At the start of one scene in Mission: Impossible III, Tom Cruise's super-spy Ethan Hunt is on one side of a sixty-foot wall, dressed as a delivery man; about sixty seconds later -- including brief pauses to activate the grappling gun and confuse the security cameras -- he's on the ground on the other side, dressed as a priest. If this kind of derring-do -- globe-trotting escapades involving tricky tasks performed with panache in the face of mortal danger -- has any appeal for you, then you're going to like Mission: Impossible III. Cruise hand-picked director J.J. Abrams, who makes his big-screen directing debut here as the third directorial choice for a sequel that's been in the making since 2000, featuring one of the biggest stars in the world as lead actor and producer -- so, no pressure there.

But I say 'like' above, not 'love,' because while it's a really well-made piece of summertime action film making, it lacks a few things whose presence would have elevated it to true greatness. After a hero-in-peril pre-credit sequence, Mission: Impossible III flashes back a few days: Ethan's having a party alongside his fiancée Julia (Michelle Monaghan), and all her friends are taken with him: Ethan seems cute enough, even if his job with the Department of Transportation seems really dull … Ethan, it seems, hasn't told Julia he's with the Impossible Missions Force; he's not doing fieldwork anymore, just training the next generation, but he's out. And then the phone rings …
categories Reviews, Cinematical