Mission: Impossible III ★★★★★

"I have a charge in my head! I'm gonna die unless you kill me!"

***

I love the third 'Mission: Impossible' movie, okay?

I've noticed a lot recently that many fans of the franchise really rather look down on this trilogical entry in the series.

This is positively flabbergastory to me, because I loved it when it came out when I was 13, and you know what? Watching it again roughly 9 years later, I STILL love it.

So sue me.

I love that, continuity-wise, it works as a film that bridges the gap between itself and the first film, skipping right over that imponderably stupidly stupid John Woo entry, which remains the absolute low point in the series.
(Sure, there are other film franchises with much worse low points in their ongoing serialisations, but still...DOVES! SO MANY MANY DOVES!)

I love the sheer thunderous intensity of the whole film, because honestly, after the barren suspense-less wasteland of 'M:I:2', it's just SO welcome to have some proper nail-bitingly suspenseful action sequences again.

I love J.J. Abrams' style with this film (his debut feature). To me, only he and Paul Greengrass do the shakycam visual style the best in the business. And I know a lot of fans of this series detest how Abrams all but completely disposes of the clean, crisp, clear cinematography of the best of the tense stunt-based scenes seen throughout the franchise (the Langley heist in the first one; the Burj Khalifa heist in 'Ghost Protocol'; etc). But personally, I really enjoy how Abrams makes the action herein all gritty and grimy and down and dirty.

I love that this film returns us to a sense that our heroes are capable of being hurt during their missions. Yes, they're still only Movie Hurtable (i.e. they can easily survive injury-inducing stunts without literally dying like they would in the real world), but Movie Hurtable is absolutely better than Not Hurtable In The Slightest.

I love Michael Giacchino's score, because it simply IS a proper 'Mission: Impossible' score. And much as Hans Zimmer's score for 'M:I:2' was really quite good, it just wasn't a 'Mission: Impossible' score. (Nowhere NEAR enough bongos, for one thing.)

I love Laurence Fishburne's character. He's just the fucking best. Almost every single line of his is solid gold. (I really wish he could return to these films at some point, because seeing him thoroughly dress down weasly little Billy Crudup is a gift to humanity that we don't deserve, but that I'm glad we have anyway.)

I love Philip Seymour Hoffman. Just in general, but also as this movie's villain. He effortlessly - but understatedly - oozes pure menace and evil, and his villain is still the best villain this series has yet had.
(R.I.P., Philip. We all sincerely wish you were still here with us. So so much.)

And I love Tom Cruise and Michelle Monaghan's couple dynamic herein. In fact, one of the things that made me like 'Ghost Protocol' a little less when I first watched it was the fact that Monaghan wasn't in it to be with Cruise, which really irked me (until it didn't, because reasons). Generally, I just really enjoy seeing Monaghan in as many films as possible, because she's never not excellent. And in 'M:I:3', having her and Cruise be together provides genuine human stakes for the both of them, and seeing Ethan Hunt being incredibly vulnerable (either in the first film, when all of his team has been killed and he's left alone and desperate, or here, in the context of him being vulnerable for another person he loves) is something that makes him such a good character to root for.

Plus, we get to see Simon Pegg as Benji for the first time!

And we are SO lucky for that, because Benji was originally supposed to be played by Ricky Gervais...

...which is...

...just...

...NO.

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