MI3 lacks an intriguing story. It's basically about recovering an object, the "Rabbit's Foot," and trading it to the bad guys for Ethan Hunt's new wife, who hasn't a clue about what he really does for a living. Sounds a tad like True Lies, and there's more that is reminiscent about that hugely successful Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
Agent Hunt, recently married, is called away to a meeting at the local 7-Eleven. He's handed a disposable camera which, after scanning his eye for authentication, reveals a mission and then self-destructs, as is the tradition. The team assembles in Italy with the goal of infiltrating the Vatican to capture their suspect.
The getting in part is, naturally, clever and fairly interesting, but also almost too cute and slick. Ditto for the apprehension of the bad guy. There's a scene that is very reminiscent of True Lies involving a bridge being attacked by missiles. It's riveting, first-rate, thrilling action.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent as the brutal but elegantly dressed classy bad guy, almost as if the character came from a James Bond film. When he speaks, he does so with intimidating authority. And he does quite a bit of talking with his fists, as well.
They often used hand-held cameras to add a sense of urgency to the film, but where that technique meshed well with the gritty Bourne Supremacy, it didn't have as strong an effect in this highly-polished film.
Director JJ Abrams, best known for creating the hit television shows Alias and Lost, did the best with the script, and is scheduled to direct 2008's Star Trek XI.
Tom Cruise is still convincing as an action star. He's physically up to the challenge and plays the role like he owns it.
Mission: Impossible III is bound to be a sure-fire hit but due to its lack of risk, I found it to be only mildly satisfying.