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Movie Review

Mission: Impossible 3 a.k.a. “Mission: Impossible III”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of frenetic violence and menace, disturbing images and some sensuality

Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Action Adventure Spy Thriller Sequel
2 hr. 6 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
May 5, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

spies in the Bible



Featuring: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Luther Stickell, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Simon Pegg, Eddie Marsan Brownway, Laurence Fishburne, Bahar Soomekh, Jeff Chase, Michael Berry Jr.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producer: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, Stratton Leopold
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

About the best thing I could say about the previous installment of the “Mission Impossible” franchise was that the theme song was still good. So I was hopeful this third version of the franchise would be more like MI:1 and less like MI:2. It was. But still not quite enough.

Tom Cruise’s portrayal of IMF agent, Ethan Hunt, featured the requisite amount of blood, sweat, tears, muscle and full sprint running scenes one would expect. This time, the enemy was the ubiquitous Philip Seymour Hoffman as super-bad arms dealer and all-around evil villain Owen Davian. The movie opens with Hoffman threatening to kill a women Cruise shows a great deal of interest in. Flash backward and we find Ethan Hunt at his engagement party with his fiancé Julia (Michelle Monaghan). It becomes apparent that she is not aware of his line of work and believes him to be a traffic technician.

Hunt’s first mission, as he chose to accept it, was to retrieve one of his recent trainees from the IMF program, held captive in Berlin, Germany. The events of this mission interrelate to the remainder of the plot, and once again Hunt is left wondering whom he can trust, and we are wondering right along with him.

Ving Rhames revises his role as Luther Strickell, but the rest of the MI:3 cast is new to the series. Laurence Fishburne plays IMF’s top man, and Billy Crudup plays Ethan’s immediate supervisor. These players all give strong and believable performances for a movie of this genre.

The plot takes us to the Vatican in Rome, and Shanghai, China. There are some super location scenes and stunts, as well as some good special effects, but sometimes the frenetic camera work becomes a little overwhelming. However, tension is built a number of times that did have me grabbing a little harder on the arms of my seat. Hunt is trying to retrieve a mysterious “White Rabbit” which is a device of unknown power. But one character suggests it could be something akin to an anti-God—that which destroys everything.

There was the level of violence you would expect in a movie of this sort. There was also about 2 dozen swear words, a half a dozen of which were the Lord’s name in vain. There was no nudity and no real sexuality beyond a brief passionate kiss between Hunt and his new bride.

The movie is entertaining and suspenseful, but it doesn’t quite rise to the level of a super blockbuster. I found myself not caring enough about the individual characters for it to rate higher than an above average summer action film. If you enjoy seeing a sweaty Tom Cruise running at full speed, or are a fan of the series, no doubt you will enjoy this movie. If you could care less about either, look elsewhere for your weekend entertainment.

My guess is that there will most likely be a MI:4 and beyond if MI:3 does well at the box-office. Hollywood is reluctant to ever give up on a franchise until they have beaten that horse to death. I’d say the series still has enough life for one or two more installments. Oh, and the theme song is still as great as ever!

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—Though highly predictable, MI3 was intense, climactic and incredibly entertaining. I can honestly say this was the first movie where I knew what was coming next, and yet I wasn’t bored or let down. The action in MI3 was carried out so well, the plot was weak, but better than most films of this genre. Overall, my husband and I liked this installment of the “Mission: Impossible” films the best. As far as language and offensive content (aside from violence) the film was surprisingly clean. Event he violence was done tastefully and not in an effort to disgust the audience.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone who loves a good car chase mixed with a few explosions.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
Misty Wagner, age 30
Positive—As far as the quality of this movie, it was obviously the best in the franchise. JJ Abrams did a great job of presenting an array of tense situations, an exciting set up, plenty of deception and intrigue, and just about everything else you would want in an action movie. Tom Cruise may be a nut, but his acting is always top notch, and this film is no different. This is also the most emotionally involved so far in the franchise, and it leads to some excellent scenes. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was exceptionally good as the evil arms dealer who will cross any line and do any dirty deed to get his job done. He plays an excellent villain. Overall, this was a great action movie. Not intellectually stimulating, but it really drew me in, and I’m not a huge action fan. It’s usually too dumbed down with no plot, but this has a plot to drag you in to make the action sequences more intense. …
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Josh, age 19
Positive—I was debating between 3 and 4, but that’s just because I can be kind of picky about the quality of movie I say I like. The truth is, if you like action movies, then this one is pretty well done. Philip Seymour Hoffman pulls off a pretty heartless bad guy, and the twists spice things up a bit. I knew there had to be a sex scene, but I was impressed that they cut it off almost immediately. I guess someone figured out it wasn’t vital to show it!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Stephen, age 26
Positive—High action, intensity and adrenaline all make up the best components of a perfect action movie and Mission Impossible 3 combines them perfectly. MI3 grabs you by the throat with the opening scene and never lets you go until it is done completely shaking the living daylights out of you. I was not a fan of the first two movies. I was bored with the high end techy gadgets and all of the wannabe James Bond tricks and I was always left wanting something more. MI3 not only leaves you completely satisfied but gives you a second helping to make sure that you are stuffed. Stuffed full of nail biting suspense, superb acting and incredible action. MI3 does not rely upon special effects (although there are some great ones here) but some great writing that combines the true human element that all of the other movies lacked. You dive deep into the core of the action hero and begin to feel his life come about with every beat in his heart. All while being completely thrown back into your seat, feeling the sweat on your palms, and you almost forget that you are watching a movie. Am I taking this movie too seriously, well maybe, but a true and perfect action makes you feel the characters and draws you in.

I am not going to tell you a thing about the plot because I do not want to give away any of the secrets that you will be blown away by or pleasantly surprised by, but I will tell you one thing. Its great. Tom Cruise does a great job in the lead role as the retired MI leader and we have some new faces to go along. All of which are at their stellar best. The new director, JJ Abrams who also helps write this movie is best know for his directing and creating of the two hit television series, Lost and Alias. Both of which are outstanding on their own. JJ Abrams takes the MI series to a new level, by creating a gritty and violent movie with all of the character development we long for in the movies today.

Please know that this movie is not only intense but is so intense that half the theater was literally on the edge of their seat and freaking out the whole time. Rarely do you see so many people in the audience whipping off their palms or sitting glued to the screen as you do in this movie. I was actually a bit stunned that this movie was PG-13. An R rating might have been better fit. This movie does not have any sex at all, there is hardly any foul language and there is not a lot of blood. But the violence is so realistic and so intense that one might think that it pushes the limits. I would say based upon your child’s maturity level, this movie may or may not be appropriate for them.

However, again, there is nothing foul or wrong with this movie at all, and it is completely clean. It is a fantastic date movie or adult movie. In fact, I do not think I have seen a true action movie that does not have a ton of filthy language until now, not to mention PG-13 rating. I hope that this movie can help change tempo of action movies and show what can be done with great writing and not a lot of foul language. Hardcore Action without the Hardcore Filth. Among some of my favorite Action Movies are Die Hard and Face Off and this is right up there with them.

Parental Warning: There is NO sex or nudity, very LITTLE bad language, and not too much blood but there is a TON of hardcore violence and very disturbing images. This movie is fine for some 13 year olds but please make sure that they are mature enough to handle incredible amounts of intensity. This movie is NOT for everyone.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—John Kehrli, age 32
Positive—I really liked the scene where one of the agents is mumbling with her eyes closed as they wait for Cruise’s character to complete a mission. When the agent next to her asks what she is doing, she explains she is praying for his safe return. The agent, rather than scoffing at her, asks if she would teach him to pray also. A nice surprise in today’s day and age.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Jennifer, age 29
Positive—Excellent movie!!!… Tom Cruise did a very good job. The language was a disappointment, and the scene following the wedding was so unnecessary!!!… Other than those two things, it was a really awesome movie. The acting was well done, the suspense kept me guessing what would happen next and also kept me on the edge of my seat. It had quite a bit of violence, however, it wasn’t extremely gory. I would totally pay to see this movie again.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Lauren, age 18
Positive—I thought this movie was one of the best action movies I’ve seen in years. First of all, it focused on a MARRIED action hero!! Not a hero sleeping with whoever wears the least (like a Bond movie). I also liked the fact that the “rabbits foot” weapon was most likely an end times weapon which acted as an “anti God” device. Most of all, I liked the heart. Hunts whole drive is to save those he loves, whether his friends or latter, his wife. You’ll have to look hard to find a spy movie that shows a hero dedicated to his wife, bent on not racking up a body count, and still is super cool.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Topher, age 19
Positive—When I heard they were making another “Mission Impossible,” I groaned. I liked the first one, but I hated the second one. But when I heard J.J. Abrams was directing (“Lost,” “Alias,” “Felicity”), I raised my eyebrow. I was kinda intrigued. Then I saw it. This movie is a non-stop actioner. The plot is explained through dialogue in very short breaks in the action. I have to say that this is the best “Mission Impossible” yet. It’s amazing. If Tom Cruise hasn’t been your thing lately, I know what you mean. But don’t let his personal life prevent you from seeing an amazing movie. Ethan Hunt has never been so good.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Nathan R. Carlsen, age 25
Positive—This was the best work Tom Cruise has done in years. It was loaded with special effects, which I absolutely loved. As for the reviewer’s comment that there wasn’t enough story to make someone care about the characters, I strongly disagree. For example, when Ethan’s wife is about to be killed if He doesn’t give Owen the Rabbit’s foot, you can’t help but sense his dilemma. Also, the action scenes were nothing short of incredible. Now, in response to the moral content of this film, compared to most PG-13 movies I’ve seen, this was clean. Even though there was a brief love scene between Ethan and his new bride, no nudity or explicit sexual movement is shown. The language was no worse than what you would have heard in a PG rated movie. They didn’t even use the “F” word, which seems to have become common in PG-13 movies. I really appreciated this. Altogether, this is an excellent film.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Jared Barton, age 26
Negative—I thought this movie was very well done, with an interesting plot and nice special effects. I did not find the violence terribly gruesome. The only sexual scene was extremely brief, and it occurred within the context of marriage (for a refreshing change!).

Although bad language was scarce, 2 of the instances were offensive/taking the Lord’s name in vain (g*d*). (The few other words were of a minor nature.) This is why I chose a Negative rating. Any movie that slurs my God is not going to get a Positive rating from me, no matter how great it was otherwise. (After wrestling with the notion of whether I should watch any Tom Cruise movie since he’s such an influence on today’s youth, and I don’t want to lend financial support to his cause, I ONLY decided to watch M:I3 since I was able to view it for free.)
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Julie Smith, age 37
Negative—This movie was extremely boring at the beginning, and then they made it even worse by putting action in every scene after that. The camera shook so much my eyes started burning up. Don’t waste your time and money. Actors were great… Mission Impossible excellent, Impossible 2 stupid, Impossible 3 worse.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Jeff, age 24
Comments from young people
Positive—I will start by saying that I have always been a “M:I” fan. I grew up watching the series with my father. I was a little skeptical about the movie because of the second M:I, which was also good, as was the first, that contained many sexual scenes that played a prominent part in the movie. This was the best yet. It has something for everyone—Some romance and a lot of action.

My only objections are the language (there are many G** D****’s and some s***’s), and one scene where two people are shown in bed together and when the same people begin to do their thing but it cuts away before it gets too heated. So, in my opinion this movie was amazing and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Shannon T, age 16
Positive—I loved this movie—saw it with my dad, the movie making quality was excellent, but there is a lot of violence and a bit of language like using the Lord’s name in vain, but still awesome. But please don’t take little kids to see it. Tom Cruise and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were awesome. Great movie!
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Brendan, age 14
Positive—I thought this movie was great! It was very suspenseful and well acted. It did say a couple of cuss words though. It was extremely violent and if you do not like a lot of violence I would not suggest that you see this movie, it could be very frightening for young children. This is one of the movies I have seen this year.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Ashley, age 14
Positive—MI:3 is by far one of Tom Cruise’s best movies. He did a good job as a loving husband that would do anything to save his girl. I was surprised by the little amount of language there was (2 GD’s, 1 **s, a few D*mns and hells) and the sexual content was minimal. All that is shown is Cruise and his bride kissing in a storage room, and waking up in bed together (I had no problem with it, since hey were married). Overall, a good movie.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Colonel Link, age 13
Positive—GREAT summer movie! Better than “The Da Vinci Code” or X-Men 3. Check it out if you want to have fun at the movies. M:I-3 was better than both M:I and M:I-2 put together! Great action, interesting plot, and cool acting, especially by Philip Seymor Hoffman!…
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Caleb, age 16
Positive—I found this movie to be better than I expected. It had an okay moral rating, and there was very little language. There were some sexual themes though, but not much. I very much enjoyed this movie, and it had excellent movie making qualities. I recommend it to anyone above twelve years old.

My Ratings: Average / 4
—Andrew, age 14
Positive—I enjoyed this movie. It was a great action film, and the movie had a good story. Tom Cruise and Philip Seymor Hoffman did a good job acting. I would recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—William, age 14
Positive—This movie had cool, agent fighting scenes! There were a couple swear words and pretty intense scenes. I thought it was good—expect the brain bomb thing. I think that teens and adults should go see this.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Jerah Ward, age 14
Positive—Really, I don’t think there’s much more to be said thnt what John Kehrli has already said in his comment. This movie is probably my favorite out of the entire series (first one engaged you intellectually, and had some Bourne-esque moments; second one was much more mindless, though still entertaining, like a popcorn movie). The suspense was incredible; I almost had to stop watching the opening scene (a quick look late in the movie before flashing back to the start of the plot). Tom Cruise is great here (about as good as he was in “War of the Worlds,” which was a good film despite its bad ending), as well as the villain, Philip Seymour Hoffman. There is a lot of character development and trivial backstory bits, like how masks are made (which Mission fans are sure to appreciate). The plot was engaging, and more people are sure to appreciate it, given that it’s much less complicated then the first Mission’s.

Overall, I didn’t think this movie was too bad, appropriateness-wise. I don’t remember that much profanity at all, and what I do remember could probably pass in a PG movie. There is little blood, and the closest thing to a sex scene was Ethan Hunt and Michelle Monaygan’s character kissing fairly sensually, but I didn’t mind this too much—in fact, I liked it in a way—because the characters were a married couple (a nice break from typical movies, especially those in the action genre). I wouldn’t recommend this for little kids, because, like what has been said several times so far, it’s extremely intense.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Chris Sharp, age 16
Negative—This movie was so boring I fell asleep in the theater and my brother woke me up!! Then they botched it by putting action in every scene after that. My eyes started to burn up because of the cameraman’s coffee issues. Don’t waste your time, go to “Rocky Balboa”—much, much, much better than “Impossible 3.” This movie is the worst of all the movies.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Brandon, age 14
Positive—I absolutly loved this movie!! The action in it was perfect; there were a few swear words, but, as good as the story line is, it’s worth hearing a few swear words. There was one scene with a man and a women, but it was so brief, by the time it was over you didn’t even know what had happened, overall it was a really good movie, and I would recommend it to viewers 9 and up depending on there maturity.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 4½
—Julia, age 13