Tuesday, June 06, 2006


RUNTIME: 126 min.

In simple words, this summer’s first big movie and the latest installment of the Ethan Hunt vehicle is the worst in a progressively declining franchisee and a torturous experience on its own. No matter what level you judge the movie on, it comes out a cropper. As an action movie everything is so confusing and stupid that I just stopped paying attention to what was happening after all. And if you even dare to look into the logic and plausibility of the inane plot, well, you committing a cardinal sin on yourself.
MI-III now has Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in love with Julia (Michelle Monaghan). As usual he is no longer on the payroll of his IMF but accepts a mission to rescue a female field agent from the clutches of a cruel, super evil international dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
The female agent has a secret which she obviously passes on to Hunt before she dies by what is a charge that explodes in the brain (I have no idea as to why the agent was implanted with it. If the purpose was to retrieve the secret she had to be killed immediately and of course no need for such a spectacular killing. But asking such questions as I said would be a grave sin.). A secret weapon called Rabbit’s Foot is to be sold internationally by Davian and Hunt has to stop that. He does it by kidnapping Davian but things obviously aren’t this simple. There’s a mole (one such clichéd component has to be there in these movies) in IMF and this leads to a globe trotting mission where you’ll find yourself waiting for the end credits to roll on.
The main draws for such a low on I.Q. movie are the action sequences. And it is disappointing that this franchisee that has given us some pretty good action sequences is incredibly inert in that department. There is absolutely no clarity whatsoever as to what is happening. Things are just flying around and the camera is shaking like crazy. The keys to any memorable action sequence are its clarity and detailing. Be it the chase sequences in BULITT and TERMINATOR2: THE JUDGEMENT DAY or the action sequences in DIE HARD and FACE/OFF, you remember and it and watch it again and again because you know what is happening and you are completely aware of the situation. The audiences should be completely aware of all he variables involved. But as is the case today with most action movies everything is so loud and unclear. It is just an audiovisual assault on the concerned senses. It is as if we are being hammered on our heads for committing the sin of watching this movie.
The action sequences are severely plagues by lack of imagination and creativity, two traits largely present in both the earlier installments. The first one gave us the fantastic robbery scene and the next one gave us incredible bike sequences. But here there is no scene we could or should talk about. The robbing of the Rabbits foot in Shanghai was so absurd that for a brief moment I thought I was watching one of those SCARY MOVIEs. And as far as the reasoning out the sequence is concerned it is best if nothing much is said about it. The funniest aspect of the sequence is when the Rabbit’s Foot or whatever falls on to the road and Hunt is running after it. It is all so unintentionally funny yet they play the MI background score as if the world is just being saved.
The whole sequence of the kidnapping in Rome is one of the dumbest sequences I have had the misfortune of seeing in a long time. The people both behind and in front of the camera are under the illusion that they are providing great entertainment but all they are doing is torturing us. And there seems to be a gadget for every occasion and for any sort of predicament. I just couldn’t stop laughing both at the movie and my plight during the sequence where they make a mask with some stupid hi-tech gadget.
You know a movie is for toddlers or is incredibly dumb when it says “Berlin Germany” or “Rome Italy”. I felt offended when the movie was showing the names of the countries where these cities are in like Rome and Shanghai.
The worst part of the movie, and there are many for that matter is the climax. This has got to be one of the dullest and uninspired endings I have seen in a major summer action movie. For god sake, even the awful KING ARTHUR had a better ending. There is absolutely no inspiration in the execution. Clearly action is not J.J. Abrams forte.
As far as the plot and screenplay are concerned I don’t think so it took more than 10 days to conceive and write it. You could predict what is going to happen 10 scenes afterwards. And the supposedly twist ending that the director wanted to give us is the first thing you will know in the movie. It is a screenplay by numbers. There is periodic action, periodic romance, periodic welling up of Cruise and the most irritating aspect of it all- the desperate attempt on everybody’s part to be funny.
Everyone from Cruise to Ving Rhames is trying to pull of funny one-liners and becomes an assault to the senses. To be able to seem cool and be funny during action sequences the dialogues have to be rally witty, prime example being OCEAN ELEVEN and OCEAN TWELVE. And you got to have actors of the caliber of Pitt, Damon or Clooney who have a fantastic sense of humor. Cruise is one star who has absolutely no comic timing. I have seen him in various movies and he can never be funny. Apart from COLLATERAL which was more ironic than funny I can never remember he pulling off a funny one liner like say Clint Eastwood. It gets most absurd when Hunt’s wife is in danger and Hunt is escaping from the IMF headquarters but still finds the mind to put his speaker phone before a radio. It obviously cannot get ant stupid than this.
Tom Cruise is an absolute drag in this movie. His is a performance by numbers. He is incredibly bland in most of the scenes. And considering that he ah been playing this character for 3 movies now he is incredibly unimaginative and inert. I was under the impression that Cruise had finally risen up to face the challenges of real roles and characters after watching him perform incredibly well in MAGNOLIA and COLLATERAL. But with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS and now MI-III I could not have been more wrong. Even for a movie like this he could learn a thing or two from Matt Damon as to how to bring a certain level of depth style and intelligence to a character.
The others are average to below par. But the standout among all these ruins is Philip Seymour Hoffman. He brings an angle of evil reminiscent of the great Bond movies of the 60s and 70s. He is an absolute pleasure to watch. I was craving for more of his presence and less of Cruise. I was constantly finding myself rooting for him in every scene and when that happens in an action movie it is trouble.
In a time when people’s interest are more novelties than the same stuff and a certain Jason Bourne capturing more attention than both Bond and Hunt combined it is highly imperative that screenwriters and directors pay a lot more attention to novelties in both plot and action. Gone are the days when dumb action movies with lots of blasts would generate money. Audiences are going incredibly unforgiving as has happened with MI-III. You got to appreciate the audiences’ intelligence. That is why action movies like THE BOURNE IDENTITY and THE BOURNE SUPREMACY have been such huge successes. They are much more serious towards their subject matter and do not resort to cheap and clichéd antics to appease audiences.
There is nothing in MI-III. Watching it, I felt like I was being mentally abused. The only thing worth watching in this truckload of crap is Philip Seymour Hoffman. It would be much better if you instead rent a copy of CAPOTE.
Your mission if you choose to accept it is to run far away from MI-III. And as far as the self destruction part is concerned this franchisee has already pressed the button.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well said dear, but i liked the photo..

MI III movie's action sequences are loud and unclear however movie's review is loud and clear .
It certainly saved my money.