Mission Alias: III

may 6, 2006

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On Thursday, I picked up a free ticket to see Mission Impossible: III (Yahoo! Perk).  I saw the movie yesterday with a whole crowd of Yahoos at 5:15pm, and thank goodness it was a free ticket! MI:III is not a terrible movie, it is just...a $150 million big screen version of Alias from season one with Tom Cruise substituted in as Sydney Bristow. There's a Marshall-like character and even Greg Grunberg shows up. The director and co-writer of MI:III is J.J. Abrams who is currently Hollywood's dream boy -- he is the creator, producer and director of TV hit shows like Felicity, Alias and Lost. Yes, he has the Midas touch when it comes to TV shows. His first foray onto the big screen is mediocre at best. Is it worth watching? For people who haven't seen or followed Alias, yea, it is a bit worth it -- though borderlining "just wait for a DVD rental". For those of us who have seen Alias -- I was a big fan of the show for the first two seasons, then it just got to convoluted for me -- this was a definite "just wait for a DVD rental". The biggest injustice of the film is how under-utilized Philip Seymour Hoffman. His role is so juicy and evil with so much potential, his acting is so intense, yet...it was completely under-written and he did not get enough screen time.  I was sad to see his shoe drop (you'll understand this later). The whole flash-forward at the start of the movie, then flash-back to the beginning thing is getting really old. Abrams uses it a lot on his shows and he uses it here in MI:III. I am tired of it. If you're a good writer, you can go about writing a picture without that cheap device. The Tom Cruise lives a normal life...err...strike that, Ethan Hunt lives a normal life thing rung too close to the Sydney Bristow lives a normal life theme of the first season of Alias. The "I'm a super-agent, but can't tell the people I love" thing is ripped out from the first season of Alias. Getting the picture? MI:III is nothing more than Alias for the big screen. The movie doesn't have as much action as the second. It is not as convoluted as the first. It is not as pretentious as the second (no flying doves). It is more grounded in reality than the second. It has more shakey-camera-technique than the first two put together. Is it worth recommending?  Not unless you're going to rent.