I guess with a baby on the way Tom Cruise needed some money, and he decided to make another Mission Impossible film. M:I:3 is the third part of this high grossing franchise. This time it gets directed by the man who did ABC's now defunct Alias show. (As an aside, I was a big fan of that show which dropped a notch every season until the very end.) While they wanted to give us the feel of "trust no one, they're about to double cross you," it's harder to do that in a two hour film than in a full season's worth of episodes. What results is two hours of special effects with a plot that provides barely enough structure to hold up under the weight of the explosions. Cruise plays Ethan Hunt, the semi-retired agent (that now lives in the 'burbs and drives a Volvo station wagon), that goes back in action to rescue one of his students. The opening helicopter chase, and the shootout on the Chesapeke Bay Bridge are both first class special effects, and can almost make the film. Unfortunately, they can't completely remedy the thinly veneered characters and minimalistic plot. Fans of the Mission Impossible series should take a look; the rest of us will do better elsewhere.

Overall Grade: B-

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