There was a bit of a film drought this week (I just cannot bring myself to watch the Da Vinci Code. It goes against every fibre of my brain) so I found myself opting for Mission: Impossible III. The first one was pretty enjoyable, the second had a lot of slow mo and doves (cheers Mr. Woo) so I was expecting a fairly entertaining, but definitely silly affair. My expectations were pleasingly met.
MI3 has everything you could possibly want. Car chases, helicopter chases, chases on foot, shoot-outs, fist fights, gadgets, parachutes, clever plans to foil the baddies. Bombs implanted in brains. Brilliant stuff. There’s a team of hot young spies, Ving Rhames doing one-liners, Laurence Fishburne’s huge mottled head, hell even Simon Pegg as an Oxford-trained IT type guy. Something for everyone. Director J.J.Abrams (of Lost and Alias) delivers a slick, stylish approach, with well handled action scenes, bits of slow-mo (but not over-blown aka Woo) and an absolutely belting start. All films should start like that (beaten up Tom, gun to girlfriend’s head, countdown from 10…) Brilliant stuff.
The presence of the Cruise may put some people off. His celebrity persona has certainly rubbed quite a few people up the wrong way. Constantly happy, a bit of a creepy relationship, and beliefs that I won’t comment on, just in case I’m sued for using words like ‘manipulative’ and ‘bizarre’. But like him or not, the guy can do good films. True, he may play a similar character in everything I’ve seen (apart from in the excellent Magnolia) but you can’t help but admire his on-screen status. Action-wise, he delivers the goods – sprinting about, leaping on to cars, hanging out of helicopters. For a 44 year old, he ain’t half bad. And, bless him, he works his socks off to really get those emotions out there, with those big, blurred wounded eyes. I suspect he’s had some sort of surgical procedure that allows him to press a button and create a tear from his left eye on cue. There’s always a left eye tear – you watch.
Of course this film is flawed, as are most ‘action’ flicks. Characters are impervious to enemy fire but can take out others with single shots, locks are picked with the slightest of ease, latex masks are stupidly realistic and there are some areas of the plot that they don’t even bother explaining. But that’s what you expect from Mission Impossible. If you don’t, then you’re an idiot and you deserve to be disappointed. Accept the silliness and just sit back and enjoy. I did, and because it delivered what I wanted it gains a CF0 rating.