$145 million and no quality control

I just watched ‘Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol’. What a bad movie. Embarrassingly so, really. By all means, it’s a ‘Blockbuster’: High prodction value, multiple well-known actors and so on. I just can’t understand how such a movie can turn out so bad. It’s not that I had expected a deep, meaningful film. I expected action, explosions, jokes and so on, but I also expect good craftsmanship. The Budget of $145 million should enable the crew to consult someone to tell them: ‘That’s crappy, don’t do that’ from time to time. Apparently, this only applied to the first 18.5 minutes of the film which are okay. After that, it’s down.the.hill.

  • Jeremy Renner’s character is an analyst. Okay. So, when running along the waggon trains, he has to ask: ‘What was your scenario?’, alluding to an (illogical) move Cruise’s character performed in the previous firefight. You can’t use the bad design of a character (Renner’s) to explain a part of a story that doesn’t make any sense. I don’t even know if that’s bad character design, a (bad) joke I don’t get or an attempt to hint to the fact we learn later on: That Renner’s character isn’t really an analyst. Well… you may think I’m nitpicky here, but please just watch the scene and tell me your 7-year-old son couldn’t have written it better and more logical.
  • How did the Russian agent and his team even find the vehicle in which Cruise’s, Renner’s characters and the secretary meet up?
  • The whole storyline about Cruise’s character’s wife –> Who cares? It’s meant to create a ‘Happy End’ moment, I get that. And it’s a construction that gives Renner’s character something to mourn after. But it’s so disconnected from the actual story, I can’t believe it. And: Who cares about the wife? I recently watched MI:III and didn’t care at all. I don’t know anything about storytelling, but an emotional link to a character the viewer is supposed to have feelings about might come in handy. Just an idea.
    The same applies to the mourning of Paula Patton’s character, with the difference that the scenes in which her lover died enriched the film.
  • A nuclear missile that already has launched and is flying a few hundred meters above New York City(? Seattle?) as highest point of the climax? - yeah. That’s just too much. Perfect for a parody like ‘Austin Powers’, but bad for a film that takes itself serious. Even Simon Pegg doesn’t save the day, the jokes are more like… I wanted to write ‘slapstick’, but looked it up and it doesn’t fit. Let’s say the jokes are bad.
  • If, for a $ 145 million dollar movie, you can’t get a digital sandstorm that looks the part, just spare it. Reminded me of an EMP, just brown colored. The explosion in the Kremlin also looks bad. Bad special effects for itself really don’t make a film bad, don’t get me wrong. When a crew just doesn’t have the money to get good special effects, that doesn’t make the film bad. But for over $100 million, there should be someone in the crew who identifies an effect that looks crappy and should be abandoned or worked around.
  • When Cruise’s character enters the server room from outside the Burj Khalifa, he very clearly pivots around the point where he’s attached to the cables that were erased in post-production. That scene could’ve been cut differently, I think. Otherwise, they just could’ve let the cables in the movie.

I do like action movies that are dumb and one-dimensional. I like movies that are stupid. But I don’t like movies that pretend they’re good movies but aren’t. In this regard, ‘Ghost Protocol’ is like ‘The Expendables’ (don’t even get me started). Could’ve been great, could’ve been okay, but went for ‘very, very bad’. Damn, I hate waste of resources. Therefore, I’m glad that ‘The Avengers’ turned out how it did. It’s no masterpiece, not innovative or mindblowing, but it is rock solid, good craftsmanship.