Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mission: Impossible III (***1/2)

Tom Cruise's latest star vehicle is one of his best, thanks in large part to co-writer/director J.J. Abrams (of TV's Lost and Alias). Abrams is one of the most talented persons working in entertainment right now. He makes populist fare that is grounded in intelligence, likeable actors, and interesting characters. In fact, M:i:III plays out like a big screen version of Alias at times. Given a ton of money to work with, Abrams (in his directorial debut) pulls out all the stops. This a terrific action movie/thriller that knows what it's doing right from the start. If it wasn't the third movie in a somewhat unexceptional series of Mission: Impossible movies, you'd have everyone singing its praises. I think we're prone to distrust movies with a "3" at the end of the title. Drop those preconceptions at the door for this one though. Some critics have said that this movie is what summer is all about, and I couldn't agree more. It's a hell of a ride, and it features a great villainous performance from the recently Oscar-annointed Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adhering to the "This Time It's Personal" plot device was a smart move for the writers as it allows us as the audience to invest in the situation and gives a personal through-line for all the action. Cruise gives an intense, charismatic performance and he's surrounded by a bevy of talented co-stars, namely Laurence Fishbourne, Ving Rhames, and Billy Crudup. Highly recommended.


Post a Comment

<< Home