Mission: Impossible III is a 2006 American-Chinese-German espionage action spy film co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, in his feature directorial debut, starring Tom Cruise, who also served as a producer, in the role of IMF agent Ethan Hunt. It is the third installment in the Mission: Impossible Cinematic Universe. On April 26, 2006, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and widely released in the United States on May 5, 2006, and was a critical and commercial success.
Set seven years after Mission: Impossible II, Ethan, after his girlfriend Nyah Nordoff-Hall was killed four years ago, has retired from field work for the Impossible Missions Force and trains new recruits, settling down with his fiancee Julia Meade. However, Ethan is sent back into action to track down the elusive arms dealer Owen Davian.
|Mission: Impossible story chronology|
Mission: Impossible: The Beginning (1966)
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Mission: Impossible II (1999)
Mission: Impossible III (2002/2006)
Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2010)
It has been three years since the events in Australia. Ethan Hunt has retired from field work for the Impossible Missions Force and settled down with his girlfriend, Nyah Nordoff-Hall, whom he recruited during the Chimera Mission. One day, Ethan went back home and found Nyah dead on the bedroom. The bed was covered blood and Ethan was horrifed to see her corpse. All he is left to do is scream in anguish holding Nyah's dead body in his hands. This would haunt Ethan for the rest of his life.
Four years have passed since Nyah was killed. While in his engagement party with a nurse he met in Lake Wanaka months after Nyah's death named Julia Meade, Ethan is invited to a rescue mission of his protégée Agent Lindsey Farris by his superiors, John Musgrave and Theodore Brassel. has been kidnapped by arms dealer Owen Davian. Ethan accepts the assignment and rescues Lindsey with his team, but she is killed by a bomb that has been implanted in her head. With the help of IMF technician Benji Dunn, Ethan finds that Owen will be in the Vatican and he joins his group to abduct him. They succeeded in their mission, but back in USA they are betrayed, Owen is released by his team and he abducts Julia, bringing her to Shanghai. Owen contacts Ethan and forces him to steal a powerful weapon in order to save Julia's life.
Previously on Mission: Impossible
This is the story of Ethan Hunt, a senior field operations agent of an elite, top-secret espionage and covert operations agency that handles dangerous and highly sensitive international missions called the Impossible Missions Force and the former pupil of former senior agent and Cold War hero Jim Phelps.
His journey started in 1996, when Phelps and his team were sent to Prague to retrieve the CIA NOC list from the American embassy, but the mission failed and the team except Ethan Hunt were eliminated by unknown assassins. Meeting with IMF director Eugene Kittridge, Hunt learned the job was a setup to lure out a mole within IMF, who is believed to be working with an arms dealer known as "Max" as part of "Job 314." As Hunt is the only member left, Kittridge suspected him of being the mole, and Hunt fleed.
With the help of Phelps' wife Claire, Hunt arranged a meeting with Max, and warns her that the list she possesses has a tracking device. He promises to deliver the real list in return for $10 million and Job's identity. Hunt, Max, and her agents escape just as a CIA team arrives.
He and Claire recruited former IMF agents, Franz Krieger and Luther Stickell to infiltrate CIA headquarters in Langley, steal the real list, and flee to London. He was surprised to find Phelps alive. Phelps recounted surviving the shooting, naming Kittridge as the mole. Hunt realizes Phelps was the mole, having discovered that Phelps stole a Bible from a Chicago hotel. He also suspects Krieger as the one who killed the other IMF members on the Prague job, but was unsure whether Claire was involved.
The next day, at a TGV train station, Hunt arranged with Max to exchange the list aboard the train and exposed Claire as a co-conspirator. The real Phelps arrived and took the money at gunpoint, but Hunt doned a pair of video glasses that relays Phelps to Kittridge, blowing Phelps' cover as the mole.
Enraged, Phelps tried to kill Ethan, but shooted Claire instead when she intervenes. During a climatic helicopter fight, Hunt connected the tether to the train itself, forcing the helicopter into the Channel Tunnel after the train and places an explosive chewing gum on the helicopter windshield, killing Krieger and presumably Phelps. Kittridge arrested Max and recovers the list, then reinstates Hunt and Stickell as IMF agents.
Three years later, Ethan was alerted by IMF director Swanbeck that someone has used his identity to assist Russian Bio-chemist Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich to enter the United States, only to kill him in a subsequent plane crash, and determined that rogue agent Sean Ambrose is responsible. Nekhorvich, who was the scientest that Jim Phelps saved years before he recruited Ethan, had forewarned the IMF of his arrival, planning to deliver to them a new bioweapon, Chimera, and its cure, Bellerophon, which he created at Biocyte Pharmaceuticals.
Ethan headed to Seville, Spain to recruit Nyah Nordoff-Hall, a professional thief presently operating in Seville and Ambrose's ex-girlfriend, and they spended the night together, creating a connection between the two. After recruiting Nyah, Ethan recruited his friend Luther and pilot Billy Baird, in Sydney, Australia, where Biocyte laboratories were located and Ambrose is staying. As Ethan stakes out Biocyte, Nyah started getting close to Ambrose and begins to learn about the Chimera virus.
At a horse racing event, Ambrose met with Biocyte's CEO, John C. McCloy. He showed McCloy a video of Chimera affecting one of Nekhorvich's colleagues and blackmails McCloy into cooperating with him. Nyah stole video footage and transfered it to Ethan. He learned that McCloy took over Biocyte in "hostile takeover" ten years ago and Biocyte were involved in a secret project called "Project Chimera", which led to the creation of the virus. He also learned that Chimera has a 20-hour dormant period before it causes death by mass destruction of the victim's red blood cells and Bellerophon can only save the victim if used within that 20-hour.
Ethan and his team kidnapped McCloy to force him to give up Bellerophon. However, they learned that the only samples of Bellerophon were taken by Nekhorvich, and are now in Ambrose's hands. Ambrose has the cure, but does not have the virus. As a result, Ambrose forced McCloy to exchange a sample of the virus for a sample of Bellerophon. They broke into Biocyte to destroy the virus. Ambrose, posing as Ethan, tricks Nyah into revealing his plan. Ambrose captures Nyah and raided Biocyte to secure the virus. Ethan was able to out the Project Chimera file to the USB and destroy all but one sample of the virus before Ambrose intervened, and a firefight ensued. Ambrose ordered Nyah to retrieve the last sample of Chimera, but she injected herself with it, preventing Ambrose from simply killing her to get it.
The next day, Ambrose offerdto sell Bellerophon to McCloy in exchange for stock options, to make him the majority shareholder and predicted that the price of Biocyte's stock will skyrocket due to demand for Bellerophon after the Chimera outbreak. Ethan infiltrated the meeting and stole the remaining samples of Bellerophon. While Ethan is pursued by Ambrose, Luther and Billy located Nyah, who has wandered to a cliff side, intent on killing herself to prevent Chimera from spreading. Ethan eventually gained the upper hand over Ambrose and killed him and Nyah was cured.
With the criminal use of the Chimera Virus and Project Chimera exposed, Biocyte was shut down and McCloy was arrested. The IMF cleared Nyah's criminal record and Ethan started his relationship with her in Sydney.
Later, at Paris, Swanbeck arrived at Paris and was targeted by a secret criminal organization. For clearing Nyah's criminal record and aiding Ethan in his mission, Swanbeck was killed by an assassin from the organization. This was just the beginning of what is to come.
Three years after the Chimera Mission, Ethan has retired from field work for the IMF and settles down in San Francisco with his girlfriend and former thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall, after the IMF cleared Nyah's criminal record wiped off Interpol, Scotland Yard and every Dutch authority's records. One day, Ethan heads back home and enters the bedroom, only to find Nyah dead. She was shot three times on the chest. Ethan holds her dead body and screams in anguish.
Four years later, Ethan is trainning new recruits while settling down in Virgina with his fiancée, Julia Meade, a nurse whom Ethan met in Lake Wanaka months after Nyah's death and who is unaware of Ethan's true job. He is approached by fellow IMF agent John Musgrave about a mission to rescue one of Ethan's protégés, Lindsey Farris. Lindsey was captured while investigating arms dealer Owen Davian. Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan: Declan Gormley, Zhen Lei, and his old partner Luther Stickell.
The team rescues Lindsey and collects two damaged laptop computers. As they flee, Ethan discovers an explosive pellet implanted in Lindsey's head. Before he can disable it, it goes off and kills her. Back in the U.S., Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF Director Theodore Brassel. Ethan learns that Lindsey mailed him a postcard before her capture and discovers a magnetic microdot under the stamp.
IMF technician Benji Dunn recovers enough data from the laptops to determine Davian will be in Vatican City to obtain a mysterious object called the "Rabbit's Foot". Ethan plans a mission to capture Davian without seeking official approval. Before leaving, he and Julia have an impromptu wedding at the hospital's chapel. The team successfully infiltrates Vatican City and captures Davian.
On the flight back to the U.S., Ethan threatens to drop Davian from the plane as he interrogates him about Rabbit's foot, but Davian remains tightlipped. After landing, Ethan learns that the microdot contains a video of Lindsey warning that Brassel is working with Davian. The convoy taking Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel is attacked, and Davian escapes. Ethan races to Julia's workplace, only to find she has already been kidnapped. Davian gives Ethan 48 hours to recover the Rabbit's Foot in exchange for Julia's life, but Ethan is soon captured by the IMF.
Musgrave takes part in Ethan's interrogation but discreetly mouths that the Rabbit's Foot is located in Shanghai, China, and provides Ethan with the means to escape. Ethan escapes IMF headquarters, travels to Shanghai, and acquires Rabbit's Foot along with his team. As he delivers Rabbit's Foot to the meeting point, Ethan is tranquilized. When he comes to, he realizes a micro-explosive is implanted in his head. The restrained Ethan sees Davian holding Julia at gunpoint. Despite Ethan asserting that he brought the real Rabbit's Foot, Davian shoots Julia and leaves.
Musgrave arrives and explains that the woman killed was not Julia, but Davian's head of security, executed for failing to protect him in Vatican City. The ruse was to confirm the authenticity of Rabbit's Foot. Julia is alive and held as hostage. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole. He arranged for Davian to acquire the Rabbit's Foot and sell to a terrorist group, so that IMF would have reasons to launch a preemptive strike.
When Musgrave lets his guard down, Ethan knocks him unconscious. He frees himself and uses Musgrave's phone to track the last call's location to find Julia. He arrives and finds the place, but encounters Davian. Davian triggers the micro-explosive in Ethan's head, but Ethan kills him and then jury-rigs an impromptu defibrillator to deactivate the explosive. Before electrocuting himself, he kisses Julia and teaches her how to use his gun to defend herself. While Ethan is unconscious, a Musgrave and a henchman arrive and Julia shoots them dead. She successfully revives Ethan and he explains his true IMF career to her.
Back in the U.S., Ethan is congratulated by Brassel as he leaves for his honeymoon with Julia. In a mid-credits scene, Brassel is at his office when his phone rings. He picks up and the caller is none other than Jim Phelps, thought to be dead ten years ago. Brassel tells Jim that he found out about the Rabbit's Foot and Davian conspired with The Syndicate to retrieve the Rabbit's Foot and sell it to them. He also tells him that Ethan does not know the truth that Jim was still alive.
Impacts on future films
- Ethan Hunt and Julia Meade are married.
- The deaths of Nyah Nordoff-Hall and Lindsey Farris.
- The introduction of Theodore Brassel and Benji Dunn.
- The reappearance of Jim Phelps and his alliance with Brassel.
- The Syndicate conspiring with Owen Davian to sell the Rabbit's Foot.
- Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian, black market dealer
- Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Ethan Hunt's friend and member of his team whom he helped in the previous two films
- Billy Crudup as John Musgrave, IMF Operations Director
- Michelle Monaghan as Julia "Jules" Meade, Ethan's fiancée and the younger sister of Melissa
- Laurence Fishburne as Theodore Brassel, the IMF executive director
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan Gormley, member of Ethan's team and pilot
- Keri Russell as Lindsey Farris, IMF agent trained by Ethan
- Maggie Q as Zhen Lei, member of Ethan's team
- Simon Pegg as Benjamín "Benji" Dunn, IMF technician
- Eddie Marsan as Brownway, Davian's right-hand man
- Sasha Alexander as Melissa Meade, Julia's older sister
- Aaron Paul as Rick Meade, Julia's younger brother
- Thandie Newton as Nyah Nordoff-Hall (uncredited), a former professional thief operating in Seville, Spain and Ethan's girlfriend from the previous film.
- Jon Voight as Jim Phelps (uncredited), former IMF agent and Ethan Hunt's former mentor