Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is getting tired of the game and wants out; he’s found a lovely woman (Michelle Monaghan) to marry but is talked into joining a rescue mission that goes awry… J.J. Abrams is the guy behind the TV series Alias, and his feature film debut opens in the middle of the story, like so many episodes of that spy show. There are several other similarities with Alias, but they all contribute to a very enjoyable, slam-bang, popcorn experience. Unlike the second film in the series, Mission: Impossible III knows how to make the style and the special effects serve the story, not the other way around. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a terrific villain, sporting a nonchalant, icy style.
2006-U.S. 125 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner. Directed by J.J. Abrams. Screenplay: Alex Kurtzmann, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams. Cast: Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Owen Davian), Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell), Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers… Laurence Fishburne.
Trivia: David Fincher and Joe Carnahan were allegedly first slated to direct the film; Scarlett Johansson and Kenneth Branagh were allegedly considered for the characters that came to be played by Russell and Hoffman. Followed by Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011).
Last word: “My only mandate in doing this movie was I wanted to make sure that we weren’t attempting to do anything, any visual effects sequence or any stunt sequence, as a stunt sequence or a visual effects sequence. It was always going to be what is our story so that when we came down to like trying to figure out some of the stuff, whether it’s stunts or chases or anything that happens in the movie, every time we knew that there was a situation where there was an escape or a tense situation or some kind of, we were like, ‘Let’s not even talk about it. We know that there’s got to be something here but let’s not [talk about it].’ We always focused on the story and once we knew we had a solid story – or we believed we had a solid story – we then allowed ourselves to sort of open the door to the toy store and go in and say, ‘How do we make these sequences as much fun as possible?’” (Abrams, About.com)