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Rewatch Review – Mission: Impossible III (2006)

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I’m not sure what it is but Mission: Impossible III seems to be shot on lower quality film stock to the others. The opening scenes seem to be shot on a home video recorder. In fact, I’ve seen better quality films made with iPhones! I did read somewhere that it was Paramount’s first foray into digital exhibition so they may have been trying to get the settings sorted out. But, to my rheumy eye, the images up on the screen where more reminiscent of stuff I’d seen on my mum’s old cathode ray tube telly. Whether this is why Mission: Impossible III is the least profitable of the entire franchise is hard to say but, well, you never know.

Personally speaking, I’m not surprised it came bottom of the income table. Even though Mission: Impossible II actually came bottom of the popularity polls, Mission: Impossible III is my least favourite. It’s not as though it is a really bad film or anything. Ultimately though, if you have six films and don’t want them all in first place, you have to make choices. There does seem to be a distinct split between the first three (numbered) projects and the later (sub-titled)outings. Ignoring the image quality, what are the other pros and cons of Mission: Impossible III? 

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Throw The Switch On And Off

The action is, pretty much, relentless. Now I know that this is a Mission: Impossible film and not My Dinner With Andre but it is nice to catch your breath now and again! The early helicopter chase through a field of wind turbines is particularly frenetic. Incidentally, there is a repeated use of an explosive “thingie” stuck up people’s noses. Apparently, the original intention was for a quite graphic ending for the victim but it was changed for something less obvious; something to do with getting a different certificate. To my mind, the effect that you see is much more chilling than a blood splatter scene.

There are the usual Mission: Impossible hallmarks. Convoluted plans, hyperrealistic masks, and voice changing thingies are all in evidence. Throw in huge jumps, long drops on a cable, high speed chases, huge explosions, and Tom Cruise running around like his hair was on fire. You’d think we’d be bored of the franchise by now but I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the next outing. My only worry about the new one is that it is split over two parts and I’ll be forced to wait for twelve months to see the end of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning.

Don’t Forget The Off

As is often the case, the cast who end up on the screen are not the ones who were originally envisioned in the roles. Mission: Impossible III sees the introduction of Benji Dunn who is now irrevocably linked with Simon Pegg. However, the first choice for the part was Ricky Gervais. Scheduling overruns meant he had to drop out to go and work on For Your Consideration. To try and add a hint of continuity, it was first suggested that Thandiwe Newton returned as Nyah Hall. When that fell through a new character was developed for Carrie-Anne Moss, Leah Quint, but she was also rewritten.

Interestingly was the case of the big bad guy finally played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. At various points in the history of the development Kenneth Branagh and Sylvester Stallone were under consideration. That would have been different in so many various ways! Perhaps the most chopped and changed role was Lindsay Farris, eventually Keri Russell. At different times this was offered to Scarlett Johansson, Katie Holmes, Lindsay Lohan, Elisha Cuthbert, and Jessica Alba. Still, if this is the worst of the lot, the rest must be pretty good!

Movie Grade: B+

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