May 10, 2006 Sunday
Mission Impossible: 3
Back in the day, when the original TV series, Mission Impossible was airing (starring Peter Graves), it was the show of its time. Actually, it was ahead of its time. The series relied heavily on ingenious and meticulous planning and hardly any fire-power at all. The approach has changed but it hasn't lost its edge.
Actors: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Director: J. J. Abrams
Unlike most slash 'em, burn 'em and kick-butt action flicks, this movie offered the latest high tech film making wizardry with cutting-edge editing (pun intended) and this time, squeezing in a deeply human sensitivity that gives added dimension to the story...and to Tom Cruise's role.
High tech filming making doesn't get any better than this. Everything was state-of-the-art. The technology used was borderline science fiction, but it dazzled. Thanks to spit-second editing, pacing was so fast, I had to hang on to my seat. Action scenes were riveting and non-stop. Everything was over the top, but it all worked.
Ethan Hunt had a tight first-rate team that carried him through the day. Acting was competent. However, Lawrence Fishbourne's talent seemed wasted here. Any constipated villain could have done the job too. Either that or he couldn't pull the same mesmerizing persona he played as Marcus in the Matrix.
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Check this out.
The Previous Bonds
Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt, played James Bond-ish. I've always wondered who among the crop of action film actors qualify for the James Bond role. Tom Cruise...hmmm, let's take stock of the ones that came before, and let's see how he stacks up.
Sean Connery - undoubtedly the best Bond ever - man of the world, suave, good looks, good acting, a strong presence, and a sharp edge to him.
Roger Moore - a very feminine James Bond. I still wonder how he got that role, let alone play that role over several movies. He'll make a good English nobleman role...but not James Bond.
Lazenby and Timothy Dalton - these guys look constipated. They should have played supporting roles instead. They proved that good looks alone don't cut it.
Pierce Brosnan - next best thing to Sean. He's got the looks, the edge, and the maturity. However, he's so wiry a mild wind can sweep him off his feet. In this pumpin' iron age, his wiry physique is misplaced arrogance. I'm not looking for Mr. Olympia-beefed but a little toning would immensely cement his franchise on the Bond role.
James Bond Possibilities
Let's look at the possibilities now:
Vin Diesel - the built, the edge and the presence put him up there, but he's not debonaire...too rough on the edge without the polish. He's promising. His film XXX validates that.
Tom Cruise - okay, he's got the looks and he can be charming with his trademark smile. However, I don't find the street-smart edge to him. Neither do I find the worldly-air in his stride. I'm not even taking his 5'8" height against him. I'm sure, with the level of technology and script-writing available today, film producers can bring that out in him - but that's precisely my point. Those attributes should naturally reveal themselves as he plays the role. Overall, James Bond is a much bigger shoe to fill in than Ethan Hunt. By and large, he's still a pretty-boy playing a grown up role.
It was brilliant of the film makers to create an actor-proof movie for Tom Cruise. Let's face it - Tom Cruise's acting is limited, but he's got killer looks. They did what Matrix did for Keanu Reeves - a movie that capitalized on good looks, picture-perfect poses, high tech film making and a good concept...not necessarily good acting (Keanu can't act either). Hey, it works!
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