In the wake of the publicity for the upcoming Mission Impossible 4, I thought it would be relevant to do an analysis of Mission Impossible III. Part III starred Philip Seymour Hoffman as Owen Davian, an international black market arms and weapons dealer. Spy and espionage films are often the best forms of fiction that function as windows into real plots and intrigues, and Mission Impossible is no different.
In fact, Tom Cruise’s central character, Ethan Hunt, is based on spy mastermind, E. Howard Hunt. Hunt confessed a few years ago to being involved in the JFK assassination, laying the blame at the door of LBJ. The “Cigarette-Smoking Man” of X-Files fame also appears to be loosely based on E. Howard Hunt: both are involved in high-level assassination plots, including the assassination of JFK and MLK in the X-Files episode “Musings of a Cigarette Smiking Man.” Both are known for authoring novels under pseudonyms, too.
In Mission Impossible III, however, Hunt is in his usual role of heroic super-agent. Davian has kidnapped one of Hunt’s trainees, and injected her with a detonatable microchip, and upon rescue the chip detonates. She warns Hunt of the “invisible man” and that the overall plan is an “inside job.” Where have we heard that terminology before? The plot then indicts the Vatican in dealing with Davian, and the IMF team has to infiltrate the See to kidnap Davian to keep him from obtaining the “rabbit’s foot,” which is said to be an anti-matter sort of compound, later identified as “anti-God,” which bring to mind the Angels & Demons plot of Dan Brown.
This nonsensical idea conjures notions of a dualistic, Manichaean philosophy of ultimate reality consisting of two principles – good/God and chaos. Whoever can “control” the “anti-God” will end up destroying the world. The “rabbit’s foot” is eventually obtained by Davian and recovered, but it’s effects are never shown. What is shown is an interesting scene where the IMF team tunnels into the Vatican, and Tom Cruise shows up as a priest. Is this a signal that moles (who tunnel in) have eventually wrested control of the Vatican? Is the Vatican now run by high level intelligence and international power players? Evidence suggests that it certainly is.
As is typical with Bond films, viewers are shown a variety of high-tech spy gadgetry and weapons that are real, yet often unbeknownst to the public. What is interesting here is that the films shows us briefly an underground intelligence facility from which Ethan escapes, located under the Virginia Department of Transportation. I suspected this would be real, and sure enough, he VDOT website contains policy information and implementation for the construction of necessary “underground facilities:”
“The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) adopted a policy, which gives
municipalities the option to have overhead utility facilities relocated underground
on urban projects. This policy is applicable to projects proposed for construction
in accordance with Section 33.1-44 of the Code of Virginia and to projects in
Arlington County.” Section 7-30, page 122, VDOT
“Within the selected project area, for placement of the facilities
underground in accordance with this policy, the underground facilities
shall extend a maximum of 150 feet beyond the end of the proposed
construction, for any connecting side street or roadway, unless it is
determined to be necessary from an engineering standpoint to extend
beyond this limit.” Section 15-12, page 271, VDOT
I’m sure that has nothing to do with anything other than roads. Underground bases constructed under the cover of the department of transportation is the perfect guise–in fact, the document goes on in 15.6 to describe multi-million dollar telecommunications facilities being built underground, which have, of course, been integrated with threat fusion centers and are massive surveillance entities. The theme of “going underground” thus emerges twice in the film.
In the end, we discover Ethan’s friend responsible for the “inside job” had made a deal with Davian to work with the bad guys so that they could “control them.” The would let Davian sell the rabbit’s foot to the Middle Easterns, and “track” who purchased the black market material. Sounds like the ”Fast and furious” cover story.