As with most big, bloated studio films, the third installment of Mission: Impossible is undergoing enough cast and crew turnover to make McDonald’s jealous.

We all know that movie franchises tend to lose steam as the sequel numbers go higher. So will this third film be able to rise above its predecessors?

Based on the latest developments, it just might.

The first Mission: Impossible was well-directed by Brian DePalma, save for his “artsy” directing style that left many audiences confused as to what was happening. (And don’t even get me started on Tom Cruise’s terrible portrayal of that senator!) The second film was very high on visuals, but the story (such as it was) fell flat. And the villain in that movie was downright annoying.


One of my favorite directors on the planet, David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club), was originally going to direct the third installment, but Joe Carnahan (Narc) replaced him. The screenwriting duties initially fell to Robert Towne, who was involved in the writing of the previous two installments, but he has been replaced by Frank Darabont, a successful writer who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

It’s hard to know what kind of job Joe Carnahan will do as a director, since he only has one major feature to his credit. Critics liked Narc, but does that mean he will be able to hold his own with a completely different genre of film, and under the controlling thumb of Cruise? With Darabont as screenwriter, I know the script will be top-notch, but it might be a little heavy-handed. I can almost hear the narration now: “I don’t know what was on the rest of that self-destructing tape, and quite honestly, I don’t want to know. I like to think that it was something so beautiful that it had to be expressed in words that only heaven could hear through the gently rolling smoke.”

I see Darabont’s involvement as a plus, but the quality of action films in particular depends on the director. It’s hard to say whether Joe Carnahan is up to the challenge. Philip Seymour Hoffman is reportedly being considered for the villain role. Hoffman is a terrific actor with an impressive resume, but is he right for this particular villain role? I’m sure his resume has at least a few villain roles on it, although I can’t think of a single one right now. Bottom line, the potential is there for this film to be really good. The only question is whether the suits (and Cruise) will have the courage to defy tradition by sitting back and letting these guys do the jobs they were hired to do.

Source: The Z Review

Brian

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