Superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has resigned from active field duty. He is about to get married to his fiancée Julia (Michelle Monaghan) and is now training new recruits for the IMF (that is the Impossible Mission Force). But when his protégée Lindsey Ferris (Felicity’s Keri Russell) is compromised during a recon mission on arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Ethan is talked into a rescue mission that goes terribly wrong. Ethan and his team (Ving Rhames, Maggie Q and Jonathan Rys Meyers) learn that Davian is about to acquire a device codenamed ‘the Rabbit’s Foot’ which is bound to bring utter desolation onto the world. Davian gets apprehended but manages to escape custody shortly after and kidnaps Julia in an attempt to blackmail Ethan into stealing the Rabbit’s Foot for him.Now, the IMF team must play by his rules, base-jump from skyscrapers and infiltrate the Vatican, while at the same time identifying a mole within the agency, in yet another apparently impossible mission.
The making of the third installment of the spy series did not come without difficulties. Several promising directors (among them David Fincher) left the project while the cast around Tom Cruise changed on a monthly basis. Despite all that, Mission three turns out to be the summer blockbuster we have been waiting for. Given an unprecedented high budget for a first time feature film director, J.J. Abrams breathes new air into the dusty action genre. While clearly being inspired from James Cameron’s True Lies and borrowing huge chunks from Abrams’s own TV show Alias, he manages to keep you on the edge of your seat for 2 hours straight. Launching in medias res, the movie keeps up the intensity of its pre-credit scene with huge action sequences set in Shanghai, Berlin and on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Certainly aware of its preposterous action set-pieces, Mission 3 does above all one thing: it puts the team back in teamwork. Unlike John Woo’s stylish bullet ballet that was Mission: Impossible 2, this is nearly free of the much dreaded Cruise control. As a result, the team’s break-in into the Vatican (which comes without the usual pyrotechnics) alone is worth the admission price. It looks like Hollywood’s summer big bang madness just got kick-started. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds. (3.5 out of for 4 MacGuffins)
Mission: Impossible 3 is rated PG-13 for destruction and mayhem.