Mission: Impossible III
My original impression of M:I:3 was that finally we had a action/spy film with some great character development. Yet, I have eventually come to the realization that it's not so much that the character's were really elevated beyond action film stereotypes. It's all about the girl.
From frame one, it's about Hunt (Cruise) and his girl (Michelle Monaghan). Hunt and his fiancee. Really, why all the running around and blowing things up in the first two films in this franchise? To save the world? To save his buddies? To save a little something-something fling on side? Hunt is settling down, getting out of the life, committed. Motivation.
So, here we get all the trappings of a great spy film (lots of clever twists and gadgets, these guys can get at anything, anywhere), great locations all around the globe, but with the bonus of just enough depth to make us feel something, and some great supporting acting (PSH, Crudup, Fishburne). Here is a summer blockbuster that actually resembles a real film.
I give the credit to J.J. Abrams, who, fresh off the set of Lost after seven episodes, has a real handle on pushing people's buttons. If the franchise stays in his hands, I'll be first in line to M:I:4.