Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Crudup, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kerry Russel, Maggie Q, Laurence Fishburne
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Storyline: Ethan Hunt has to rescue his newly-wedded wife and not let down his mission
Bottomline: The best Hunt
For large parts of the movie, you could almost see Shah Rukh Khan playing Ethan Hunt. But having said that, that is no excuse for Hindi cinema to adopt/steal yet another Hollywood plot just because this one seems straight out of our own milieu.
Even the ‘Wedding Crashers’ plot seemed to be straight out of the Yashraj Films camp. Maybe the differences between sensibilities of Hollywood and Indian cinema are narrowing down after all.
With Mission Impossible-3, however, the similarity with Asian cinema ends with the plot and the sentimentality.
But what really keeps MI-3 ticking is its break-neck speed, explosive gizmo action and mind-blowing visual effects and of course, Tom, who returns as the charismatic suave agent of Impossible Mission Force, Ethan Hunt.
MI opens with a high-tension scene with Hunt tied up to a chair by bad guy Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who has put a gun to Julia’s (Michelle Monaghan plays Hunt’s newly-wedded wife) head right in front of his eyes. The gun goes off and the theme sets in for yet another
doubly impossible mission.
There is not a dull moment during the two-hour duration of the action adventure, full credit to debutant director J.J.Abrams, who, many MI fans would believe has arrived at the right mix of intrigue, drama, action, adventure and gizmo-gadget tricks.
The first instalment, directed by Brian De Palma, though considered the best in the series, had many people going back to the halls because they didn’t get it the first time. The second version, dumbed down by John Woo, redefined the series with his signature slickness as heralded the arrival of Ethan Hunt, the new age Bond.
This one takes that Asian influence a little further, spikes up the cocktail of stunts with a little drama, to arrive at a greater common denominator around the world, especially the Asian markets. Also, there are quite a few Asians in the cast, including Maggie Q, as one of Hunt’s team-mates, in this yarn that takes Hunt to Shanghai, to indicate that MI is looking to make the franchise attractive to markets all around the world.
Director JJ Abrams, creator of the TV series ‘Lost’ and ‘Alias,’ along with his screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (also of ‘Alias’) might have created the single most definitive installment that restores the MI franchise to the intellectual respectability and sophisticated glory Brian De Palma brought to the TV series. There’s no way you will miss watching MI-4 after this.
Good old Tom Cruise is first-rate, now quite comfortably settled under the skin of Ethan Hunt, just as Ving Rhames is, as his aide Luther Stickell from the first two parts. Michelle Monaghan makes for an attractive Hunt babe but the film belongs to Philip Seymour Hoffman as the big, bad all-powerful villain who gives Hunt literally a run for his life and his wife. Watch that scene when Hunt interrogates Davian as the Hunt-ed talks like the Hunt-er, something that furthers the tension of the opening scene.
Yes, the performances are timed to perfection just like the taut screenplay is executed to precision with enough ammunition and technical wizardry but at a more basic level, what will take MI-3 to the remotest of villages around the world, irrespective of the dubbing, is the visual story-telling: Exactly what made James Bond the most successful film franchise.
This one’s really Mission Unmissable.