The mission begins.
Mission: Impossible III is a 2006 spy film directed by J.J. Abrams, written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and J.J. Abrams, produced by Cruise/Wagner Productions, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on the 1966 TV series, Mission: Impossible. It stars Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was not nominated for any Academy Awards.
"What I did to your friend was...fun. It was fun." -Owen Davian
After retiring from his life as a spy for IMF, Ethan Hunt is unwillingly called back into the field when one of his trainees and friends is captured by the ruthless businessman Owen Davian, who threatens to ruin Ethan's new life by destroying everything that he cares about until he finally kills Ethan himself.
The first thing is the villain. Owen Davian is one of the stronger villains in the Mission: Impossible franchise. He isn't in a lot of it, but his presence gives you the chills. He is subtly terrifying and very calm. He is ingeniously played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who adds a layer of literal horror to the character. Davian is violent, ruthless, unpredictable...and the best villain in the Mission: Impossible franchise.
The next thing is the plot. I think that this has one of the more simple plots in the franchise, which makes it a much easier film to enjoy. You don't have to think about what's going on a lot, because it just sits in the back of your mind. That isn't exactly the case in all of the films, but I think this does the best job of it.
I think that this has a good batch of main characters. Ethan Hunt, Owen Davian, Julia Meade, and Luther Stickell are all good as the leads. I think that Ethan is at his strongest in this movie. He has emotions and a pretty full arc in this film, and there are big stakes in this specific mission. His actions have consequences. I already touched on Davian. Julia is great as a love interest for Ethan, and you care about her. I didn't really care that much about Nyah Nordoff-Hall in Mission: Impossible 2, so it's nice that the screenwriters gave him an interesting girlfriend/wife that is a good character. Luther is always good in everything, so that doesn't really need much explaining.
Tom Cruise is also at his peak acting in this film. He adds layers to Ethan that we haven't seen in the first two films, and I liked that he actually showed a more human side in this one. You feel the gut-punch of the deaths that happen, and it is Cruise's performance that makes you feel that.
I think that the third act of the film is some of the best stuff in the series. It has a really cool break-in sequence, then some intense chase scenes, some amazing acting, then a dark climax. I would like not to spoil it, because it is really something that you have to watch to understand and love.
The final thing is that this film has stakes. It has danger and a consistent tone throughout. Characters get killed, so nobody is safe. It gives the film a sense of urgency and suspense. In the other two films, that feeling wasn't there, so it was a nice touch in this one.
The biggest thing, for me, was the very opening scene. The opening is a scene that takes place near the end of the film. It shows something happen, which feels like a big spoiler for the rest of the movie. The film loses its tension and suspense when you think about the beginning. It makes no sense to show a character that you get to know later in the movie die in the beginning. I did not understand it, even though there is a different outcome when the scene does take place.
I also think that the Rabbit's Foot is not well explained in the film. The main object in the film should really be shown or talked about before the climax, where it still isn't explained.
The absence of the characters from the previous film isn't explained at all either. In Mission: Impossible 2, that was fine because most of the main characters were either bad or killed by the end of Mission: Impossible. That is not a viable excuse for this film. Two of the major characters in Mission: Impossible 2 just did not appear and were not mentioned in this installment.
I think that while Owen Davian is a fantastic villain, he was not in a lot of the film. I wish that they had used him more and made him a bigger threat than the already big threat that he imposed on our protagonists.
I think that, overall, this is a good movie. Despite odd character continuation and a big spoiler at the beginning of the film, the villain, plot and acting all take it to the top of the Mission: Impossible series.
I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 8+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
"Mission: Impossible III"
Fun Factor: 9/10
WHERE TO WATCH
Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent
Apple TV+: Available for rent
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Released on May 5, 2006
Rated PG-13 for moderate violence and action, language
2 hours and 6 minutes
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian
Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell
Michelle Monaghan as Julia Meade
Billy Crudup as John Musgrave