’ve seen them all before. Mission: Impossible 3 was an interesting film when it came out because it had been a few years since the second installment, and it was more or less starting a new, revamped version of the series starring the same cast. Specifically speaking, this was picked up by the increasingly impressive director – J.J. Abrams. Here’s the thing about Abrams – before this movie, we hadn’t seen a lot of films from him, period…just TV shows, so this was his first real impossible mission – to make a movie. After watching this one, you’ll notice incredible inspiration from one of his most popular TV shows – Alias. This movie is basically just another episode of that…but is that a good thing…or bad thing?
Mission: Impossible 3 is more or less about Ethan’s life outside of the agency and his brooding romance with his current girlfriend, soon-to-be wife. When a black market dealer goes around blowing people’s heads off, Ethan is pulled once more into the action – but the very fact that he has a relationship outside of the agency makes his life even that more difficult…or impossible – when her life is threatened.
Okay, so this movie is much more…romantically geared than any of the others. It’s mostly about Ethan’s vulnerability as a human male in love with a woman – which is something we’ve seen too many times before. Beyond that, the mission itself wasn’t impossible…just difficult…as I’ve mentioned above. There are definitely some interesting aspects, and the individual missions kept within the bigger picture are certainly unique…but that’s mostly as far as it gets. That being said, those unique and interesting elements are super smart. The entire explanation of the ridiculous masks and voice changers finally made perfect sense that was at least founded a little in realistic science. That’s how you make text-to-speech. Who’s to say a little futuristic spy gear couldn’t make it sound like the real deal?
Back to J.J. Abrams, this movie fit into his whole concept of Alias. It really did, but not so much what you have come to expect from Mission: Impossible. This film was full of little sections, or as I now like to call them – episodes. All of these episodes put together makes a season. Really though, there were scenes in this movie that borrowed directly from that TV show. The composer? Same guy. Beyond that, I personally don’t think it feels like a M:I movie. That doesn’t mean it’s bad…it’s still really good and very entertaining.
I think in the end, the only real requisite one of these movies needs is to have a mission that seems impossible for probably multiple reasons. The mission(s) in this film…it was simply okay and way too focused on emotional things rather than spy..y stuff. The Ghost Protocol sequel to this film was pretty much perfect, while this one was more or less the training-wheels version. All you really watch it for, though, is Tom Cruise and for a series that you thought was over…it was awesome to see him in the role again, revitalizing something you thought was dead and over.
From purely a nostalgic stance, this movie is pretty awesome. J.J. Abrams stepping in to give it a whirl gave new direction to the series, which was more or less a welcome one, since Abrams is known for taking a pre-existing concept and expanding on it in really imaginative ways – and the same applies here.
Okay, so a couple of things I need to point out – it felt way too much like a collection of episodes straight from J.J. Abrams TV Show – Alias. Both are about spies, but one is focused more on relationships and emotions than the other – which Mission: Impossible 3 got a little more caught up on than it probably should. That made the movie feel less impossible and more like a “love complicates thing” movie. Just my thought – still a good movie in general.