“There is a first time for everything,” was how a friend comforted me when he found me worried, which I was. Nothing after the first time is as affecting.
“It” was me watching back to back movies in theaters – Mission Impossible 4 included. This holiday season, I did not fly out as I usually do, and instead hung out with local friends, and (gasp) went to a movie theater twice in four days. I had been to one only three times in the past two decades and more of my life.
Action movies aren’t exactly my genre but I had to stick with the flock. I hadn’t even watched the previous three Mission Impossible movies.
I am no movie critic, but my Indian-ness and Muslim-ness greatly affected how I came back from the movie.
- Among the things that irritated me in the movie was the role of Anil Kapoor, as Nath – the one Paula Patton seduces to get information. It was an embarrassing scene and it disgusted and perplexed me. Why would a hero in Bollywood movies do that to himself, and stoop down to perform in such roles just for five minutes of Hollywood fame?
It was also interesting how people around me made fun of the distinct Indian accent he came up with out of nowhere. They probably believed it added comical value to the scene.
- Paula Patton, the female lead wore especially embarrassingly revealing clothes in the long scene with Anil Kapoor. The extra shock for me was probably because this was on a huge screen which I wasn’t used to, given that I have only watched movies at home on a computer or on a 25″ television. People usually take their eyes off or fast forward to skip such scenes, but in a theater, none of that was happening.
- Important sections of the movie were really over the top. A Kremlin bombing and destruction. Really?
- The camera work, animations and graphics were simply superb. I loved scenes such as one when Dubai is introduced. The camera pans from the desert, highway, camels, and then the awesome skyscrapers.
- Some action scenes in the movie, such as the one around Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, were breathtaking and managed to keep my pulse racing for quite some time.
- The best part in the story line was how, each time when technology failed, the characters in the movie had to fall back on traditional methods to get out of sticky situations. Their high-tech glass cutting machine may not work, but they could always kick the glass window to break it open. Their electronic gloves that stick to glass to climb a glass skyscraper may not work, but they could always use a rope!
- The antagonist character in the movie was not as strong as I would have expected, but I still think that was a good thing in a way.
- Though the action scenes from Burj Khalifa were amazing, it was comical how during the chase scene from the skyscraper, they quickly run into an Arabian environment straight from the Arabian Nights with camels, and towels hanging outside small shops within minutes from the skyscrapers.
- The scenes from India were definitely not an accurate portrayal of India(Neither were those in Slumdog Millionaire.) Apart from that, I couldn’t wait until the end to point out to others around me another goof – in the scene from the car parking lot and the satellite control station in Mumbai, India when the good guys were trying to restore power, all the doors had sign boards and warning signs in Kannada, a language spoken in South India (Bangalore) and not in Mumbai.
- The final scene made me chuckle. I loved how there was an obvious mocking of George Bush and his famous “Mission Accomplished” speech, in the context of the Iraq war.
Should I now go back and watch the previous three MI movies? I still haven’t decided.