A man wearing a Subway driver’s uniform walked unanimously into a stopped subway train. It’s the last stop. He proceeded to driver’s coach, ignoring and being ignored by the departing passengers. Suddenly he opened a drawer under the control panel, and took out a small rectangular gadget.
He inserted a small disk, and a video started to play, telling him his latest mission. the video then ended by telling him that this message will self destruct in 5 seconds. The man then left, leaving the device smoking 5 seconds later.
That was the Mission:Impossible I remembered from my childhood. It was the 1988 version, not the 1966 ones. I was too young for that I was so into it, I almost never missed any of it’s shows. So when Hollywood decides to make the series into a movie in 1996, I was more than excited.
The first movie, M:I 1 had a very good story, of how the M:I team dissolved into a one man army, after Jim Phelps (the man I described earlier, but that was from the series) decided to betray the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) and kill everyone in the team. He managed to do all but (of course) Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). The story then went on to be like the Borne series (Borne Identity and Borne Supremacy). It’s clever, but not much action and too confusing. Such a pity.
Then came M:I 2. Thanks to John Woo, it had much more action than it’s predecessor. But the story sucks. The action sequence too cartoonish (much like those 90’s Hong Kong Kung Fu movies). I mean, John Woo was a disaster to Hollywood since he decided to defy both gravity and physics, hence the illogical stunts that appeared throughout the movie. I don’t even remember what the story was about, but the thing I remember is how macho Ethan Hunt was set out to be. No substance at all, just looks.
Now came M:I 3. because of the disaster M:I 2 was, I was sceptical. I was ready to sleep though the show as seeing how Tom Cruise‘s name appeared much clearer than the title itself. The only thing that held any hope was it was directed by J.J Abrams, the one who directed (the brilliantly mind-numbing) Lost and Alias.
I had to say, to choose Abrams was the best choice up to now. If you dig Lost, you’ll love this movie. It’s no more about Ethan. He’s now a family guy. It’s more about human. It’s more about team. It’s more about how far a man would go for his Love. It’s more about trust. It’s more about the skeleton hanging in the closet. It got both substance and looks.
Ethan was about to marry his dream girl, an ordinary nurse who didn’t know about his IMF profession. Ethan himself was no longer a field agent, but merely training recruits to be one. Dilemma starts when one of his protégé got caught by Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a ruthless black market dealer. He’s my favorite character in this movie other than the lovable husband Ethan.
Now Ethan had to choose between his normal life, a marriage around the corner, or the exciting and dangerous life of a field agent. That’s not all, things went wrong when his protégé didn’t make it and he was scrutinized by his superior. He decided that he would take actions on his hands and catch Davian own his own (with the help of his team, this time. Remember, no more lone wolf Ethan in M:I 2).
The bad turns to worse when the captured Davian got rescued by his henchmen. You see, Davian had eluded all attempt to catch him all this while, and Ethan just made it within a day. So it’s just logic that Davian got away almost as easy as him getting caught unaware.
Davian, gotten hold of Ethan‘s name swears that he’ll get hold of Ethan’s family (he’s by then got married in a literally cute wedding). Now Ethan’s a fugitive, and had to deliver a biological weapon called the Rabbit’s Foot to Davian to save his wife.
Will he make it? Will Davian destroy the world with the Rabbit’s Foot? Will he? Will he? Oh, the moment of suspense.
The thing is with Abrams, is that he had to bring both Alias and Lost into M:I 3. The twist and turns, the spying techniques and infiltration techniques resembles Alias’. And the music score, camera works resembles Lost right to the Lost‘s suspense strings. Being a big fan of both, I can’t help but to feel the similarities.
There’s only 2 things I dislike about this movie, one is that all the girls are models. Too beautiful to break a nail and all. Since most movie follows that formula ever since the term ‘movie’ was coined, I can’t argue…but the distraction is still there. I’m confused as to which is to watch, the girl running away from the bad guy or her chest while she’s running from the bad guy?
Another thing is the question why did Musgrave (Billy Crudup), Ethan’s immediate superior, seems to wear pink lipstick? This is especially so in close-ups. I just can’t see his face as an IMF agent if he’s really wearing lipstick. That’s a big no-no.
All in all, I felt deeply satisfied with the movie. It’s not as clever as Borne series or as mind numbing as Lost, but it certainly is far better than M:I 2. Thus by far, the best within the three. Although M:I 1 had more substance in it’s story, M:I 3 is a balanced concoction of story, feel and action.
The verdict: Go watch. It’s worth it!