Ever since M:I 2 came out, back in the summer of 2000, I have been looking forward to the next installment of this series. It was rumored for a bit that John Woo would do it again, but he backed out. Then Mr. Brokeback himself, Ang Lee was debating between M:I III and a little movie called The Hulk. He choose The Hulk because he thought that there was more psychology in the character of The Hulk. Thank God this guy didn’t touch the Mission series, he would have ruined it just like he did The Hulk.
I was, however, pumped when I found out that David Fincher (the man behind such movies (in order mind you) as: Alien 3, Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, and Panic Room) was going to direct this sequel. Ever since John Woo was picked to direct the second one I knew that this would be a series that would have a different feel and a different perspective from film to film. Each movie is a completely different movie, nothing is the same, save for Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames and the fact that they are IMF (Impossible Missions Force) Agents, all three movies were shot with different directors and I thought David Fincher was a great choice for the movie. He even went as far as saying a few summers ago (probably like four summers ago, around the time that I was either a sophmore or junior in college (those were the days)) that they have a great script, its violent, and that he was going to press Paramount to make the next film an “R” rated film.
But, alas, David Fincher pulled out of making M:I III (notice also that the first sequel is refered to and always was M:I 2, not M:I II, but with a number instead of the Roman Numerial ‘II’ and the third movie is not M:I 3 but M:I III, and is very difficult to type if your fingers are already having a difficult time trying to catch up to your thoughts.
Yeah, David Fincher pulled out of doing M:I III, and it was a damn shame, that probably would have been a good movie too, but they moved on and went with a guy by the name of Joe Carnahan, I had to look him up, he directed Narc, I’ve only heard of it and thanks to IMDB.com, it pretty much shows that he hasn’t really done much. And let me just say, thank God he didn’t direct this, he probably would have messed up the series. I can remember briefly hearing about two summers (summers or years, by now they go hand in hand) that some guy was directing it and I can remember even then looking him up and not being very impressed by his resume. Gee, if they looked mine up, you wouldn’t find it on IMDB…that’s because they need more information to include Ethan Ross in their database…but I’m working on it, I’m working on it…I just need time to speak to Adam and get moving on things.
Getting back on track. The Joe Carnahan thing didn’t last too long, the only noteable thing that happened during this period of time was that they had signed a bunch of actors and actresses to play parts in M:I III, those people were: Carrie-Anne Moss (whose character was dropped from the script), Ricky Gervais, Kenneth Branagh (to play the bad guy who was replaced by: Phillip Semour Hoffman–no disrespect to Mr. Branagh, I think Hoffman played an amazing bad guy and I HATED him, and you know a good bad guy when you just flat out hate the person. Here is where I go off on a major tangent, like many of my reviews, or just rants, and go in a completely different direction. Before my Grandmother passed in 1999, I used to show her movies, whatever I liked, I showed her. Now, she only spoke spanish, so a lot of the films that she liked the most were those films that she could understand simply by the actions, to give you an idea of those movies she liked: Batman Forever (she used to love the old Batman 1960 tv show), Titanic, cartoons like Alvin and the Chipmunks things like that. She hated movies like: Ace Venture, Back to the Future, because she didn’t understand them. One day I showed her the three Die Hard movies and towards the end of Die Hard 2 she started yelling (in spanish mind you) “kill him, kill him, kill him!” to Bruce Willis when he is up against the main bad guy Col. Stuart. Now, if you can write a bad guy like Col. Stuart, who is a tremendously evil character, although he is also very over the top, is one of those characters like T-1000 that you just absolutely cannot stand, and you are able to make this character so evil that you get my grandmother who cannot speak english, but understands a few words and was a good Christian woman her whole life to swing her arms at the screen (my grandmother and my own mother always told me that my grandmother could never go to the movies and see a movie because she would get too into the movie and start beating up the person next to her) and yelling “Kill him!” then you’ve suceeded in making a great bad guy. I believe that Philliph Semour Hoffman is a great bad guy, but I’ll get back to him in a second ) and Scarlett Johansson (who at the time signed on because she wanted to wet her feet in an action movie. If anyone is paying attention, this film would have been shot and ready for Summer of 2005, which meant that since she didn’t act in this movie, she went on to do The Island. She actually would have played the Keri Russell part, so (SPOILER ALERT) it wouldn’t have been much of a loss, would have only been a minor roll (END OF SPOILER ALERT).
So, after Joe Carnahan left, it was up in the air for a little bit as to who the next person who would take the reigns of the third Mission movie would be. And then one day (I think it was during a summer and I was going to FDU for some reason) I found out that after viewing Alias, Tom Cruise decided on J.J. Abrams. I was ok with this. I don’t know why. I thought why not. I never saw the series, but it was a hit, it dealt with spies and cool things like that. I thought, why not. So J.J. Abrams had a crack at the script and off they went to shoot this amazing movie.
Before I continue with my review, I just wanted to say, that unlike many other movies, I remember where I was in life and who I went to see each of these movies (clearly third one wasn’t that long ago, it was four days ago, but you understand what I mean…bastards…) the first came out in 1996 and I went to see it with a girl named Nicole when I was in 8th grade. The freaking theater was packed. My Mom was there, somewhere. I wasn’t that impressed with the movie, I expected more, especially after reading such a long review of the adventure the movie had in being made. How it went from series, to rehash series, to tv movies, to attempted movies during the 80’s and then into Tom Cruise’s lap in the 90’s. The second movie was during my senior year of high school, you know, where people stopped caring about class and were just having fun. I went to see it with my friends (Berman, Kashif, Ian, Pete…and I thought Evkoz…but clearly not since I let him borrow the movie because he was off doing something else that night). I liked it, I really enjoyed the movie. I remember no one else liking it but me, it was like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode with the bunch of them making fun of how Tom Cruise had the pick of the motercycles and he picked the crappy one. How when everything slowed down, instead of everyone staring at Tom Cruise through the fire they could have shot him. And how they wanted to shoot the doves as they flew into the scene. I enjoyed it and if you want to see my review of M:I 2 along with Evkoz check it out at this entry: http://socramforever.livejournal.com/177356.html
This time, I’m out of school, done with college, done with the masters, engaged, living on my own…well not really, my parents still pay a bunch of my bills and Melissa is the one who pays for the apartment. I do however pay for the electric and cable… anyway. I had to see this movie. Whenever a Mission: Impossible movie opens, just know that it is going to be an amazing summer at the box office. I mean look at 1996 (seriously, check out my rant on 1996 from a few months ago: http://socramforever.livejournal.com/147276.html) it had an amazing line up of films. Check out the summer of 2000, which by my High Fidelity account would be one of my top five all time summers ever (for more on High Fidelity, check back later this week for a rant on that amazing film). That was a great summer full of films. Two much better summers then last years waste of time. I was going to see M:I III with Melissa and Evkoz, just like Scary Movie 4, but Melissa had just got back from her friend Rachel’s baby shower and was tired so she retired to the apartment and left me with Evkoz to see the movie…I still owe Evkoz money for the ticket, we barely made it into the theater.
We went all the way down to the front (NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!) and I was amazed to find two teenage kids sitting at the end of an isle eating Boston Market food. I told them straight out that it was “Brilliant”. I mean seriously, I never even thought about doing that. That was just awesome. I asked them how they got it into the theater and they said under sweatshirts. Great idea, but I wouldn’t want to wear that sweatshirt after that. I’d smell like chicken or turkey or whatever they had the rest of the night.
Anyway, M:I III, amazing movie. Tom Cruise was Ethan Hunt, but he they showed a different side of Ethan Hunt. The more personal side. And I liked it. I feel that Ethan Hunt has grown up along with me. I mean, look where I am now, like stated up a paragraph or so, I’m done with school (undergrad and grad), I’ve moved away from home, I have a fiance (who is the love of my life), I have a son (Peanut Chew) and I’d like to think that I’m not as crazy as I claim to have been a few years ago. I also was with Ethan Hunt the whole way, if someone touched Melissa, I would be all over them. I mean, come on, I may not have all the access to IMF equipment, but I could just as easily ram my little Neon (who needs to go into the shop…someone remind me about that) into a building or something or off the top of a building and take out two Chinese guards while throwing baseballs at them. Like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, the wild side never fully goes away…it just calms down with age. Not that I was ever really wild…probably more bark than bite…
M:I III was the first of the Mission movies to actually fully utilize the team effort that made the original such a hit. I thought that the locations were great, action was great, best action movie in a long time and I do have to think back a long time before I can think of a good action movie. Pirates doesn’t count, its an adventure movie. Last really good action movie I can think of was Face/Off and that was in 1997, nine years ago. If you can remind me of a more recent one, I’d be very happy. It did not leave me feeling empty at the end, everything came full circle, I went home happy. Phillip Semour Hoffman was amazing, though my only complaint was that he wasn’t on screen more and I wanted more scenes of him so I could hate his character more. Michelle Monaghan was a great addition to the series and she wasn’t the girl in peril, she was just someone kidnapped and kept against her will and she proved she wasn’t just a pretty face at the end of the movie. I hope that if they make a fourth film they keep her in it, and not kill her off.
Amazing movie. Loved it. I’d see it again in a heart beat. In my opinion, this is what the first two should have been and this is the best out of the franchise yet. Tom Cruise, though his crazy antics have made people shy away from things is truly still the mega star that he’s always been.
9 out of 10 stars.
Go see this movie if you haven’t already done so.