Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Short Cut Movie Review - Mission: Impossible III

Short Cut Movie Review is normally less than 400 words, but in some cases may go slightly over. This is my attempt to keep writing about as many films as I see without getting bogged down with trying to find more to say. They are meant to be brief snapshots of my reaction to a movie without too much depth.

The writing partners Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, along with director and co-writer J.J. Abrams, tried to give IMF agent Ethan Hunt a little more personal stake in the spy game by giving him a fiancée (Michelle Monaghan). To allay any suspense regarding the action movie cliché of the hero’s lover being in danger, Abrams opens the film with a sadistic scene of the villain, Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) attempting to extract information from a bound Ethan (Tom Cruise) before killing his fiancée. This allows the anticipation to build differently, knowing what their fate will be and also knowing that once he capture Davian early in the film, we will see him get away. Having flesh in the game isn’t quite enough, apparently, because they also gave Ethan a female spy protégé (Keri Russell) for whom he feels a need to exact revenge.

Ving Rhames returns as Luther, the team’s computer expert, remarking about their mission to break into The Vatican that it’s a cakewalk compared to Langley, referencing the centerpiece break in of the first film. Maggie Q and Jonathan Rhys Myers round out the IMF team, with Billy Crudup serving as Ethan’s boss and Laurence Fishburne adding severity and gravitas as the IMF director. The action dutifully pumps along. Abrams has continually proved himself a whiz of an action director and this is where he had just begun to cut his teeth. It’s generally a fine effort as far as these things go.

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