“It would be a stretch to say that Tom Cruise needs a hit..what this guy needs is an intervention,” writes N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis in her review of Mission: impossible III. “[He needs] someone who can help the star once known as Tom Terrific return to the glory days, when the only things most of us really knew about him came from the boilerplate continually recycled in glossy magazines, sealing him in a bubble of blandness and mystery. In those days, we didn’t know that inside the world’s biggest movie draw lurked a reckless couch-jumper and heartless amateur pharmacologist . [You] have to wonder if the real mission in his newest film isn’t the search for the damsel in distress or the hunt for the supervillain, but the resurrection of a screen attraction who has, of late, seemed a bit of a freak. The domestication of Ethan Hunt may have seemed like a good idea, a humanizing touch, perhaps, but it only bogs down the action. Worse, it turns a perfectly good franchise into a seriously strange vanity project, as the simpering brunette is swept into a new world by a dashing operative for a clandestine organization. Much like the man playing him, [M:I:3‘s Ethan Hunt works only if you don’t know anything about what makes him tick. Once upon a Hollywood time, the studios carefully protected their stars from the press and the public. Now the impossible mission, it seems, is protecting them from themselves.”