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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.29%
Worth A Look42.03%
Average: 16.67%
Pretty Bad: 15.94%
Total Crap: 5.07%

12 reviews, 66 user ratings

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Mission: Impossible III
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by Scott Weinberg

"The stuff between the action ... doesn't suck!"
4 stars

You can tell a lot about an action movie from its "in-between stuff" -- the plot, the tone, the characters, etc. (Basically anything that doesn't involve the action bits.) I find that most action flicks have really boring "in-between stuff" -- and that includes movies from Rambo and Commando to Jack Ryan and James Bond. And it's doubly true of the previous "Mission: Impossible" movies, which are not much more than 8 or 9 excellent action sequences enveloped by a whole lot of densely-plotted nonsense. So as a guy who maintains a "take 'em or leave 'em" perspective where the MI movies are concerned, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the second sequel had some pretty watchable "in-between stuff" -- and the action moments are undeniably cool.

Tom Cruise is back as the unkillable Ethan Hunt, mega-spy superstar presently living undercover as a traffic engineer with a painfully adorable kewpie doll of a fiancee. When an old colleague is kidnapped in Germany, Ethan reluctantly heads back into action, which forces him to butt heads with a devious black market arms dealer.

That's it. Anything else that director J.J. Abrams tries to offer you, plot-wise, you can simply ignore. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bastards, and pretty soon there's going to be chases, gunfights, and explosions galore. Really flashy ones, too.

MI3's screenplay (from Abrams and screenwriting duo Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman) gets just a little bit convoluted on occasion, but moviegoers who are familiar with Impossible Missions 1 & 2 will no doubt recognize Abrams' efforts to streamline and "uncomplicate" Hunt's third adventure. Plus it's not like we're given a whole lot of down-time between the kinetic action craziness. Set pieces involving a bridge in Virginia, a skyscraper in Shanghai, a warehouse in Germany, and a Vatican in Rome are juicily entertaining ... even if the audience is forced to play catch-up throughout most of the espionage. (Abrams, unlike most blockbuster-helmers, seems happy to assume his audience is at least half-intelligent.)

Scattered amidst the high-end action displays are an eclectic mix of familiar faces. Cruise is front and center, make no mistake, but actors like Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are allowed to toss some spice into the stew. And if dangerous ladies are your cup of tea, you'll undoubtedly get a kick out the contributions of Maggie Q and Keri Russell. Hell, even the willowy damsel (Michelle Monaghan) gets into the action and delivers a few satisfying little moments. Toss in an oilishly entertaining performance from the villainous Philip Seymour Hoffman and a geeky little cameo from Simon Pegg, and you've got a cast that's probably worth a $9.00 movie ticket, regardless of all the ultra-flashy action spots.

It's not deep or particularly brilliant, but it moves like a bullet, and it's the very best of the series so far. Mr. Abrams displays a nifty knack for balancing kinetic craziness and character-based quirk, and his debut feature turns out to be a mindlessly appealing piece of expensive escapism that I wouldn't mind seeing again. And as far as the "Mission Impossible" movies are concerned, that would be a first for me.

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originally posted: 05/08/06 01:30:20
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell action movie goodness 4 stars
7/23/12 cr not good as part 2 was, tom cruise performance keeps movie from sucking. 2 stars
3/15/09 R.W. Welch Best of the so-so series. A little too gimmicky but moves right along. B- 4 stars
2/05/09 Faraz J Atlast a name worthy of the title. Fun ride. As i say thats what a GOOD movie is. 4 stars
12/16/08 Random M:I3 = a Cruise at breakneck speed. Best of the trilogy. 5 stars
5/23/08 Charles Tatum Sleepy actioner, with a ridiculously bad finale 2 stars
5/17/07 Matt All 3 are shit. I haven't been able to watch one to the end. 1 stars
3/20/07 man best of the three 4 stars
2/04/07 AJ Muller Surprisingly entertaining mix of 1 and 2; superb popcorn flick. 4 stars
1/20/07 Monday Morning Hey...rabbit's foot. Ooooo...scary, kids! All action, minimal plot. 3 stars
1/10/07 Mike I was pleasantly surprised. GREAT movie!!! Non-stop action!!! 5 stars
1/10/07 Logan Bray Awsome movie definitly buy it 5 stars
12/19/06 Indrid Cold Not a waste of time, but nothing memorable. 3 stars
12/04/06 JeromeBosch Ostentatious pétard mouillé…no more fizz left in this franchise 3 stars
11/22/06 burp A damn slick and enjoyable action flick 4 stars
11/21/06 Austin Wertman WHAT DO YOU MEAN "WORTH A LOOK"? AWESOME MOVIE! 4 stars
11/21/06 mr.mike accept this "mission" - by far the best 5 stars
11/19/06 Jim Not bad, but ending is lame. Nice to see Shaun of the Dead has a new job. 4 stars
11/09/06 Anthony Feor I had a feeling I had saw this in the other two movies 3 stars
11/02/06 action movie fan good action in james bondish story--bridge scene is the best 4 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Glad it's over. Bye, Cruisy-boy. Abrahms' directing is worth the cash to see this. 4 stars
7/16/06 scott watterman this movie sucked so much ass 1 stars
7/13/06 Gayblade Another ego vehicle for the man who likes shots showing him running. 2 stars
7/07/06 malcolm it's that easy to teach a doctor to use a handgun? 4 stars
6/25/06 Zed Absurd love story ruins the movie 2 stars
6/18/06 MP Bartley Clever script, good action and team-work for once. Hoffman steals the film predictably. 4 stars
5/29/06 Charlene Javier Loved it loved it loved it! 4 stars
5/28/06 Koitus "How" does being dead stop a nitroglycerine bomb? Also, improbable ending-mtg the IMF team. 3 stars
5/19/06 Staci This Mission features Tom at his sexy best! I give it 2 thumbs up! 5 stars
5/18/06 Quigley amazingly, tom didn't ruin it. hoffman was awesome, and so were the stunts and action 4 stars
5/18/06 michael average and wait for the DVD 3 stars
5/18/06 Gavin Bamber Will keep this series going ala Bond 4 stars
5/18/06 Alfred Guy Tom Cruise = not believable in any action role. 2 stars
5/17/06 Paddy Big bold, brash & beautiful! Dont agree with the review. Look for the padding he straps on! 5 stars
5/17/06 John Terrible acting except for Hoffmann - a real waste of time - 2 stars
5/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon TOM CRUISE OMG! I CAN'T GET ENOUGH!!! 3 stars
5/16/06 katinka poo 1 stars
5/15/06 Ethan Hunt Sucks Don't waste your money 1 stars
5/14/06 K. Pearlman Could not pay me enough to have to see this one.... 2 stars
5/12/06 ES I went and saw it; even though I hated the first two. It was terrific. 4 stars
5/11/06 Adrian A two hour Tom Cruise ad. Screw this shit. 1 stars
5/10/06 NoRefill I hated the last one, but his one was pretty exciting. A few stupid things, but forgivable. 4 stars
5/10/06 Paul action, acting, plot, fun, entertaining, great, money's worth, fun, funny, fine, frollick 5 stars
5/09/06 Aldo personally i didn't like 1 & 2 but this was way better - good cinema movie go & watch it 5 stars
5/09/06 Mase The "mission" series is getting seriously stale. Watchable but completly forgettable 3 stars
5/09/06 cpbjr much better than anticipated. 4 stars
5/09/06 y2mckay Great action and supporting cast, but too predictable and dead-set on a happy ending. 4 stars
5/09/06 zaw I mean, good guy need to loose sometime like a wife or g/f something. It was so perdicitbl 1 stars
5/08/06 jmelrose Awesome. Best of the 3. Great story, Internal corruption angle IS old, but minor issue. 5 stars
5/08/06 Nobody Way better than the first 2 5 stars
5/08/06 Blutarsky Matrix trilogy?? Feh. MI3 rocked the audience like a hurricane. 5 stars
5/08/06 Paul " Diddy" Sutherland Deep Plot miraculous action scenes and just a enough comedy to keep you engaged. 5 stars
5/08/06 sg72 Great action sequences but plot was nearly non-existent. 2 stars
5/07/06 Carol smart flick, exciting, fine acitng, colorful, for the discerning, passionate, big screen 5 stars
5/07/06 GoGo THIS was why sequels were invented. Best one so far! 5 stars
5/06/06 Philip Buckley-Mellor Borderline-perfect 5 stars
5/06/06 KingNeutron 2nd half was better than the 1st, but whole int.corruption thing has been done 2 death... 3 stars
5/06/06 al too much hype. worth a rental not a full movie price..... 3 stars
5/06/06 Eevil Wolfie Makes up for the wreck that was Mission Impossible 2. 4 stars
5/06/06 Dan This is a dumb movie for dumb people. 1 stars
5/06/06 k oh please.. this was NOT a good movie... 2 stars
5/06/06 Heather Runyan this movie was ok 3 stars
5/05/06 jcjs no brainer wonderful, fast, impossible delightful, wonderful acting, lost the plot, 2am 5 stars
5/05/06 Doc Hollywood An entertaining flick. Rather predictable ending. 4 stars
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  05-May-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Oct-2006



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