Mission: Impossible III

After much fanfare, negative publicity, and overall inundation with all things Cruise, M:I3 hits theaters. This latest installment in the franchise is directed by J.J. Abrams, the man responsible for the television tales of super-spy Sydney Bristow on Alias.

Abrams reportedly wanted to focus more on character development and less on stunts and gadgetry in this one. Mission: Accomplished. In MI:3 Tom Cruise (War of the Worlds, Collateral) returns as Ethan Hunt, only now he is semi-retired from the covert IMF agency. Hunt has a pretty fiancee’ Julia and anticipates a low-key future and normal existence. Of course it’s never that easy in the movies. Hunt is sucked into a recovery mission involving a former protege Agent Lindsey Ferris, played by Keri Russell (Felicity). When Ferris is compromised the stage is set for Hunt and his team (Ving Rhames of Baby Boy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers of Match Point, and newcomer Maggie Q) to take action against the requisite villain Owen Davian, played by the fabulous Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The 25th Hour, Capote). Davian is part of some nefarious scheme involving a mysterious “rabbit’s foot,” which is apparently some chemical component to a nuclear weapon or whatever. Basically it’s just some bad $hit. What it is exactly doesn’t matter, but Hunt must get the rabbit’s foot to stop Davian.

Despite Tom Cruise’s recent reputation as a nutjob, I will still go see his movies, if they look good. I’ve been a fan since Top Gun, and I actually think he is underrated as an actor. Having said that, I will admit that he is not the same guy I liked so much in the past. Watching him on the screen I was reminded that this is “Crazy Cruise,” and I found myself thinking of Katie Holmes and Scientology. These are the thoughts that will keep some people out of the theater, but at the end of the day it is what it is: Tom Cruise doing his thing. You get what you expect and you get what you pay for: lots of action and a pretty good storyline. Corny one-liners aside, it was a good flick and hopefully a preview of Hollywood’s summer blockbusters to come.

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