Mission Impossible III (J.J. Abrams, 2006)

Mission Impossible III (J.J. Abrams, 2006)




Hello, Tom.


Your two previous big-screen missions as IMF operative Ethan Hunt have been quite successful. Your first, directed by Brian De Palma, showed a breezy disregard for the complex script (by legendary Hollywood screenwriter Robert Towne ("Chinatown")) that at the same time managed to be lucid and exciting (never mind that, as die-hard "Mission Impossible" fans point out, you trashed the premise of Bruce Geller's original TV series by putting a premium on maverick adventuring over closely coordinated teamwork). Your second, also written by Towne, was more openly emotional (a response to complaints that the first was cold-hearted and difficult to follow); as directed by John Woo, it sacrificed plot twists for Woo's signature action sequences, complete with slow-motion axe kicks, eyepopping motorcycle stunts, a pair of blazing handguns, the flight of fluttering doves.


On your third outing you have carefully considered your next choice of director, having previously discarded Joe Carnahan ("Narc") and settled for J.J. Abrams, creator of the hit TV series "Alias" and "Lost," on his big-screen debut. Abrams, who has admitted that the original series influenced his own "Alias," must have seemed the perfect director for this movie. His screenplay posits a more domesticated, more human Hunt, one who has found true love in Julia (Michelle Monaghan), and is willing to propose, marry, have a baby with her--this closely mirroring your real-life engagement and impregnation of starlet Katie Holmes. Perhaps the only details that differentiate your onscreen story from your real-life one are 1) You do not jump up and down on a sofa, shrieking about true love, and 2) you do not offer to eat your child's placenta (something, it must be pointed out, that the mother and not father traditionally eats, to reduce postpartum depression).

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