(For my 3 readers who have been asking me to comment on 464, CPR and 1017, sorry, that post is forthcoming; in the meantime, something light.)
I was prepared to hate it: MI3. I don't particularly like Tom Cruise (the only movies with him in it that I liked were Collateral--and that was because of Jamie Foxx--and Magnolia--and that was because he was so not Cruise), I think he's over-rated. I was intrigued however by one credit in MI3: JJ Abrams.
Now, my 3 regular readers know that I'm a big Alias Fan (that's primarily because of JJ Abrams) and the thought of JJ Abrams handling this franchise intrigued me.
From the very first scene, I knew I was going to love this one--it is so Abrams (those who watch Alias will know what I mean; I won't describe it as it might be a spoiler to those who haven't watched it yet). The frenetic pace, the beautiful and strong women (Keri Russell bka Felicity, Maggie Q; incidentally, Felicity and Alias are Abrams creations), the intelligent plot complete with twists and turns and the out-of-this-world situations packed into almost two hours--that's so Abrams.
MI3 does not disappoint. Unlike MI2, which, despite John Woo, never took off and MI which was mired in too much introspection and the most funereal pace, MI3 just establishes a very simple plot and lets the action rip. You hardly notice Cruise (that might be why I liked the movie) because the action is the star and for an action movie, that should be the case.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is appropriately menacing; Ving Rhames is consistently good; even Laurence Fishburne, despite the short airtime, is striking. But again, what makes MI3 good is the pace, the action and the "intelligent" suspension of disbelief that Abrams asks the viewers to go through. His scenarios make sense and the twists and turns don't appear contrived.
I just have one beef: the woman who played Ethan Hunt's wife (Maggie somebody) suddenly became a great shot despite being told how to handle a firearm a few seconds back. And a beef and a half: they should have given Keri Russell more scenes--she filled up the screen in the minutes she was there (perhaps they could give her a series similar to Alias, now that its off the air, Russell has shown that she can hold her own in action and not just in pop-drama).
I left the moviehouse feeling that the money I spent was worth it. Can't wait for Star Trek to be directed by Abrams--in 2008.