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  • Ethan and crew have access (albeit limited) to IMF plastic printing technology. How is it that they can't just print up a non-metallic mini-SCUBA setup for Ethan, to at least give him 10-15 minutes of air? Or better yet, just buy themselves a carbon-fiber SCUBA setup off the shelf, since there are now quite a few companies making such equipment.
    • Could they make that work? Something strong enough to hold the air, withstand the pressure underwater, not leak and not set off the metal detector? But, if you want an easy answer, Rule of Drama.
    • Buying carbon-fiber SCUBA gear might not be an option in Morocco.
      • And yet there is a massive underground bunker with super-advanced identity verification technology there?
      • Ilsa has been planning this for a while (practicing holding her breath), she had plenty of time to buy it somewhere else.
      • But arm-mounted, wifi-enabled note  blood oxygenation measuring device are easier to get in Morocco?
      • Maybe it's not really a blood oxygenation measuring device. Maybe it's just a stopwatch that is giving a prediction of his blood oxygenation level based on how long he's been holding his breath. And maybe it's not transmitting anything - Ilsa is just looking at a copy of the same app on her tablet that was started at the same time.
      • Except it does measure blood Oxygenation. When Ilsa comes out of the pool, the bar recharges in sync with her breaths (rather than continuously). Which means the "stopwatch" knows she surfaced, and when she's breathing.
  • How did an armed CIA team show up in Cuba? Even though diplomatic relations have improved recently, the Cuban government wouldn't take kindly to a team of American soldiers barging into their country.
    • Who said they necessarily asked for permission? The armed team were likely a bunch of covert assets, as expendable as an IMF team. It actually makes Hanley and the CIA hypocrites, since they shut down the IMF for doing 'reckless' stuff that they themselves are indulging in with their hunt (no pun intended) for Ethan...albeit less spectacularly (and successfully).
    • Definitely covert assets — I don't know how many fire teams have festive, pastel polo shirts as their normal uniform. They look a heck of a lot more like a bunch of guys in Cuba chilling out who put on tac vests and grabbed guns.
  • Why was the Syndicate considered a figment of Ethan Hunt's imagination at the start of the film? After all, the Sequel Hook at the end of Ghost Protocol showed Ethan receiving a mission from IMF to investigate the Ethan's quest to track the Syndicate originated as a legit IMF operation based on intelligence (presumably) vetted by the IMF top brass. This may have made more sense if Hanley doubted IMF's intel, rather than Hunt's sanity alone, and presented it as another example of their incompetence.
    • This appears to be a year down the line - and Ethan has found nothing. Not even until this film did he get a face sketch, no name or alias or address, and that was because the villain deliberately showed his face to Ethan. All he had was a bunch of news clippings that could have been random chance. They'd probably considered it a failed mission and bad intel, and Ethan alone was the one insisting they really existed.
      • For that matter, the Syndicate might have become aware of the IMF trying to track their movements and improved their security to disappear.
  • Why did the whole chase sequence happen at all? Benji should have just told Ethan to stop - he had a copy all along.
    • Ethan wasn't chasing the information, he was chasing Ilsa to keep the Syndicate from killing her.
  • How does Benji manage to successfully lie to the Lie Detector every single time he's tested by the CIA? Is he actually that skilled or that lie detector's just bad at its job? (In a brief scene, after Benji's test is completed, the machine shows a slight red line that indicates that Benji's not actually telling the whole truth, even though earlier it shows an-all green indicator.)
    • If it's a standard polygraph (I vaguely recall someone calling it such, but I could be wrong), those things aren't that difficult to fool. It comes down to being very calm and collected the entire time.
    • It is mentioned that it is a weekly polygraph; it can indeed be fooled, and they know it can be fooled, so they keep giving it to him again and again and again until he slips up. The fact that he hasn't is a testament to his skills; the fact that it detects at the last second that he isn't telling the whole truth is a sign that one day it might work.
    • Also the fact that they were giving him so many probably worked against them. Once Benji figured out how to beat the first one, it's even easier to stay calm for the second one... and after so many they're routine. He'd never show any nervousness or other emotions for something that's become routine.
  • Also, whatever happened to the drone fleet that's allegedly controlled by the surfaced Syndicate mentioned at the end of Ghost Protocol? I know that there's a period of Time Skip between that movie and this one, but really, a hijacked drone fleet would have a higher stake than what happened in the movie itself.
    • Well isn't it obvious? The Impossible Mission Force stopped it. It's possible that recovering the drone fleet was what tipped the syndicate off that they needed to be slightly more subtle about their methods, thus forcing them to work through proxies or do those "grand gestures" Hunt mentioned in their operations in order to complete a small step. But really, is it so hard to believe that the IMF would've put a stop to something like that long before this film?
    • Then at least it should have some mention about it.
  • For a guy who likes to exploit human nature, why didn't Lane got the red box info by threatening the whole security team families? It's not like he pulled less unbelievable and inhumane stunt during the movie and advanced security or not, if the guys open the door for you it's way easier than hoping the agent you don't trust and you archenemy pull the impossible.
    • Because that would, in itself, be a massive expenditure. The whole point is the Syndicate doesn't actually have all the funds in the world, which is why it needs what's in the red box. Also threatening the people who work security there risks one of them blowing the whistle on the whole thing and making it even more impossible to get in.
  • Why didn't Ethan realize that security has been compromised at the London mission briefing point? Although Ethan Hunt is famous to us, the viewers, there is absolutely no reason in-universe for the person handing him a mission briefing after a coded exchange to know who he is. He should realize as soon as she asks him if "the stories are true" that there has been a major breach of security and protocol. Normal security protocol would be just for her to hand over a file/object to a person in a given location (as during the flights in the first film), or to the person who gives a certain pass-phrase. As such, she shouldn't know either what she is handing over, nor who she is giving it to. But since she knows who she is handing the information to, this means that this information is accessible and the document being handed over could be manipulated (intercepted/replaced/...), or that enemies could identify him from this exchange! Although it can be dismissed as Ethan being flirtatious or simply dismissing it as she may be a long-term collaborator of the IMF, it doesn't really tie in with his character given that he knows he's trying to track down an extremely sophisticated hidden terrorist/espionnage network which apparently has been able to defeat/match the IMF over several continents and several missions.
    • Based on the past movies, the people handing out the record ALWAYS know who the recipient is. Consider the air hostess at the end of the first film who gives Hunt his next mission, for example. Hunt doesn't give her a passphrase (he's not even EXPECTING a mission), and he's in an airplane so the hostess knows who he is based on the manifest. It might be bad security, but it's consistent with the series canon. It had been compromised, but the girl wasn't part of that and honestly was just doing her job (she might have been a bit sloppy, but that's no reason to think that there is a Diabolical Mastermind waiting to kill her and abduct him in the store with them).
  • Lane suddenly grabbed the Idiot Ball at the end of the film, or at least went completely against his established character. When Ethan tells him that he has memorized the whole disk's contents, and that the USB stick has been destroyed, Lane shifts from cool, calculated, hyper-prepared quasi-genius to a brash, almost irrational and impulsive child.
    • Fist of all, although Ethan has proved he has remembered at least one account number, there is no proof that Ethan knows the whole disk's contents of 2.4 billion. For all Lane knows, Ethan just picked one account with a big number to remember.
      • Ethan points this possibility out to Lane, but the problem is Ethan has him cornered. If Ethan is killed, then he just lost the money forever, while there is some hope of getting part of the money if Ethan lives, so he goes with the safer option. It matches with Lane's character (as Ethan points out, the only way to defeat Lane is to convince him he can win).
    • Secondly, Lane knows that this is just a copy of the data. Sure, losing the data when he's so close to obtaining it is certainly extremely vexing, but time is on his side. He can always try again. The fact that someone managed to get the data out means that it -is- possible, and even though that much money would be a great asset, his team has managed to operated without for a while.
      • I don't remember if the movie actually states it's just a copy. But in either case, time kind of isn't on his side. Lane probably realizes that Ethan's little heist means the MI6 and the IMF are now aware of the Syndicate's existence. Or, Hell, the fact someone has managed to do that to the Prime-Minister once means his security will quadruple, making it nigh impossible for the feat to be done twice. In fact, even in the movie's timeline Lane only aims for the Prime-Minister when he has Hunt who's A) Expendable. B) Extremely skilled. Lane realizes he'll probably not get a second chance at all.
    • Third, when compared to the setup to kill the Austrian Chancellor, Lane seems particularly under-prepared, in particular given that he knows he is going head-to-head with Hunt. His whole plan is to put two IMF agents and Ilsa (who has no desire to help him or strong motivation to go along with his plan) on some explosives, whilst a few of his goons (who were overpowered by Hunt -and Ilsa, but he doesn't know this for sure- whilst he was hand- and ankle-cuffed in his torture cell) watch them from a distance. He even gives Ilsa a loaded gun. Exploding Benji is not really possible, since it achieves none of his objectives. It would just kill the people who can get the information. If the USB key is there, it's been destroyed. If Hunt knew where it was hidden, now he can't find it. If his team has the key, what motivation do they have to hand it over to Lane with their friends now dead? If the data has already been shared with MI6/CIA/??? he's just giving a nice, big signal that he's active with an explosion in central London, which would make any attempt to leave much more complicated (plus if any of his team members are injured but don't die, they could reveal all kinds of information about how Lane works).
      • This is just a tactical mistake. Lane is clever, but what trips him up is that he expects Hunt to dance to his tune because he has Benji (and Ilsa). He Didn't See That Coming when it comes to Ethan memorizing the data and running this whole scheme, and along the movie we see that he's clearly trying to turn Ilsa to his side despite the mounting evidence she's not on his side. Basically: Lane expected Ethan to bring him the files (or be blown up), Ilsa to hand him the files (or be blown up/shot by his men). What derails his plan is Ethan destroying the files and memorizing them. Lane underestimated Ethan and paid the price for it. As for his men, we don't know how big the explosion would be in exact terms. It may have been enough to just explode them and leave his men unharmed or big enough to wipe the entire block out.
      • The chancellor's assassination was planned months (up to 6) in advance. The Hunt thing is something that Lane had to do in 24 hours. Obviously it's "under prepared". He can't wait for Hunt to decide to return the data to the CIA or M16 or do something else, so he kidnaps Benji, and is forced to rush.
    • Fourthly, Lane suddenly decides to go alone in order to catch Ethan. Lane seems to be very aware of the risks of actually doing field operations, and as such is much more a "puppet-master" or a manipulator than an actual agent. In all the scenes where he is shown prior to London he has a group of armed agents with him, presumably for security reasons. But in London he seems absolutely alone in the apartment, then goes to pursue Hunt alone. It's repeatedly stated that Lane has a vast number of agents and operatives in the Syndicate, and given he knew that the data was a "red box", he knew he would eventually need to operate in the UK. As such, it seems unplausible that he doesn't have a dozen (or more) other agents with him at the apartment, and then with him in the 4x4 he pursues Hunt in. Hunt's entire plan relied on Lane following him alone, even though his only request was to meet "face-to-face", not "one-on-one" or "alone".
      • Considering Lane's motivation being that he needs better resources, it may simply be that he's short on manpower (specially considering the people Ethan kills in his breakout, at the opera, during the motorcycle chase and in the shootouts in London). Another factor is the sheer Villainous Breakdown. Lane is a puppetmaster of sorts, but at that point, Ethan derailed his entire plan and Lane is starting to lose his patience (and every minute wasted is a minute more for the MI6 to find him, as well as the fact this is his only chance to get the money), so he's not thinking straight.
    • Lane should have kept Ethan, Benji and Ilsa at their seats, and tell Ethan to keep reading the bank accounts right then and there. With civilian lives at stake, as well as Benji and Ilsa, at that point Lane has the best shot at making Ethan spill what he knows. Instead, he decides to let Benji walk and capture Ethan. A Bond Villain Stupidity on his part.
      • With the bomb now disarmed, how is he supposed to make that happen? Threatening to have Syndicate agents start shooting is a big risk to himself as well because it alerts MI6 and the CIA very clearly where Syndicate is present.
      • The countdown stops doesn't mean the bomb is deactivated. It can still be remotely detonated for all we know. And Lane doesn't seem to mind assassinating the Austrian Chancellor by shooting at him then blowing up his car. What makes you think he's afraid of bombing or shooting up a random London street? The fact that his goons immediately start shooting when Ethan makes a move clearly shows that he isn't.
      • He needs Ethan alive. Hunt knows it, so while he could have threatened to blow everybody up if Ethan didn't tell him what he knew, Ethan already called his bluff on that by making him stop the timer in the first place. Ethan might be gambling with the lives of everyone around him if he tried to call that bluff again, but Lane has already decided to let him and Benji live and take the chance that Ethan is telling the truth- and thus, that he can and must be taken alive. Bear in mid that Ethan still had to escape Lane and his goons and very nearly didn't, so it's not like his plan was that much better.
      • Of course Lane wants Ethan alive (duh). The point is: how can Lane make Ethan talk without having precious leverages like Benji and Ilsa? I don't know what he hopes to accomplish by capturing Hunt alone. Beating the guy up? Having Janik torture him? Drugging him with truth serum? I doubt any of those is gonna work. Scratch that, even getting Hunt to their hideout is already a big problem. His teammates, especially Luther, will have no trouble tracking Ethan down (not to mention they now have the CIA and MI6 at their side). Having the group sitting there is the best chance Lane had, but he stupidly gave it up.
      • Even just sitting there might not work. Lane has too much to consider with so little time to think: He can't kill Ethan, but can't tell whether he really remembered all the bank accounts or not. What if Ethan doesn't remember every account after all? How can he capture him and Ilsa without causing too much fuzz? Heck, Ethan even asks Ilsa to point the gun at him and shoot him if his goons come any closer. Benji already walks away, Ilsa can take care of herself, and both him and Ethan knows that Ethan doesn't care whether he lives or dies as long as his friends are safe. If he keeps Ethan and Ilsa sitting there and make him read out accounts, chances are: 1. Ilsa can use Ethan as a human shield and get rid of Lane's goons or retreating to safety (can be countered if Lane's goons are smart enough to injure Ethan instead so he becomes a liability, but then again, there are lots of civilians there), 2. Lane might wait until someone gets a sniper rifle and snipe Ilsa, but that would cause the civilians there to panic and attract attentions from law enforcement. 3. Sleeping darts. But the best that would do is that he could get rid of Ilsa, but he might not get anything out of Ethan, and due to him being the only lead left to the bank accounts, Lane couldn't kill him and couldn't force him to cooperate in any way, just like you said. And lastly, Lane doesn't know that Ethan is a rogue agent. For all he knows, Ethan could have backup agents hiding somewhere, ready to strike if things go wrong. So the longer he keeps Ethan and Ilsa there, the riskier it would be for his goal. With all those spanners in his plans that he didn't see coming (prior Ethan reveals that he turns himself into a Living MacGuffin, Lane thought he was holding all the cards), it's no wonder why even a Chessmaster like Lane slips up.
  • How did Ethan actually know that this would work? It seems that he didn't know that Benji was wearing a bomb vest until he saw it. So if Lane just ordered some sniper to shoot Benji if Ethan wouldn't give him the disk, Ethan's plan that Lane has to let Benji go wouldn't have worked, because they still could've taken Ethan alive.
    • Killing Benji - regardless of how it's done - destroys the only leverage Lane has over Ethan. The key point was that Lane would threaten to kill Benji, and Ethan would throw the curveball. The exact plan he had to foil is irrelevant so long as it fits that scenario.
  • Like CinemaSins as well noted, why couldn't Benji wait until Ethan changed the secure profile and then begin to pass the secure mechanisms instead of hoping that Ethan has managed to install the right profile when he reaches the gate analysis? Sure, this makes for a very good and suspenseful scene, but still, it seems that they could have avoided that risk.
    • Presumably, given how high-tech the place is, they didn't want to stay in there any longer than they had to, meaning that they may have been worried that when Ethan changed the profile it might have been noticed shortly after. Benji was also trying to distract the guards while Ilsa and Ethan infiltrated the place, so that might have been a factor too.
      • There's still nothing stopping Benji delaying his entry into the facility proper, as the distraction is only when he's at the gate. He could get out of his car, pretend to take a phone call for 10 minutes, giving Ethan time to do the change.
      • The longer they hang around the base, the more likely they are to be detected. You always want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

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