I got to see Mission Impossible early and it was great. I loved it! And this is from someone who is no big Cruise fan, who was slightly disappointed with the first 2 MI's and who thinks Ethan Hunt isn't near Bond as a character.
MI3 really works because they humanize Hunt smartly with a true love and friends. They kept the big action set pieces and high octane style but the whole thing gets emotional resonance and an extra push from emotional investment. They make a character I never really cared for much more compelling and no longer callow.
They didn't reinvent Hunt or what the series did before--they just subtly and simply created more emotion and character. You care more now. I ALWAYS THOUGHT THIS IS WHAT TO DO WITH BOND--don't restart the whole series and go fully in a new risky direction BUT instead just smartly add depth and write the character better without changing him in basic personality or looks for that matter. STRONG CHANGE COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITHOUT THE OVERLY RISKY MOVES OF CR. NO NEED FOR A REBOOT TO MAKE EFFECTIVE SMART CHANGE.
As the AICN guy who read the CR script said--"mammoth changes aren't necessary to bring a franchise a healthy shot of adreneline or freshness. MI3 shifts more to characters and doesn't start from scratch. It gives emotional resonance to the action, not mere spectacle. These differences are often simple and subtle YET PROFOUND--and falls in nicely with what Bond could have done." Seeing MI3 I see he was so right on here.
Hey CR can turn out fine but these big changes in rebooting the franchise and the character(along with an unconventional looking Bond) really were an unnecessary risk. We'll see if it pays off. It is fitting that this movie is set to a large degree in a casino since these changes are quite a large roll of the dice.
I'll tell you one thing--if CR is as good as MI3 then i'll be estatic. And this was done with high octane action and suspenseful set pieces. Here's a tip--the "secret" kidnapping inside the vatican itself is a knockout!! Can CR do it with it's roll of the dice--i'm not sure at all.
I finally saw this film on DVD last night. This post will be packed with spoilers for all three MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE films, so don't read if that bothers you.
I was disappointed with it, and I am a huge Tom Cruise fan, love Philip Seymour Hoffman and have a thing for Keri Russell.
I thought it had some good stuff, namely:
The use of someone who Hunt cares about to drive the plot
The explosion in the head idea
The extraordinary revelation as to who is beyond the plot and why, and the decision not to reveal the Maguffin
Expansion of the team
Great location work
Excellent performance from Seymour Hoffman, who is chilling
But I thought there were some really dire things about this. Despite its dependence on up-to-the-minute technology, the content of it felt really dated to me: it felt like a mid-90s action thriller. It felt like a Brosnan Bond film, and I was hoping for more. It had very little depth, and I simply didn't see how it humanised Hunt at all. It said it did, but it didn't *really*: in one scene, we see him struggling with the dilemma of keeping secrets from her, but the ending just cops out on all of it. She's been kidnapped and nearly killed, been through hell and survived, and she jovially asks him as they skip across a bridge who he really works for. She would be furious and accusing him of betrayal. A scene later, she's skipping and jumping in her jeans! She does not feel like a real character. Neither does Hunt: he looks buff, much the same as in the first film, in fact, but he is essentially a machine carrying out incredibly complicated stunts and manoeuvres. I find it tough to find anything human in someone who can get himself out of being cuffed to a chair with a biro in five seconds!
I thought two scenes stripped it of all the humanity it had: the mask scenes. I thought the kidnapping in the Vatican sillier than an invisible car. This isn't real life, is it? It's not anywhere close. It's fantasy: they clone a guy in about two minutes! Come on. And then the trick with the fake wife being shot. Sorry, but the bad guy also makes masks? Just for trickery's sake? Ah, no, not the bad guy. The bad guy is in league with... Hunt's boss. Again. I think IMF need a better screening policy... Oh,
, actually, that guy is working for the President. The political nature of this revelation is astonishing - how has nobody commented more on this? A mainstream thriller that suggests the US' intelligence services would collaborate with arms dealers to sell some sort of armageddon device to a Middle Eastern country, so they could send in UN inspectors and get Security Council approval to invade said country? I know why nobody's talking about it: because the presentation is so far from reality as to make it just one more silly twist. It's not the CIA, but Ethan Hunt's Impossible Mission Force. Had this been in a Bourne film, it might have made an impact. As it is, it makes whatever happens in MI4 ludicrous. The IMF is revealed to be manned by psychotic fascists, at the command of a corrupt White House. And at the end Hunt is invited to do something for these people? They have just revealed that his organisation is evil incarnate - where to go from there? Oh, I know: forget it happened, like they did between MI:1 and 2. And perhaps make Hunt's boss the villain again.
I sincerely hope CR humanises a little more than this film did. I thought it had very little suspense.