Directed by J.J. Abrams
I’ll start off by saying I was not really a fan of the first two movies. They were OK, but not great. Too much action with too little plot to hold it together. I would have definitely waited for this movie to come to DVD before viewing except for the fact that it is directed by J.J. Abrams (of Alias, Lost, and Felicity fame). In general, I’m partial movies directed by those with a background in TV (Joss Whedon for one) because they tend to slip in a bit more character development and are more mindful of plot holes. This was certainly the case with M:I3. The other, unrelated, reason for a slight fondness to the movie is that it marks the start of the 2006 summer movie season (have fun and don’t worry about being “Oscar-worthy”).
M:I2 is to the Charlie’s Angles movie as M:I3 is to Bourne Identity. M:I2 (a.k.a. Mission: Implausible II) had forgettable characters, useless dialog, and over-produced, campy, totally implausible action. It was fun, but difficult to respect. M:I3 completely changed approaches with a coherent plot, thrilling-but-not-overly-outrageous action sequences, and some interesting little details that you may catch only after repeated viewings. I liked that we never find out what the Rabbit’s Foot is. I liked that Greg Grunberg made yet another J.J. Abrams-related cameo. I liked that the Ethan Hunt wife-to-be was justified in her belief of him working for the DOT (he became a trainer and no longer went on missions when they meet). It’s that type of detail, along with the plot, the action, and a small amount of character development, that makes this a movie worth seeing.
Final thoughts: Go see it in the theaters, also buy the DVD.