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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Thriller > Adventure > Mission: Impossible III (Theatrical Film Review)

Mission: Impossible III (Theatrical Film Review)


Stars: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan

Director: J.J. Abrams

Critic's rating: 4 out of 10


Review by Chuck O'Leary


To my dying day I will never understand the appeal of the obnoxiously overexposed freak show known as Tom Cruise.  His ability to stay at or near the top of the box office for 20 years makes you wonder what kind of deal he made with the devil.  At this point, why anybody would want to spend their hard-earned money to see this deranged dwarf is beyond comprehension.


What do people possibly see in Cruise?  He's not a great actor, he's not that good looking and he has a toothy smile that brings to mind the phoniest of politicians.  And for the women who like him, remember how his voluptuous first wife, Mimi Rogers, said he was never interested in her.  And when he tries to play the tough guy, he's about as convincing as Richard Simmons.  Then comes this whole Katie Holmes having his baby episode over the last year, which felt like Rosemary's Baby come to life.


Furthermore, you can't turn on the television anymore without hearing those two dreaded words: Tom Cruise.  Entertainment Tonight, a show produced by Paramount, a studio where Cruise frequently works, is especially guilty.  At least half of Entertainment Tonight's programming seems to be devoted to Cruise.  It's enough to make you want to do what Elvis Presley once did when Robert Goulet appeared on television, and shoot out the set.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard Mary Hart perkily say "Tom Cruise" I'd be a rich man.


Now comes Mission: Impossible III, which is a slight improvement over the first two, but that's not saying much since the first two were godawful.  After recently sitting through the gut-wrenching United 93, a movie about real-life heroes, it's hard to believe overproduced nonsense like M:I3 is what most audiences want to see. 


United 93 is a movie that stays with you for hours after leaving the theater.  M:I3, on the other hand, starts evaporating from memory before you reach the exit door.


Despite a bigger budget and direction by J.J. Abrams (creator of TV's Alias and Lost), M:I3 is yet another disposable Hollywood "thrill-ride" as manufactured as Cruise's image.  Like so many Hollywood action-fantasies nowadays, it's a lot of sound and motion signifying nothing.


To explain the plot of any of the Mission: Impossible movies is pointless.  Here the MacGuffin is something called "the rabbit's foot," which secret agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and illegal-arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) both are seeking.  The rabbit's foot is merely an excuse to string together another series of badly-edited action sequences where no shot, save the occasional close-up of Cruise, lasts longer than three seconds.  A lot of money was spent trying to excite us, but due to the constant quick cutting, the result is mostly chaos.  And in spite of a few visually striking locations, we've seen all this stuff too many times before and better, most notably in James Cameron's True Lies.


The only difference between M:I3 and its predecessors is an added personal angle with the newly-married Hunt attempting to save his kidnapped wife (Michelle Monaghan) from Hoffman's villain.  This gives Cruise plenty of opportunities to get teary-eyed and emote that angry look he gets in real-life when some reporter asks him a question he doesn't like.  Anybody who's as sick of Cruise as I am will surely be rooting for Hoffman.


From dodging missiles to sliding down the side of a skyscraper, Cruise does everything but fly in M:I3.  During one scene of him running, it honestly looks as if he's about to take flight.  It's a bird.  It's a plane.  It's Superscientologist!


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