Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Premise: A third installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns to the field to rescue a former student and gets mixed up with an arms dealer (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who has mysterious connections.
What Works: This may be the best of the three Mission: Impossible films. Director Abrams spends more time on character than on stunts. With each action sequence, the intensity of the conflict is properly escalated and this film admirably puts more at stake than the average spy film. Philip Seymour Hoffman is very good as the antagonist. Although he does not get much screen time, he does manage to be very menacing without pulling faces. Mission: Impossible III smartly sets up themes and unifies the story, outdoing its predecessors in many respects.
What Doesn’t: Mission: Impossible III’s plot is very similar to the other installments and other films in the spy genre with familiar twists and turns. Although this film arguably does it better than most others, it is more of the same.
Bottom Line: Mission: Impossible III is a very satisfying sequel because it turns up the conflicts, brings character relationships to a new level, and delivers on the expectations established by the film’s predecessors. This is an above average action film and one of the best in its genre.
Episode: #371 (January 8, 2012)