Movie Review: Mission Impossible

Hanging from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Melanie and I went to see Mission Impossible last night.  True, there were much more promisingly intellectual movies to choose from, such as Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher, but I was looking for a straight-up action flick.  (No brains, no deep dilemmas, just running down a lot foreign streets full tilt and blowing things up.)  Watching Tom Cruise free-climb the side of the tallest tower in the world was rather thrilling.  But why did I choose to see it (besides the opportunity to watch a pretty major sand storm thrash Dubai)?  To see Anil Kapoor, of course.  And yes, just as I'd read, the role was pretty much over in the blink of an eye, completely undignified, and on the whole rather unexciting.  When you've got all of Bombay to work with, why focus on a hotel (granted, a gorgeous hotel) interior?  When you do try to chase people on foot through rickshaw-jammed traffic, why choose a big, clean, unexciting part of the city to do it in?  Obviously I should have been on their location team, because I would have come up with a few better ideas.

Anil Kapoor Plays Bombay Bad Boy
And who wrote that tagline?  They could
have saved themselves the space and said:
I hate to confirm that yes, Anil Kapoor did utter the infamous line "Indian mens are hot."  Right about the time he said, "I'd love to show you my art collection.  It's upstairs.  Private.  Art collection."  All while juggling multiple cell phones, practically throwing expensive champagne at his guests, and talking non-stop about how wealthy he is.  Kapoor rather effectively nailed the stereotype of Indian men of a certain age and class: obnoxious, obsessed with bling, in love with status, unsuave, with a wavering grasp of English, and more than willing to drop their pants at the first sight of an American woman.  Yes, he was rather unceremoniously dispatched once he uttered the code to his almost defunct Cold War satellite under rather minor duress.  I was at least hoping for a look at his art collection, but we didn't get much of a glimpse beyond a fast-panning shot of a miniature.

Now to actually set a Mission Impossible in India... that would be pretty impressive.  It seems only Sacha Baron Cohen got the memo that plots involving nuclear weapons might possibly take place in modern day Hollywood without Russia as the one and only back drop.  Hate to break it to the Hollywood movie action types, but the Cold War ended, oh, several decades ago.  And there are much more frightening scenarios out there: North Korea, Pakistan (I'm cringingly interested in what Republic of Wadiya might come up with.  They say he's talking about Syria, but really, with all that bhangra music in the trailer?), India...  If we wasted the 15 minutes of Mission Impossible in Bombay tracking a Cold War era satellite, well folks, I'd say we've missed the boat on the possibilities for nuclear terror in South Asia.  But in the end, we did get Tom Cruise at the Taj.  I guess that counts for something?
Mr. Cruise at the Taj... somehow it just seems wrong.