Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, my thoughts

I really wanted to watch Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (MI 4 for short). MI 3 really stepped up what a good action movie should be, and the trailers for MI 4 showed a lot of promise. 93% on the Tomatometer didn’t hurt. And so when it didn’t deliver, I was majorly disappointed. Here’s what went wrong for me:

1. MI 4 doesn’t have a proper, menacing villain. It’s a pretty well known fact that movies with larger than life villains end being worth watching because it’s a good match between the protagonist and the antagonist. MI 3 had Owen Davian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWxUnYiwvEU) who was bad ass, as you can see from the link. Some of the best villains make the climax even more fun to watch. MI 4 has Kurt Hendricks, the kind of villain that’s learned from watching the mistakes movie villains have made, because he has only one henchman and does everything by himself…and Hendricks hardly says anything. Sure, he’s smart, but there is not a single scene between him and Hunt, except the face bashing at the end.

2. The whole Moscow sequence doesn’t have any punch at all. MI 3 began right at the heart of the action: a 10 second countdown that drives Ethan mad. This one has too much of a prologue before starting off with the story: a failed mission and a prison breakout. And the pacing just doesn’t feel right. Until the team gets to Dubai, there was something missing from it.

3. Hollywood actually expects us to believe that Sun Network is in Mumbai? And that Mumbai has street signs in Kannada? And it has an international style multi-level parking system?

4. Why is the world still fighting over nuclear codes? When 24 clearly did it to death…

5. Why didn’t they do more with the Burj Khalifa sequence? Ethan climbing on the side of a building should have been more thrilling. Instead, he does it with relative ease, even though those darn gloves keep conking off. It ends so quickly. But the sandstorm chase was awesome.

6. The movie is basically four missions, three of which don’t go according to plan.

7. What a boring climax. The whole India mission really sucked.

8. Brad Bird needs to take a page out of J.J. Abrams book and do Mission Impossible with a more serious tone, because otherwise it just doesn’t feel right. You might say I’m comparing too much, but this is what happens when you continue a franchise: you expect more of the same and yet something new.

9. The visual effects seemed rushed and half done. The Kremlin bombing and the nuclear warhead looked so fake that I wondered whether I was watching a Hollywood movie or not.

P.S. You might say this all really doesn’t matter, and I totally agree.