Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mission Impossible 3

My buddy J.B. and I decided to take in this movie after hearing from several sources that this movie was better than both X-men 3, and The Da Vinci Code.
I know...not exactly a high standard.

But hey…. we’re suckers for the Summer Blockbuster film.

Our tastes usually tend to lean towards award season movies, but we like a theatre full of popcorn chomping, audience members applauding in childish delight at explosions, like everybody else.

Mission Impossible 3 is the prototype Summer Blockbuster.

Tons of action, explosions, glamorous locales, physically attractive characters, sweat, blood and a loud soundtrack.
This movie delivers on all those criteria.

It even has a little.... heart…..just a little. Very little.
It’s a little unfortunate that the box office take is being seen as a disappointment. I’m guessing that Tom Cruise’s negative press is having a big affect on his box office popularity.The truth people are missing out, this is the best movie of the trilogy.Not like that’s anything impressive however.The first two movies were uneven to say the least.

This film is the first of the three to really draw on the format of the source material.
Unlike the previous Mission Impossible films, this movie features an actual team of IMF members.
A skilled, affable, enjoyable, team at that.

The first film had an IMF team.....for about 10 minutes, till they are all killed, and it becomes a Tom Cruise star vehicle.

The second movie, on the other hand, was an unabashed one man Rambo-like adventure.
I think director J.J. Abrams wanted to bring the excitement of the original show to the movie franchise.
He obviously realized that, what was great about the show was seeing this elite team working together to accomplish the seemingly impossible, against all odds.
The team consists of the reliable and loyal computer expert Luther (Ving Rhames), Vehicle specialist Declan (Match Point’s Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and skilled team member Zhen Lei (Maggie Q). What they are up against is the formidable weapons dealer Owen Davian, (played by the always impressive Phillip Seymour Hoffman.)

The movie also features strong supporting performances by Billy Crudup, and a surprising Keri Russell (T.V.’s Felicity).

The action revolves around obtaining “the Rabbit’s foot”. A mysterious chemical weapon capable of creating an apocalypse like plague.

J.J. Abrams does a good job of keeping everything exciting, and fast moving. The movie also has a nice sense of being a spy mystery, unlike the other films. There’s lots of intrigue, plot twists, and plenty of gadgets to keep even the most cynical entertained.

Unfortunately the movie isn’t perfect. There are things that will require a suspension of disbelief. Lots of the action sequences are just too fantastical, even for a summer blockbuster movie.

There’s also a major plot line concerning Tom Cruise’s love interest, who is played by the capable Michelle Monaghan, that just doesn’t ring true.

Lots of the movies action takes place with the use of her character as a bargaining chip.

Instead of being a fully fleshed out character, she is simply a plot device. The angel in distress.

It’s also unbelievable, at least to me, that a character like Ethan Hunt would ever commit to someone so deeply.

Given his occupation, and it’s obvious hazards, why would he selfishly involve a normal civilian in his lifestyle.

What is this True Lies?

Even the writers have trouble getting their minds around that fact, as other characters often reference how unrealistic it is to be committed….much less married, considering their lifestyle.
I also had an issue with how the movie was filmed.

For some reason, and I’m not sure who to blame here, the Director, or the Cinematographer. But everything just seemed……too close.

The action is all shot close up, the characters talk to each other close up. Explosions happen close up.
The scope of the film just feels too close.
Lots of times the movie is framed in a way that the characters looked crowded by the art design.
Throughout the film, I just wanted to yell........ back the f*ck up!!!
I was sitting in the back row.....seriously.
Why the hell was the camera so damn close to the action and characters?

There was no sense of perspective in the film.

What the hell J.J? Never seen a David Lean film?

I guess one can argue that he was trying to create a claustrophobic feel to the film, but there’s nothing, absolutly nothing, to support that argument.

I’m thinking…..maybe he’s directed too much television? Maybe he's used to framing things on a small screen.

I guess it’s not anything that can’t be learned, or picked up with experience. I’m going to go ahead and cut him some slack, it’s his first big action film.

It’s just unfortunate because a lot of the action is executed really well….I just wish I could have seen more of it.

But in the end, one can do a lot worse, than watching this movie.
As far as summer blockbusters..... this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Good and bad.

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