Mission: Impossible 3

Bomb Rating: 

If you're unfamiliar with director J.J. Abrams, you've probably been living under a rock or in your momma's closet for the last few years. Abrams is the creator of "Lost", "Alias", and "Felicity".

When television people move to film they insist on repeating their successes exactly. What have Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and the rest of the "Friends" done in movies? They've done exactly the same thing they did on television, but with very limited success. You think it would be a lesson, not a blueprint. In "Mission: Impossible 3", J.J. Abrams does exactly the same thing he did on "Alias" with Tom Cruise playing the Jennifer Garner role sans skimpy outfits.

There are two things going on at the beginning of this film that are typical of tired movies in this genre. The first is that Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is in love and contemplating marriage. It's immediately obvious that his new love, Julia (Michelle Monaghan), will become a piece of bait for Hunt's nemesis and we're going to have to suffer through at least one interminable scene of Hunt lying about some trip he has to take for whatever hokey fake career he's cooked up. Has anybody actually tried to fly this kind of lie by an actual woman before? Women can sniff out these sorts of half-truths like vultures sniffing out roadkill. Hunt's impossible mission would be just getting out of the house.

The second thing that's sad is what gets Hunt "back into the game", another cliché. One of his protégés is missing. Lindsey (Keri Russell) went to spy on bad guy Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and disappeared. Keri Russell played Felicity of course, so seeing her play Sidney Bristow on "Mission: Impossible 3" as directed by J.J. Abrams is a shock to the system - like seeing James Gandolfini playing Gandhi in the David Chase remake.

Watching Felicity shoot things isn't the only Abramsism either. As Hunt, Luther (Ving Rhames), and newcomers Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen (Maggie Q) trot around the world looking for Davian accompanied by geographical subtitles not unlike "Alias". IMF Headquarters has a computer nerd, Benji (Simon Pegg), who's the British version of Marshall from "Alias", off-topic jibberish and all.

If this wasn't all bad enough, Abrams retains one of the things from the previous movies I find incredibly stupid, which is the use of masks. It's one thing to have a disguise. It's quite another to pretend that Philip Seymour Hoffman is really Tom Cruise with an incredibly lifelike mask. I'd love to propose a cute analogy here, but I just think it's incredibly stupid and "incredibly stupid" covers it better than any analogy.

Stay home, eat the placenta, avoid "Mission: Impossible 3". You'll be better for it.

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