Mission: Impossible III (2006)
The third instalment in the Mission: Impossible film series is also the very first that manages to get every single thing right for the film is an intensely engaging, relentlessly paced & absolutely thrilling sequel that packs in a highly riveting plot, crazy stunts, cool gadgets & explosive action to succeed as the best chapter of its franchise and is impressive enough to rank amongst the finest examples of its genre(s).
The story of Mission: Impossible III concerns Ethan Hunt who has retired from the field work for IMF & now trains new recruits. But when one of his protégés is killed while investigating an international arms dealer, Hunt plans a mission & prepares a team to apprehend him but soon finds out that his latest adversary is far more dangerous than imaginable & is hellbent on taking away everything Hunt holds dear in his life.
Co-written & directed by J.J. Abrams, Mission: Impossible III also marks the very beginning of his filmmaking career and he certainly couldn’t have asked for a better start. This sequel does benefit from the new director’s fresh insight as Abrams envisions the story as a never-ending chase and keeps it sprinting in only top gear from start to finish, thus never allowing its viewers a moment to settle down once the main plot surfaces.
The screenplay tackles the shortcomings of previous chapters by adding more substance to its plot while also giving better attention to its characters & their arcs. Production design is stellar, locations provide an exotic layer to its events, Cinematography makes excellent use of handheld photography, the colour tones n textures encapsulate the story with a vibrant feel, and the dynamic movements of its camera wonderfully enhances its chaotic action.
Thanks to its tight editing, its 125 minutes of runtime is fiercely paced plus its effectiveness can also be felt in those brilliantly edited action or chase sequences. VFX team does make ample use of CGI but it never steps into the realm of absurdity. And last but not the least, the background score by Michael Giacchino is loud & bombastic but also incredibly fitting and is equally responsible for keeping the viewers firmly gripped to their seats throughout its runtime.
Coming to the performances, Mission: Impossible III features a fabulous cast in Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan & Ving Rhames with added input coming from Laurence Fishburne, Simon Pegg, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maggie Q & others. Cruise is at his most committed yet again but this time he’s pretty much overshadowed by Hoffman’s terrific rendering of his character and even in his limited screen time, he manages to leave the most lasting impression.
On an overall scale, Mission: Impossible III is a fabulous blend of kinetic direction, excellent writing, exuberant camerawork, blistering pace, mind-blowing action, brilliant performances & fantastic score, all of which work in seamless harmony to deliver the goods in a manner that’s far more enjoyable, entertaining & satisfying than expected. Although it isn’t entirely flawless, Mission: Impossible III nonetheless works as a top-gear action spectacle that’s clever, imaginative & downright fun. An absolute must for action aficionados.