Movies: M:i:III : Your Assignment

The first of the summer blockbusters raises some profound questions for students of the trashy arts

Listen up, class: we are in the late, or decadent, phase of action-adventure cinema. By now there have been as many variations on the spy-vs.-spy genre as Renaissance artists did on the Pietà. So a presummer blockbuster like Mission: Impossible III, confected by TV auteur J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost), is inevitably a commentary on every action movie that preceded it. Such an endeavor brings out the scholar in its audience and the pedagogue in its reviewers. For real students of the form, straight questions about M:i:III are too easy. (What film is this film most like? True Lies. Next.) Instead try these...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!