Saturday, June 17, 2006

MI 3: Tom ‘Ethan’ Cruise’s $200 million egocentric extravaganza

Ting…ding..ding..ding..ding..ding… Ting…ding..ding..ding..ding..ding…ding…

The unmistakable MI 3 music had begun playing in my head long before I had entered the theatres that day, and it was more fun as I raced up the stairs, imagining myself to be some kind of spy on a mission….but more about myself later since this blog is for the movie MI 3, the well publicized summer blockbuster with the most famous movie star in the world, Tom ‘Popular’ Cruise at its helm…

The opening scene of the movie is predictably in the now-hot style of Director JJ Abrams (creator of the racy Alias and multi-layered Lost) where the Philip Seymour Hoffman asks the tied Cruise about the elusive Rabbit’s Foot. This Rabbit’s Foot is such a top secret that even in the end; no one knows what it is, including Tom ‘Producer’ Cruise. I guess the director couldn’t decide what he could possibly designate it to be, considering that nuclear weapons aren’t shocking enough for the audience bred on daily doses of WMD and any other thing isn’t just dangerous enough. So he took the easy way out –kept it a secret, atleast till the next installment, MI 4. (no big surprise…everyone can see it coming…)

The story isn’t all that complicated, except that the ‘spy’ terminologies used are, and the characters aren’t all that new, except that we are made to believe they are. Ethan’s fiancée Julia (Michelle Monaghan – whose resemblance to Katie Holmes is just too good to be a coincidence) thinks he is a traffic pattern expert (now that’s new!!) as they get engaged before he has to rush off to save one of his protégé, held by the sadistic arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Zillions of bullets, explosions and a helicopter chase through the wind mills – later he manages to rescue her only to have her die from an explosive charge planted in her head. He now has to track down Davian, who is to close some arms deals in Vatican City and he does too. Zillions of bullets, explosions, a bomber plane blasting the bridge-later Davian escapes and captures Julia, making Hunt go after the Rabbit’s Foot. Hunt and his team (Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyer) has to get the Rabbit’s Foot, save Julia, capture Davian and corner the double agent inside IMF all in a matter of 48 hours.

Sounds familiar? That’s because it is. With minor changes here and there, the storyline more or less resembles all the spy thrillers that we have seen before. The most – clichéd however are the dialogues. Deliberately and uninnovatively styled to get those immediate cheers and claps before the audience has faint recollection that they have heard those lines before. The action however is top class; with the stunts, getting bigger, flashier and more breath taking than before. It has all that you could list on a must-have-in-action-flick: bomber planes, monster trucks, slick cars, giant vans, helicopters, machine guns etc. of course apart from the regular MI franchisee gadgetry. The stunts are pacier too with Tom ‘Stuntman’ Cruise hopping from the top of one skyscraper to another, hanging from the base of the car shooting at the vehicles behind, scampering wildly amidst full-blown Shanghai traffic, running away from a missile and getting smashed into the side of a van due to the after – explosion and his usual top spy Hunt antics.

Arguably the most popular of all the motion picture sound tracks, the Mission Impossible title track ensures that the audience gets into that pulsating, expect-action-and-blowups mood. The new soundtrack though not as great as the previous ones (including versions from ‘smash rock’ Fred Durst and ‘eccentric’ Moby), nevertheless maintains the basic beat and gets us looking forward to the movie. The background score though is inconsistent and not up to the mark.

The cast has been cleverly assembled to attract all sorts of audience – Ving Rhames and Lawrence Fishburne, the dependable Afro Americans; Maggie Q, the curvy Asian incentive; Jonathan Rhys Meyer, the attractive British heartthrob; Michelle Monaghan and Keri Russell (as Agent Farris, the Hunt protégé) , the American cheerleaders; and of course Tom Cruise. The most inspired casting decision however is Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian. In just a few minutes of screen time (Tom Cruise is busy hogging the limelight for almost 99% of the frames) he makes Owen more memorable than the rest of the cardboard cutouts around him. This guy’s got his stuff right and is clearly a director’s delight.

It is Tom, cruising along all through the movie, being the good guy, the great guy and the best guy. It is his money that you see being blown up so he might as well have all the spotlights. And damn, he’s still a great eye candy!!
So go watch this movie, but don’t expect some class cinema; it is entertainment and one hell of it while you watch. But nothing lingers long after the movie ends.

All that stayed with me after I emerged from the theatres was

Ting…ding..ding..ding..ding..ding… Ting…ding..ding..ding..ding..ding…ding…

1 comment:

Joshua Victor said...


It is me again. You must assume that I don't have anything better than posting comments on your 'blogspot'. I are right :-).

Well coming to the point at hand..again you have proved your analysis prowess. And this time you've managed to restrain your word count..hmm...good for you. I agree that MI3 was gaping more on the visual turf than on the brains sensibilities.

Well, I think nobody can outdo the original classic Mission Impossible which focused more on the suspense, thrill and grey matter than on action, stunts and gadgets.