I have two main avenues of complaint: technical and content. Technical first: the aesthetics really bothered me on this thing, not just a little. Also the sound was the worst final mix I have ever heard from a major Hollywood film, leading me to wonder if the system I saw it on was missing a channel or something.
If you pay for HD streaming you should have decent quality. The sound kept cutting out with badly cut in dialogue. It seemed they forgot to get room tone for half the film, and things dropped uneasily to silence over and over again. This was shockingly obvious, even more so if this would have been in a very loud actual theater. Something must have been up with the version I saw, because $100mn films just don’t have those kinds of issues. These are the struggles of people like, uh, me. No budgeteers. And I still grab room tone dammit, albeit sometimes I have to return to the location because I forgot. Shockingly bad sound was only one technical issue of Cruise’s latest testosterone-powered vehicle.
The inconsistency of the images was another biggie. Half the film looked like TV lenses, for sporting games or something. It varied so much from shot to shot that it destroyed the experience for me. Several shots had actual anamorphic lenses, you know, the ones the whole movie should have been filmed with if I had any say in it. But these lenses only highlighted the absolute wrongness of many of the other shots. It looked like soap opera aesthetic and bad TV drama. Somebody’s head should have rolled for that crap.
Add in neon orange faces with the overdone orange/teal on steroids, and we had a film that basically calls unwanted attention to the wrong ingredients over and over again. Generation Youtube has no idea what I just said. None.
So onto content. A plausible American James Bond? Not quite. We have more amped-up crazy action stuff than even Bond cares for. Ethan Hunt usually stays on the correct side of the line, but his methods are extravagant. Here we had lily-white terrorists, and that’s a welcome relief. We have the double cross, the triple cross, and all the expected tropes.
We have an admission of sorts that dirty covert dealings are the problem, but the wishy-washy Hollywood mentality also makes them the solution. It’s a cynical ploy to cast aspersion on unaccountable secret killing machines, but to only wink and nod and say that they’re okay when our government does it. Reckless propaganda then. For playing fast and loose it is a bit malignant, and frankly not so unexpected.
I wasn’t in such a rush to see the thing, obviously. It had a few good laughs, and that’s about the correct way to think of it. Comedy with guns and explosions.
Problem is that the great unwashed gets its ignorance bolstered from these types of stories. The American “badass” outsmarts and out kills the rest, of course. He always does. All heil.