Mission: Impossible 3 J.J. Abrams

It’s too bad that Tom Cruise’s antics kept moviegoers from seeing this perfectly decent bit of action fluff — not a tragedy, perhaps, but it certainly cheated a few people out of a good time. Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, called back into the field to deal with the problem of illicit arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffmann), who after much running, jumping and exploding turns out to be better connected within the Impossible Mission Force than Hunt initially thought. Will the mole in the office be found? Will his ladylove Julia (Michelle Monaghan) be imperilled? If there’s nothing especially distinguished about the plot and its machinations there’s a certain amount of style to its execution: Alias’s J.J. Abrams provides a good dollop of flash without inflating the proceedings to world historical importance. This is that rare Hollywood movie that is well aware of its limited significance and doesn’t pull an 11th-hour appeal to syrupy morals as a pretence to something higher; it’s also a great deal less heavy-handed than the other entries in the series. A nicely handled air assault on a bridge seals the deal — M:I:III quickens the pulse without the fat of regular schlock. Extras on the two-disc special edition include a self-impressed commentary by Cruise and Abrams, a decent enough "making of” doc, deleted scenes, a ridiculous Cruise montage from the BAFTA awards, a slightly slicker montage from the MTV awards, more secondary "making of” docs than previously thought possible, an episode of Moviefone: Unscripted with Cruise and Abrams, and a photo gallery.