Mission Impossible III is an action/adventure movie and is the third film in the Mission Impossible film franchise. The movie is directed by J.J. Abrams, most well known for his work on films like Super 8, Star Wars: Episode VII, and Star Trek (2009). Set roughly six years after the events of Mission Impossible 2, this third movie continues the story of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), an experienced and talented secret government agent.
After retiring from dangerous fieldwork at IMF, Hunt attempts to settle down with his fiancee Julia (Michelle Monaghan), but a life-or-death operation draws him back into the line of fire. Struggling to balance his life as a spy with his wishes for a simple family, Hunt must make tough decisions or die trying. Unlike the overtly stylized tone of the previous film, Mission Impossible III offers viewers a grounded and violent story of betrayal, secrets, and pain. Within the crazy action scenes and top-notch performances, Mission Impossible III is where the franchise hits its early stride.
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The Movie Review
Ethan Hunt’s story continues years after his encounter with the Chimera virus and the seductive thief Nyah, as seen in Mission Impossible 2. Hunt is now older and seemingly less adventurous, finding a match in his beautiful wife-to-be, Julia. He still works at the Impossible Mission Force, but opts to train new recruits instead of executing missions like before.
However, when he learns that one of his most talented students has been kidnapped by a deadly arms dealer, Hunt quickly jumps back into the fray. Ethan is once again joined by hacker extraordinaire Luther (Ving Rhames), along with newcomer IMF agents Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen (Maggie Q). Working together, the team executes a series of action-packed missions, employing a wide use of gadgets, guns, and guts.
As usual in the Mission Impossible franchise, Ethan Hunt’s initial mission quickly spirals out of control, uncovering a bustling conspiracy ripe with international intrigue. This leads him and his team to subsequent missions, involving a wide range of suspenseful scenes of infiltration, chases, and action.
This entry features some of the coolest and most impressive operations in the entire series, including a mission at the Vatican, as well as a high-flying op through some Shanghai skyscrapers. The action is directed well by J.J. Abrams, including lots of adrenaline-pumping special effects. At times, the camera movement can be too shaky, but the overall quality of the story makes up for these lackluster moments.
Not only does Mission Impossible III include some of the best action sequences in the series so far, but it also has arguably one of the strongest villains in the entire Mission Impossible franchise. Owen Davian is a slightly unassuming yet wildly intimidating foe, portrayed with incredible intensity by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Hoffman brings just as much energy to the role of Davian as Tom Cruise does to Hunt, with the two actors working flawlessly off of each other. If you appreciated the dynamic between Ethan Hunt and previous villain Sean Ambrose, you’ll definitely enjoy the antagonistic match-up in this third Mission Impossible flick.
The Bottom Line
Mission Impossible III improves on the formula in almost every conceivable way, providing more grounded storytelling, better characters, and a wilder adventure than ever before. While it lacks a bit of the intrigue and mystery of the first two films, Mission Impossible III is often a far more entertaining and action-packed experience.
To its credit, it’s also the first film in the franchise to have a believable romance for audiences to get invested in. Like the other movies in this spy/action fusion franchise, Mission Impossible III has plenty of scenes to get the blood pumping, along with some surprisingly emotional moments as well. Whether you’re a fan of the previous films or not, this is a great pick for any movie night.
- Fantastic villain
- Grounded tone and storytelling
- Fun callbacks and intense action
- Shaky camera movement
- Excessive stylistic lens flares