I am so disappointed with this movie. The movie fails as an Alien movie. It fails as a reflection on the existential condition of humanity. It fails because the story simply falls apart a little over midway through the film. It starts off splendidly. The suspense starts to build. And then ... well, I don't want to give away any spoilers. You will see what I mean when you see it.
Hint: Charlize Theron is totally wasted in this movie. At the end you will be wondering, why the heck is her character in this movie?
I'm only giving the movie a weak thumbsup. It has some excellent action sequences (and these sequences are no doubt even more enjoyable in IMAX), but the holes in the plot make it difficult to achieve that suspension of disbelief that is essential to enjoyment, even for an action movie.
Why is Ethan Hunt in a Russian prison? We think we know why, but the "revelation" at the end of the movie makes his prison stay irrelevant.
Does Hunt and the IMF know the identity of Cobalt before Hunt is liberated from prison? We are led to believe that they do not, but it becomes clear, after Hunt's meeting with the Secretary, that in fact everyone already knows that Cobalt is Hendrick. So why the heck didn't they just tell the Russians before hand? And why do they need to break into the Kremlin?
Why does Hunt allow Hendrick to take possession of the launch codes? Hunt is actually willing to risk the destruction of an American city, and perhaps full-scale nuclear war, to stop one terrorist. Egads, what was he thinking?
Hunt's plan is predicated on following Wistrom back to Hendricks. But he doesn't just follow. He gives chase and attempts to capture the guy. What the heck? And then we learn that the Wistrom who has taken possession of the codes is none other than Hendricks himself in disguise. What the heck? Why would Hendrick pretend to be Wistrom and thus put himself at risk? Why would he not send his henchman to complete the exchange?
The IMF group then go to India to get the satellite code. (Boy, they sure get lucky on finding out about the satellite.) And it just so happens that the bad guys decide to take over a TV station in the same city. There was, of course, no need for them to be in that city in the first place--any TV station around the world would have worked for them. Talk about being lucky.
But most egregious plot weakness is the character of Hendricks: not only is Hendricks a mad terrorist genius and mastermind (remember, he's a college professor), but he is also capable of whupping Ethan Hunt's butt at hand to hand combat. Puleeze ...
I enjoyed the flic, but I believe that both IM1 and IM3 are more satisfying movies.