Mission: Impossible III – The Rewatch

Tom and Jimmy have accepted the mission of rewatching the Mission: Impossible films prior to the release of Mission: Impossible Fallout.  Actually in Tom’s case, he is enjoying them all outside of the first film for the first time.  Let’s see what the two amigos thought of Mission: Impossible III.

tomk: Mission: Impossible III Tokyo Drift

Wow! Greg Grunberg in a JJ Abrams movie!

Ok, I’ve known Keri Russel was a Soviet spy from The Americans, but I also know someone is going to betray Ethan at some point and don’t really trust any of these new agents.

Why did no one cast Philip Seymour Hoffman as Spider-Man? Seeing him climb through the Vatican rafters was a thing of beauty and grace.

I really miss PSH right about now.

Huh. I was really enjoying it until that song played over the closing credits.

jimmy: Yeah, that end credits song is horrible.

tomk: Phillip Seymour Hoffman made that movie.

jimmy: You think? Outside of that one torture scene I found he was basically a caricature of a bad guy with no distinct personality. He does have that scene where he is kicking Cruise’s ass, but then he dies way too easily.

But I agree it works in spite of that…and the fact that the Rabbit’s Foot is the biggest MacGuffin ever. They even have a conversation in the movie about not knowing what it actually was.

tomk: They didn’t need it to be anything.
But as much as Hoffman was a stock villain, he played the role very well. I wanted Cruise to kick his ass.
And that torture scene may have made the whole movie.

jimmy: It’s a typical JJ move though…taking the point of highest tension from 3/4 into the movie and starting with that. And then letting the movie build back up to it.

tomk: OK, since you brought it up…
I don’t think Abrams is a great director. He’s not a bad one. I’ve liked his work, but there’s nothing distinctive about it, something that says it’s an Abrams movie. He’s a good copycat, usually of Spielberg’s style. When I asked the group who the next Spielberg would be, the greatest living director, Watson and I went with Nolan, but no one even thought to choose Abrams. He’s fine, but he’s not great.

jimmy: I’m ok with him being perfectly cromulant. He makes great shows and movies.

tomk: I am too. I just felt I had to say that at some point. 😉

jimmy: I know what you’re saying. There’s nothing distinctive. I’m not even sure I saw a lense flare. Maybe you could have replaced him with Renny Harlin or Tony Scott or someone and gotten the same movie, but it still works.

I love the shot on the bridge where the missile detonated behind Cruise and sends him flying into the car to his left, and all the windows blow out.

tomk: Yeah, exactly. Some really good shots, good tension, but nothing that says only JJ Abrams could make this.

jimmy: I guess Thandie Newton did not make such a great love interest after all. I know some time (years) have passed, but it’s funny watching them back to back and to see everything he does for her in the last one to no mention of her here.

tomk: She was like a Bond Girl. A single movie love interest.

jimmy: Yes. Good comparison.

tomk: And trailers for the new one suggested Michelle Monaghan wasn’t going anywhere just yet.

jimmy: We shall see.

But there is definitely more of a continuity going forward, whereas I and II were more stand alone.

tomk: Is there more running?

jimmy: Haha. Yes, there will be more running

tomk: More bridges exploding?

jimmy: I don’t recall…

tomk: More Ving Rhames aging as Cruise doesn’t?

jimmy: Oh yes.

tomk: More Simon Pegg also being a hacker?

jimmy: Well, I don’t want to spoil everything.

tomk: Fair enough.

jimmy: I’m starting to think these movies aren’t designed to be watched and chatted about. Doesn’t help that there is just the two of us and we seem to feel generally the same way about each film.

You’ve said previously that you thought Ethan Hunt was pretty one-dimensional. Feeling any different after this one?

tomk: Not really. He’s a stock action hero. I can see why Cruise keeps going back to this series. It’s a quick hit to keep his star high, and they’re generally well done.
But man, I never trusted Billy Crudup. And not just because he has “crud” in his name. I’m just wary of anyone who’s been in more than one Zach Snyder movie.

jimmy: Lol

tomk: I probably shouldn’t trust Lawrence Fishburneeither, but he was clearly set up as someone I shouldn’t trust by the narrative, so he was a red herring. Besides, PSH learned an awful lot about Ethan from just a (common) first name.
And don’t get me started on how much I trust characters played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

jimmy: …I don’t think he was in the movie?

But Aaron Paul was!

tomk: Morgan was not.
But he was in Watchmen and Batsoup.
Aaron Paul? I must have missed him.

jimmy: He was Monaghan’s younger brother.

tomk: Huh. Didn’t recognize him the way I do Abrams mainstay Greg Grunberg.

jimmy: He looked different. Much younger, but I recognized him. Grunberg stuck out like a sore thumb as usual.

tomk: Say, Paul played Monaghan’s husband on the Hulu series The Path (I’ve never seen it).

jimmy: Me neither. Nor heard of it.

tomk: Maybe Peter Dinklage can play Lena Headey’s husband next.

jimmy: Well, that’s more likely than the guy who played Bronn.

tomk: True.
Have we reached the point of The Silly?

jimmy: I believe so. Unfortunate that there’s not much conversation brewing. I blame Watson. Let’s get to grades then.

tomk: Okie dokie. I’ll say 8.5 out of 10 creative uses for the Scooby Doo mask in a torture scenario.

jimmy: I’m gonna go 9 pendulum swings out of 10.

tomk: Good one.

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