Sunday, 14 June 2009

HOLLYWOOD FAIL II: Electric Boogaloo

I'd like to take the opportunity to address the phenomenon known as 'PIS', which stands for 'Plot-Induced Stupidity'. This occurs when characters in a film do something preternaturally stupid, completely against all logic, simply to advance the plot.

Case in point: The bridge sequence in Mission Impossible III.

Ethan Hunt and his IMF agents are apparently the cream of the cream of the crop, but once they touch down in the USA with high profile captive Owen Davian, it seems their ability to think rationally goes straight out of the window.

Rather than just landing their plane at a fortified military installation, they instead elect to transport Davian via a convoy, and just a regular convoy at that. No armoured vehicles, and no air support either. Then, just to compound their stupidity that little bit further, they decide to drive over a narrow bridge completely surrounded by ocean on both sides, meaning there's nowhere to go. Do they have gunboats in the water, shadowing their route? No. That would be far too logical.

If you've ever seen the classic convoy assault technique (and chances are, if you've seen enough action movies you will have...there's a great example of it in 'Clear And Present Danger', for example), it usually involves taking out the front and rear vehicles in the convoy to pin the remaining vehicles in and stop them from escaping. The only hope for the remaining vehicles is to ram their way out and make good their escape.

If it's a civilian target (like the opening robbery in Michael Mann's 'Heat', then you can just block the target in by using your own sufficiently heavy vehicles. If it's a VIP target, like a visiting dignitary, then the security services will normally have cleared the route of all traffic, hence necessitating the use of an RPG launcher to take out the vehicles and cause the blockage.

In MI:III, there is civilian traffic on the road. Yes, that's right, we're supposed to believe that the guy previously smart enough to break into CIA headquarters at Langley now doesn't have brains enough to think ahead and close the road off to civilian traffic...and who's to say that it is civilian traffic? Could be a plethora of highly-trained and heavily armed mercenaries bearing down on the convoy from both directions for all they know.

What's most funny is that Hunt is now apparently an IMF instructor. Suffice to say, with mission planning like this, he needs to take his ass back to class, because this is an unadulterated FAIL on all levels.

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