(aka "Mission: Impossible 3" or "MI3" or "M:I III")
directed by J.J. Abrams
Tom Cruise, (in)famous for keeping his
private life private by suing people left and right, imploded for good
beginning with 2005’s promotional appearances for Steven Spielberg’s War
of the Worlds. He jumped on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa several times and
forced the talk-show host to play hand mercy. He told Matt Lauer that Lauer
does not know the history of psychiatry but he (Cruise) does. He gushed and
gushed and gushed about his romance with Katie Holmes, who has said that her
childhood dream was to marry Tom Cruise (never mind the fact that he was
married to Nicole Kidman for much of Holmes’s childhood). Basically, Cruise
(and Holmes) just acted weird.
I liked the first two Mission: Impossible movies, so I was willing to give the third entry a chance despite my misgivings about Tom Cruise the person. However, J.J. Abrams was unable to contribute anything new to the material. MI3 is a re-hash of its predecessors in the worst possible way. The visual scheme has the same silver metallic sheen as the first movie without Brian DePalma’s sense of style or elegance. Abrams used slow motion very poorly, making me yearn for the breath-taking poetry of John Woo’s choreography.
The stunts and the plot are also lamely derivative. In MI3, Cruise plummets to the ground with a cable attached to his back, just like in the previous movies. He jumps out of a skyscraper and parachutes, just like in MI2. An action sequence set on a bridge plays like the bridge sequence in James Cameron’s True Lies (itself a re-make), only with drone planes instead of Harrier jets. The villain is a double-crossing inside man (MI). The mission is, once again, to retrieve a biochemical hazard (MI2). A lot of people blasted MI2 for having a lousy script. Well, MI3 has basically the same story as the first two big-screen outings, so logically, this one is a rip-off of “failures”. It makes no sense to dis-like the first two but to like this movie. Tom Cruise is short on tricks, and J.J. Abrams is a hack.
MI3 could've been called Felicity: After College. Keri Russell (who plays a Cruise protégé) and Greg Grunberg, members of the Felicity cast, appear in this movie because J.J. Abrams was one of the TV show’s creators. Michelle Monaghan, who plays Cruise’s love interest, is clearly Russell and Grunberg’s age. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maggie Q are also young agents. This movie felt like a “documentary” about how exciting it is to join the clandestine service after getting your bachelor’s degree.
The movie also has (at least) two other odd references to Tom Cruise’s career choices. In one sequence, he has make-up that makes him look like Ron Kovic from Born on the Fourth of July. Cruise grins right at the camera, as if daring viewers to remember the Oliver Stone project. Also, while it’s logical for his character to masquerade as a priest in the Vatican, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that Cruise once studied to be a priest in real life.
MI3 was an attempt to show how “great” Tom Cruise is. His character will do anything to save his wife, even though sacrificing friends and family members is a routine thing in the line of duty. At the end of the movie, when everyone was cheering the happy couple, it felt like Cruise wanted to force us to accept his relationship with Katie Holmes. (Why didn't Cruise just cast Katie Holmes in the movie? Monaghan kinda looks like Holmes.)
What’s most disturbing is how the movie is a manifestation of how “extreme” Tom Cruise has become. Look at how he’s changed from MI to MI3. In MI, he was this nice, jolly, happy-go-lucky young man with bright prospects. In MI2, he was a slightly older man who tried to appreciate the finer points of life. In MI3, he seems to want to be the poster boy for extreme everything, from killing people (including himself) in order to save them to running and screaming in a bid to beat back the effects of aging. It is a very frightening transformation.
Theatrical Release: 3 May 2006
DVD Review: Paramount (2-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
Region 1 - NTSC
2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French|
|Subtitles||Optional English, French, and Spanish|
Although MI3 is a brand-new movie, the DVD’s 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen video looks soft and blurry frequently. In some instances, this is intentional or unavoidable due to the use of ever-moving cameras. Still, much of the movie lacks detail. There also appears to be moiring effects.
It looks like Disc 1 uses most of a DVD-9’s storage space. The picture would’ve benefited from a higher bitrate, but a couple of extras that should’ve been put on Disc 2 cut into the main feature’s breathing room.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 English track is appropriately thunderous and busy, though the dialogue is often buried beneath a cacophony of explosions, gunfire, and bland, generic music. Once again, I want to point out that filling the space with wall-to-wall sound is not automatically good sound design.
You can also watch the movie with a DD 5.1 French dub.
Optional English and Spanish subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.
Tom Cruise is no longer Paramount’s darling as the studio “fired” the actor by not renewing his production company’s cushy deal. However, the DVD was probably planned during the movie’s production, so the final assemblage of extras is still a celebration of Tom Cruise, practically at the expense of everything and everybody else.
The first extra is an audio commentary by Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams. The two enjoyed working with each other, but aside from their camaraderie, Cruise and Abrams don’t have much to share with total strangers.
“The Making of the Mission” is a half-hour featurette that mainly covers how fun it is to travel around the world.
There are a couple of deleted scenes, one of which adds an interesting dimension to the double-crossing inside man.
You also get “Excellence in Film”, which is a clip that was assembled for a BAFTA Los Angeles event. This clip already appeared on the MI Special Edition DVD and the MI2 2-disc re-release.
Finally, there are some previews for other Paramount products, including a promo for all of the studio’s movies starring Tom Cruise.
(Disc 1 is the same disc that you get with the single-disc DVD release.)
“Inside the IMF” takes a look at the actors and the characters they portray.
“Mission Action: Inside the Action Unit” focuses on the stunts.
“Visualizing the Mission” shows how computer animatics were used to plan the stunts.
“Mission: Metamorphosis” demonstrates the use of make-up techniques for the mask disguises that the characters employ.
“Scoring the Mission” heaps praise on the undistinguished music.
“Moviefone Unscripted: Tom Cruise/J.J. Abrams” is a promo that was shot for Moviefone.
“Launching the Mission” follows Cruise to various movie premieres around the world.
Finally, you get a collection of theatrical trailers, TV spots, a photo gallery, and “Generation: Cruise”, which is a clip that was assembled for an MTV Movie Awards event. This clip already appeared on the MI Special Edition DVD and the MI2 2-disc re-release.
Easter Egg 1: Page 1--highlight the IMF circle in the top left corner. Michelle Monaghan walks around Xitang, China.
Easter Egg 2: Page 1--highlight the “frequency” bar on the bottom right corner. J.J. Abrams flies in a WWII propeller plane.
Easter Egg 3: Page 2--highlight the IMF circle in the top left corner. Laurence Fishburne and Tom Cruise goof off.
Easter Egg 4: Page 2--highlight the “frequency” bar on the bottom right corner. People wait for cameras to roll for the Vatican sequence.
Easter Egg 5: Page 2, “Launching the Mission” sub-page--highlight the unmarked IMF button in the top right corner. Members of the cast and crew goof off for Halloween.
Easter Egg 6: Page 2, “Theatrical Trailers” sub-page--highlight the unmarked IMF button in the top right corner. Actor Dermot Mulroney talks about being a part of the orchestra that recorded the movie’s music.
Easter Egg 7: Page 3, “TV Spots” sub-page--highlight the unmarked IMF button in the top right corner. The crew congratulates J.J. Abrams for Lost receiving several Emmy nominations.
Per Paramount’s standards, the package does not include an insert. However, you get a cardboard slipcover that duplicates the front and back cover art.