Monday, August 28, 2006

Mission: Impossible III

2006, US, directed by J.J. Abrams

Rating: ***

The third entry in the MI franchise marks a step back up after the silliness of the John Woo-directed second installment; the slow-mo action scenes are mercifully absent, and director J.J. Abrams uses a hand-held camera to capture some of the adrenaline of his TV hits Alias and Lost (his transition to the big screen is pretty successful, too, while his sense of the all-seeing eyes of the CIA-like Impossible Mission Force is of a piece with the mysterious organizations of Alias). This time around, though, the support group is colorless: while Ving Rhames is always enjoyable, his character hasn't developed much from the overgrown teddy bear of previous films, and the remainder of the Tom Cruise-led crew is anonymous. As the villain, Philip Seymour Hoffman has fun, generally refraining from chewing the scenery (it's nice, too, that the film doesn't waste time on a elaborately silly back story; he's bad, and that's about all you need to know).

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States