Mission: Impossible III
|Mission: Impossible III|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||J. J. Abrams|
|Produced by||Tom Cruise |
|Written by||Alex Kurtzman |
J. J. Abrams
|Based on||Mission Impossible by |
|Starring||Tom Cruise |
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
|Music by||Michael Giacchino |
|Editing by||Maryann Brandon |
Mary Jo Markey
MI 3 Film
China Film Co-Production Corporation
The Fourth Production Company Film Group
China Film Group Corporation
Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)|| |
|Running time||125 minutes|
|Box office||$397,850,012 (worldwide)|
Mission: Impossible III (marketed as M:i:III and in the new blu-ray release as M:I-3 or Mission: Impossible 3) is a 2006 American action spy film directed by J. J. Abrams, his first film as a director, starring Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who also served as a producer. It was first released on April 26, 2006 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and widely released in the United States on May 5, 2006. The film was a box office success, and it received mostly positive critical reviews.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired as a team leader of the IMF and instead taken to training new recruits while settling down with his fiancée Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), a nurse at a local hospital who is unaware of Ethan's past. At a party, Ethan is approached by his fellow IMF agent John Musgrave (Billy Crudup), who secretly relays a mission to him: to rescue one of Ethan's protégés, Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), who was captured while on a mission to investigate the infamous black market dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan, consisting of Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), and his old partner Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), ready to meet him in Berlin, Germany.
The IMF team raids the warehouse where Lindsey is kept, release her and collect two computer laptops during their escape. As they flee on a helicopter, Ethan discovers a micro-explosive implanted in her head, evident from her excruciating headache. Before Ethan can use a defibrillator to disable the device, it goes off, killing Lindsey. Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF director Theodore Brassel (Laurence Fishburne) for the loss of an agent, and the poor condition of the stolen laptops. Ethan learns that Lindsey had mailed him a postcard before her capture. Showing it to Luther in private, they discover a magnetic microdot under the stamp, which Luther takes to his contacts to decode.
IMF technician Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) is able to recover enough from the damaged laptops to find that Davian is going to Vatican City to receive a mysterious object called the "Rabbit's Foot". Ethan plans the mission to capture Davian and the device without seeking Brassel's or Musgrave's approval. Before leaving, he expresses his love to Julia, and they have an impromptu marriage at the hospital's chapel. At Vatican City, the team successfully infiltrates the secured facility, and Ethan disguises himself as Davian after his capture. The team uses an explosive-rigged car to cover their escape and make Davian's bodyguards believe he is dead.
On the flight back to the United States, Ethan interrogates Davian, who refused to divulge what the Rabbit's Foot is, instead threatening to kill Ethan and his beloved significant other. Ethan threatens to drop Davian out of the plane (the moment he mentions killing Lindsey was just "for fun") if he does not cooperate (during which Davian overhears Luther calling Ethan by his first name). After landing, the team travels with a convoy escorting Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. En route, Luther receives the decoded message from the microdot, a video of Lindsey to Ethan warning him that Davian has received calls from Brassel's office and believes him to be a mole. The escort is suddenly attacked by Davian's heavily armed drone, and in the chaos, Davian is freed. Subsequently, Ethan worries for Julia's safety and races to the hospital, arriving too late to find she has been taken by one of Davian's agents. As Davian calls Ethan, giving him only 48 hours to recover the Rabbit's Foot for Julia's life, Ethan is captured by IMF for his rogue actions.
Ethan is secured to a gurney and interrogated about his unauthorized mission. Musgrave takes part, but having discovered that Julia was abducted by Davian, discreetly mouths further instructions for Ethan to lip-read to travel to Shanghai, China where the Rabbit's Foot is located, and provides him with the means to escape IMF. Ethan makes his way to the instructed location, finding his team waiting for him, and they plan a raid of the building where the Rabbit's Foot is secured. Through a desperate car chase, Ethan is able to contact Davian just under the deadline that they have the Rabbit's Foot. Ethan goes to deliver the Rabbit's Foot alone, and is forced to drink a tranquilizing serum. While he is sedated and restrained, Davian's men implant a micro-explosive device in his head. Ethan recovers to find Davian gloating over him while holding Julia at gunpoint. Despite Ethan asserting that the device is the real Rabbit's Foot, Davian kills Julia and then leaves the devastated Ethan behind.
Minutes later, Musgrave arrives, and explains to Ethan this was all a setup, revealing that Julia was Davian's incompetent translator (Bahar Soomekh) in a mask— the execution having been faked to confirm the authenticity of the Rabbit's Foot — and that Julia is nearby, alive. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole (instead of Brassel), arranging for Davian to acquire the Rabbit's Foot to sell to terrorist groups, after which IMF would have reasonable cause to launch a preemptive strike, making Musgrave a hero and Davian richer. Ethan escapes and steals Musgrave's phone, using it to contact Benji to track down a number Musgrave recently called, the likely location where Julia is being held. Inside, Ethan finds Davian and his men waiting, and is able to kill them all, including Davian by throwing him in front of an oncoming truck, but not before he triggers the micro-explosive. Freeing Julia, he instructs her to electrocute him, "killing" him temporarily but deactivating the explosive and allowing her to revive him. He also instructs her in how to use a gun for her protection. Julia follows Ethan's instructions and, while he recovers, is forced to shoot and kill Musgrave when he arrives. Julia successfully gives CPR to Ethan, reviving him, and they leave together as he explains his true IMF career to her.
Back home, Brassel congratulates Ethan and suggests that there is another mission that Ethan has been requested for by the CIA, but Ethan insists on going on his honeymoon with Julia and is unsure if he will return to the IMF. Brassel promises that he'll tell Ethan what the Rabbit's Foot is if Ethan will promise to return. Ethan smiles and walks off with Julia.
- Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian, the most infamous black market dealer
- Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, member of Ethan's team
- Billy Crudup as John Musgrave, IMF Operations Director
- Michelle Monaghan as Julia "Jules" Meade, Ethan's fiancée/wife
- Keri Russell as Lindsey Farris, IMF agent trained by Ethan
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan Gormley, member of Ethan's team
- Maggie Q as Zhen Lei, member of Ethan's team
- Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, IMF Technician
- Eddie Marsan as Brownway, Davian's henchman
- Laurence Fishburne as Theodore Brassel, head of the IMF
- Jeff Chase as Davian's Bodyguard
- Erin Cahill as Elisa, Davian's henchwoman
- Bahar Soomekh as Davian's Translator
- George Cheung as Shanghai Game Player (uncredited)
- Ty Williams as Thug (uncredited)
- Sasha Alexander as Melissa Meade
- Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) was slated to direct M-I: III but dropped out in favor of another film. Fincher was then replaced by Narc director Joe Carnahan, but he quit in a dispute over the film's tone.
- Filming began in Rome, Italy in July 2005 and ended in October. Location filming took place in China (Shanghai and Xitang), Germany (Berlin), Italy (Rome and Caserta), the United States (California and Virginia), and Vatican City.
- To promote the film, Paramount rigged 4,500 randomly selected Los Angeles Times vending boxes with digital audio players which would play the theme song when the door was opened. The audio players did not always stay concealed, and in many cases came loose and fell on top of the stack of newspapers in plain view, with the result that they were widely mistaken for bombs. Police bomb squads detonated a number of the vending boxes and even temporarily shut down a veterans' hospital in response to the apparent "threat". Despite these problems, Paramount and The LA Times opted to leave the audio players in the boxes until two days after the movie's opening.
- The night scenes involving the skyscrapers were filmed in Shanghai, while some of the Shanghai filming was also done in Los Angeles.
- Tom Cruise called J. J. Abrams offering a job as a director for the film after having binge-watched the first two seasons of Alias.
"Trapped in the Closet" controversy
A blog entry of Hollywoodinterrupted.com in March 2006 alleged that Viacom (parent of Paramount and Comedy Central) canceled the rebroadcast of the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet" due to threats by Cruise to refuse to participate in the Mission: Impossible III publicity circle. These assertions were soon also reported by E! News and American Morning. Fox News attributed threats from Tom Cruise, stating, "to back out of his Mission: Impossible III promotional duties if Viacom didn’t pull a repeat of the episode," as evidence of "bad blood" between Cruise and Viacom. The Washington Post reported that South Park fans "struck back", in March 2006, and threatened to boycott Mission: Impossible III until Comedy Central put "Trapped in the Closet" back on its schedule. Melissa McNamara of CBS News later questioned whether this boycott hurt the Mission: Impossible III box office debut. Even political blogger Andrew Sullivan encouraged a boycott of the movie, based on claims that Cruise allegedly forced Comedy Central to censor a South Park episode about Scientologists. "Make sure you don't go see Paramount's Mission: Impossible III, Cruise's upcoming movie," Sullivan wrote. "I know you weren't going to see it anyway. But now any money you spend on this movie is a blow against freedom of speech. Boycott it. Tell your friends to boycott it."
When asked in ABC's Primetime about his involvement with stopping the episode rebroadcast on Comedy Central, Cruise stated "First of all, could you ever imagine sitting down with anyone? I would never sit down with someone and question them on their beliefs. Here's the thing: I'm really not even going to dignify this. I honestly didn't really even know about it. I'm working, making my movie, I've got my family. I'm busy. I don't spend my days going, 'What are people saying about me?'" A representative of Cruise had also denied any involvement of Cruise with the issue, specifically responding to allegations of Cruise's reputed corporate power play.
Opening in 4,054 theaters all across the United States (the 4th largest opening ever), the film easily topped the box-office in its opening weekend. It made $16.6 million on its opening day. It made $47.7 million in its opening weekend, a solid opening yet well below industry expectations and almost $10 million lower than the franchise's previous installment. On its second weekend, the sequel remained number 1 with $25 million (ahead of Poseidon's $22.2 million). The movie remained in the Top 10 at the box office for the first 6 weeks of its release. Mission: Impossible III ended its domestic run with $134 million. It was the second movie in 2006 to pass the $100,000,000 mark in the box office. (The first was Ice Age: The Meltdown). The $134 million domestic run was significantly lower than that of Mission Impossible II and below most analysts' expectations[who?].
Outside of the USA, the sequel grossed $70 million for the first five days (in some Asian countries, Mission: Impossible III opened two days ahead of its North American release date) and was easily the box-office champion in many countries. As of February 11, 2007, M:I-III's international box office gross has reached $263.8 million, for a combined worldwide gross of $397.9 million, the lowest so far of the series.
In the Netherlands, the film debuted in the week of May 4–10 at #1, grossing a total of € 532,384 in that week. The following week, the film remained on the top position. In its third week, the film dropped to #2 and the following week, fell to #4. Next it maintained the #4 position to drop to #6 (in the week of June 6 - June 14). In total, the film has grossed over € 2,141,162.
Mission: Impossible III received mostly positive reviews from critics. The film holds a 70% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 219 reviews, the second best rating of the four films, although the rating from selected top critics is 62% based on 42 reviews, in between the other two. It holds a similar rating on Metacritic, with a score of 66% based on a normalized average of 38 reviews.
On the television show Ebert & Roeper, Richard Roeper gave Mission: Impossible III a "thumbs up", while Roger Ebert gave it a marginal "thumbs down". In Ebert's print review, he gave the film a score of two and a half stars (out of four), saying: "Either you want to see mindless action and computer-generated sequences executed with breakneck speed and technical precision, or you do not. I am getting to the point where I don't much care." He felt "surprised that the plot hangs together more than in the other two films."
Keith Phipps of The Onion's A.V. Club said the film is "business as usual, but it's the best kind of business as usual, and it finds everyone working in top form." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly called Mission: Impossible III "a gratifyingly clever, booby-trapped thriller that has enough fun and imagination and dash to more than justify its existence." Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle said that "it's all poppycock, of course, but it's done with such vim and vigor and both narrative and visual flair that you care not a jot." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film a score of two and a half stars (out of four), saying that it "provides lots of action, but too little excitement."
Ian Nathan of Empire said that Mission: Impossible III has "an inspired middle-hour pumped by some solid action" but added that "we now live in a post-Bourne, recalibrated-Bond universe, where Ethan Hunt looks a bit lost." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times said that "Hoffman enlivens Mission: Impossible III" but criticized the film's "maudlin romance" and "Abrams's inability to adapt his small-screen talent to a larger canvas." Rob Nelson of the Dallas Observer said that "Abrams's movie is too oppressive, too enamored of its brutality to deliver anything like real thrills; its deeply unpleasant tone nearly makes you long even for [Mission: Impossible II director John] Woo's cartoon absurdities."
Claudia Puig of USA Today said that "Mission: Impossible III delivers" despite "a sense that the franchise is played out and its star over-exposed." Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide described the film as "breezy, undemanding, and a carefully balanced blend of the familiar and the not-quite-what-you-expected." Lawrence Toppman of the Charlotte Observer said that Mission: Impossible III is "plenty of fun" despite being "overwrought and overplotted."
Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat said that "you may be mildly entertained, but damned if you’ll remember any of it five minutes later." Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com said that "Cruise is the single bright, blinking emblem of the failure of Mission: Impossible III." William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer remarked that "the latest [Mission: Impossible film] is just this side of insultingly stupid." Shawn Levy of the Portland Oregonian said that Mission: Impossible III "feels like one of the more forgettable James Bond films—saddled, moreover, with a star who's sliding into self-parody."
- Snyder, Gabriel (March 12, 2006). "Summer survey". Variety. class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- Mission: Impossible III, Metacritic
- "Scarlett Aborts "Mission"". E! (Comcast). May 9, 2005. class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Scarlett+Aborts+%22Mission%22&rft.jtitle=E%21&rft.date=May+9%2C+2005&rft.pub=%5B%5BComcast%5D%5D&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eonline.com%2FNews%2FItems%2F0%2C1%2C16512%2C00.html&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III"> [dead link]
- "Mission Illogical: Movie Promotion Puts Lives 'at Risk'". May 5, 2006. class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Abook&rft.genre=bookitem&rft.btitle=Mission+Illogical%3A+Movie+Promotion+Puts+Lives+%27at+Risk%27&rft.atitle=&rft.date=May+5%2C+2006&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.readjunk.com%2Fnews%2Fmovie%2Fmission-illogical-movie-promotion-puts-lives-at-risk%2F&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III">
- Seen in the behind-the-scenes section, included in the Mission Impossible III Limited DVD.
- Seen in the behind-the-scenes section, included in the Mission Impossible III DVD.
- Ebner, Mark (March 16, 2006). "Scientologist Tom Cruise Blackmails Viacom into Pulling the "Trapped in the Closet" Episode of South Park". Hollywood, Interrupted site. (Rudius Media). class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Scientologist+Tom+Cruise+Blackmails+Viacom+into+Pulling+the+%22Trapped+in+the+Closet%22+Episode+of+South+Park&rft.jtitle=Hollywood%2C+Interrupted+site.&rft.aulast=Ebner&rft.aufirst=Mark&rft.au=Ebner%2C%26%2332%3BMark&rft.date=March+16%2C+2006&rft.pub=Rudius+Media&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hollywoodinterrupted.com%2Farchives%2Fscientologist_tom_cruise_blackmails_viacom.phtml&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III">
- Ryan, Joel (13 March 2006). ""The Closet," the Controversy--and Cruise". E! Online (Comcast). class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-06-16. [dead link]
- O'Brien, Soledad; John Roberts (March 21, 2006). "Storms Blanket Midwest; Insurgents Launch Full-Scale Attack on Iraqi Police". American Morning (CNN). class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- Friedman, Roger (August 23, 2006). "Cruise Ambushed by 'Broke' Studio?". Fox News Channel (News Corporation). class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Cruise+Ambushed+by+%27Broke%27+Studio%3F&rft.jtitle=%5B%5BFox+News+Channel%5D%5D&rft.aulast=Friedman&rft.aufirst=Roger&rft.au=Friedman%2C%26%2332%3BRoger&rft.date=August+23%2C+2006&rft.pub=%5B%5BNews+Corporation%5D%5D&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fstory%2F0%2C2933%2C209943%2C00.html&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III">
- de Moraes, Lisa (March 23, 2006). "'South Park' Responds: Chef's Goose Is Cooked". The Washington Post: pp. Page C07. class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=%27South+Park%27+Responds%3A+Chef%27s+Goose+Is+Cooked&rft.jtitle=%5B%5BThe+Washington+Post%5D%5D&rft.aulast=de+Moraes&rft.aufirst=Lisa&rft.au=de+Moraes%2C%26%2332%3BLisa&rft.date=March+23%2C+2006&rft.pages=pp.%26nbsp%3BPage+C07&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Farticle%2F2006%2F03%2F22%2FAR2006032202256.html&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III">
- McNamara, Melissa (May 10, 2006). "Did Bloggers Doom 'M:i:III'?". CBS News (CBS Interactive Inc.). class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- [dead link]
- "Cruise: 'No Oprah Regrets'". hollywood.com. 2006-04-16. class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- Nathan, Sara (2006-03-17). "Cruise axe for South Park". London: thesun.co.uk. class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2006-11-04.
- Mission: Impossible III at Box Office Mojo Amazon.com Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
- "Business Data for Mission: Impossible III". imdb. class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
- "Mission: Impossible III". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
- "Ebert & Roeper, Reviews for the Weekend of May 6–7, 2006". class="reference-accessdate">. Retrieved 2007-02-04.
- Roger Ebert. "Mission: Impossible III review"]. Chicago Sun-Times. class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Mission%3A+Impossible+III+review%5D&rft.jtitle=%5B%5BChicago+Sun-Times%5D%5D&rft.aulast=%5B%5BRoger+Ebert%5D%5D&rft.au=%5B%5BRoger+Ebert%5D%5D&rft_id=http%3A%2F%2Frogerebert.suntimes.com%2Fapps%2Fpbcs.dll%2Farticle%3FAID%3D%2F20060504%2FREVIEWS%2F60419008&rfr_id=info:sid/en.wikipedia.org:Mission:_Impossible_III">
- Mission: Impossible III review, Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club, May 3rd, 2006
- Mission: Impossible III review, Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
- Mission: Impossible III review, Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
- Mission: Impossible III review, James Berardinelli, ReelViews
- Mission: Impossible III review, Ian Nathan, Empire
- Mission: Impossible III review, Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
- Mission: Impossible III review, Rob Nelson, Dallas Observer
- Mission: Impossible III review, Claudia Puig, USA Today
- Mission: Impossible III review, Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide
- Mission: Impossible III review, Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
- Mission: Impossible III review, Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat
- Mission: Impossible III review, Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
- Mission: Impossible III review, William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- Mission: Impossible III review, Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
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