Mark's graduation present from his parents wasn't your standard gift fare for the occasion. My fabulous in-laws got Mark a generous gift certificate to the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner and then offered to watch Drew so we could partake of said gift and also go see a movie. A night out as a married couple instead of parents: best grad gift ever! :)
The food was delish, and the restaurant comped a fab dessert as we were celebrating Mark's graduation. We were hoping to catch a showing of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, but, alas, there was nothing at a reasonable time. So we were "forced" to see Mission: Impossible 3.
I'm still a little shocked, but I actually really like M:I 3. There were a few "ewwww, Tom Cruise" moments at the beginning because his gal in the movie bears a rather close resemblance to Katie Holmes, but that was about it. I think the movie was saved from the Cruise factor because of fabulous writing, great co-stars, and a cool focus on the character and workings of the IMF as a whole. M:I 1 had some of the first two ingredients, and M:I 2 had none of the above (and instead forced handful after handful of bad bad bad bad science on the viewer, and did so while making Ethan Hunt some sort of bad-ass that turned my stomach; even hottie Dougray Scott couldn't save that piece of crap).
The movie starts out with the device of showing a snippet toward the end of the movie and then flashing back to the beginning of the trouble and running in normal time through to the end. I was a bit leery of this tactic as it is so hard to do right.
Damn, they did it right. They did it so right that, even when I knew the characters had to fail in some task in order to get us back to the opening scene, I still sat on the edge of my seat, mentally cheering for success. And the opening scene was so gripping that I was glued to the opening credits, wondering how the hell Ethan Hunt had gotten himself into that mess and how the hell he would get himself out of it.
Did I mention the writing? It was smart, efficient, and still kept me hooked despite my writer mind being able to see the various connections that set up certain plot points. I like a movie that I can appreciate as a writer and enjoy as a viewer at the same time. There's also a fabulous spin on the damsel-in-distress cliché that more than made up for Hunt's "I Am God" role in M:I 2.
By the way, this movie also rocked because it introduced me to the face of Rayn (I've been waiting so long to figure out what this character looks like; none of my previous ideas worked).
The ending was kinda hammy and left a gaping opening for more movies (not in the "badguy-got-away" sense), but it was OK as it focused on Hunt/IMF interactions, something that I thought really made this movie great and reminded me of the 90s remake of the TV show.
But then the credits rolled, and the worst hiphop song I have ever heard starts up. The beat and lyrics were so out of place for the movie. I mean, I felt I needed a Hawaiian shirt and a drink with a paper umbrella to listen to that song. And then I caught the line "getting sick in the hospital" and absolutely lost it. I goofed on this song--apparently one that Tom Cruise asked Kanye West to do--the entire way home.
Unfortunate soundtrack and Katie Holmes-ish look-a-like aside, this was a very good movie and one that I recommend. Definitely rent it, if nothing else.