Well, I anticipated rooting for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I am pleased to say that his character was so freaking evil that wasn't even a possibility. And most of the time I was able to ignore Tom Cruise's Tom Cruiseishness and pretend I was watching him from back in the days of Jerry Maguire and A Few Good Men (ignoring the "You can't handle the truth" scene).
And on to the complaints!
I. That there picture--why the hell is he leaning so far out of the car?? To demonstrate his ab-strength? It turns out there's a car chasing them (duh), and he's shooting at them from underneath this semi that's between the two cars. Yeah, it makes even less sense when you're watching it.
II. I'm not sure what JJ Abrams contributed besides his trademark adrenaline shots to the heart and meetings between handler and operative in a convenience store.
III. On the other hand, Joss Whedon should have gotten a nice paycheck for this one. Ethan has turned into whiny Buffy--"Poor me, I just happen to be really really good at killing people, but I just want to have a normal life and be boring. . ." And, in a completely original move, Philip Seymour Hoffman puts little "capsules" in your head that give you really bad headaches when you do something he doesn't want you to do (i.e. escape).
IV. In the beginning of the film, Tom Cruise's teeth looked crooked to me, and by the end they were straight. When exactly did he get the braces? Also, his nose has never bothered me as much as his unibrow has.
V. Much as I appreciated Billy Crudup's "What? I'm dead?" look at the end there, his speech was a little bizarre. At first, I'm nodding along, thinking "Okay, a condensation of John Barth's Doomsday Factors theories. . .not sure why we're having a political discussion in a mindless movie, but fine. . ." But then he comes out with (I'm paraphrasing here) "America comes in and does what it does best, it reconstructs what has been destroyed, and democracy wins again." Huh?! Uh, Billy, we SUCK at that.
VI. I don't know why I'm continually surprised, but these movies never match their theme song. The first one, they killed off all the interesting characters in the first ten minutes (including Kristin Scott Thomas, for crying out loud), and the love interest turned out to be the bad guy. That sucks. And the second one was all John Woo with the pigeons. What is with the pigeons, Mr. Woo? And this one was all "my wife is gonna die and my friend has betrayed me and my little sister that I never slept with died and I just want to make babies." Sheesh. Not very duh-duh-duhnuh-duh-duh-duhnuh-duh.
Take It Or Leave It, The Strokes
"I need you to trust me"
(MI:III, repeated ad nauseam)