Mission Impossible: III (2006)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V- 5; L – 3 ; S/N – 5. Running time: 2 hours 6 min.

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
let the wicked perish before God.
Psalm 68:1-2

Mission Impossible: III

The billion dollar plus MI franchise lurches on to rake in still more money, thus signifying the opening of the summer blockbuster season. Lots more chases, explosions, and impossible daring-do of star Tom Cruise in his role as Ethan Hunt, super spy and Superman without cape and tights. This time we see him swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper in Hong Kong to acquire the “rabbit’s foot” sought after by super villain Owen Davian, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, fresh from his Oscar-winning triumph as Truman Capote. Mr. Hoffman this time around goes for money rather than Art, but who can blame him for taking a role that must be fun to play?

There is a little more heart to this film, in that Ethan has dropped out of frontline capers in order to marry the woman of his dreams, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), a doctor at a hospital. She thinks Ethan works for the Dept. of Transportation, but his real job is to train future IM agents. His honeymoon is cut short when he receives a call asking him to go on assignment to rescue one of the agents he had mentored, Lindsey (Keri Russell). Before you can spell I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E, Ethan is joined by his teammates, and they are off to Berlin on their rescue mission. A subsequent mission finds the team sneaking into the Vatican in Rome, where they carry off an elaborate and suspenseful plot to capture Davian at a large gathering of the wealthy and literati. The Eternal City provides a wonderful background for the storyline.

It seems incredible to me that so much money is spent producing and promoting such cinematic fluff, but this is what people want, lots of thrills and chills. The film produces a rush similar to what you experience on a rollercoaster ride, with the advantage that it lasts some two hours longer than the amusement park ride. The thrill seekers get their money’s worth, as long as they do not think about the absurdity of most of the action..