Mission Istanbul poster

Mission Istanbul

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

This mission is filled with convenient coincidences & sprinkled with Apoorva Lakhia style gore. It pretends to be smart in the beginning and loses interest in that too post-interval.

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Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Terrorism
More Movie Info

Like melodrama is to drama, Mission Istanbul is to pointless style. What with super-dangerous and mega-powerful villains walking like they are on a ramp, only waiting for the hero to get to them and start a fist fight. So what if only minutes ago, they had thousands of guns and gunmen at their disposal?

Initially it did feel like there was some hope from the story writer, because the plot seemed non-standard. But ultimately, it's just another power-maniac villain doing what he thinks is best to gain and maintain that power. The characters are like those in any typical action movie - the stereotypical hero, his partner and a bimbette. So, here we have these ingredients in the form of a wannabe smart-Alec, a pseudo geek and a cleavage.

Mission Istanbul Callout

Mission Istanbul Cleavage

Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit on the cleavage, so no need to rush to the theater yet, boys!

You know there's no hope from the dialogue writer when two characters introduce themselves to each other by imitating James Bond. I can't even say it's downhill from there, because that's pretty much the bottom of the hill.

It annoys me no end, when we have this really sharp villain who knows everything else but just can't spot our super-suave hero - in broad daylight! This is where the coincidences start getting to me and I almost checked whether my ticket stub said Kismat Konnection!

When they show an ace journalist (Zayed Khan) as the only computer geek around, it just has to take the cake. By the way, this top-notch journalist of ours who loves danger has no clue that he can be bugged by the technically savvy villain. Fine, we can accept that the 'top-notch' bit is only the writer's imagination. But, hasn't this guy seen a single Hollywood action flick? Grrrrr

Speaking of stereotypes, another huge one is shoved down our throat, this time referring to an entire country. Is it really appropriate to show Afghanistan having an arms' market that looks like a vegetable market in any nook and corner of India? She's already a country in distress; do we need to show it worse than it is? And if it is indeed such a dangerous place what are tourists doing in the arms' market!? Aah...these markets are actually tourist attractions! Got it!! Seriously people, journalists would have some kind of protection/back-up plan when entering such a place.

Also, I didn't think the cinematographer in combination with the editor did justice to either Afghanistan or Turkey. The tourist spots were covered rather hurriedly. I understand, this is no travelogue, but the beauty/ruggedness of the places was taken away from my eyes even before it registered. And I know these places have these qualities because other movies have covered them better.

If only the camera focused more on recording these places as they deserve to be instead of accommodating style. Isn't it high time we stop using slow motion to imply 'style'? But, it has some 'laugh out loud' value when Zayed Khan understands the seriousness of the mission at hand. He says, "he'll need some equipment" and Vivek Oberoi and him pull out their sunglasses and put them on in ... slo-mo!!

Interestingly enough, there was an attempt in the beginning to keep some continuity between the movie and the quintessential songs by say a one-liner like, "Work done, let's party" (though the work didn't look like it was done to me, but anyway...). Later they just gave up on their inhibitions and threw in a song. And yet had the gall to have a dialogue, "There's no time for a love song!"

The cinematic liberty of placing songs randomly, the 1000 coincidences that it takes to make this movie, the unreal characters all go to show how seriously they take the "All characters in this film are fictitious, any resemblance to any person dead or alive is coincidence" warning.

- meeta, a part of the audience

23 reviewers(?) - 1 yays 2 so-so 20 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, indya.com : ...will definitely find takers amongst the men considering the hard hitting and bone breaking action... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...But yes, the action is of top notch quality, no two ways about that.... full review

So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...There are also flashes of humour in the story, miraculously woven into the stern fabric of terrorism.... full review

Thumbs down, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...To put it mildly, ‘Mission Istanbul’ is the murder of cinema. put it mildly, ‘Mission Istanbul’ is the murder of cinema.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...instantly disposable action thrillers that loses credibility from the get-go... full review

Thumbs down, by Daliya Daspurkayastha, Bollywood Mantra : ...Nothing extraordinary can be spoken regarding the performances of the main protagonists.... full review

Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, Business of Cinema : ...The marvellously shoddy movie seems to have been made with one thought in mind. If it’s an action movie it has to be only about action.... full review

Thumbs down, by Yasser Usmaan, DearCinema : ...The camerawork is just average... full review

Thumbs down, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Anna dies.. hero cries.. the new guy tries..... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepti Lamba, Desicritics : ...Despite all the high tech talk of computers and all why didn't they use YouTube to let the world know the truth?... full review

Thumbs down, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, DNA : ...the filmmaker has been merciless in zipping through events in the first hour.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...you are really willing to forgive Lakhia for getting you out on this Mission is when the George Bush look-alike brings the house down.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Abba, I do get a sneaking suspicion that you didn’t like this Istaan bhool..was that you making odd, angry noises in the auditorium?... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Ten minutes into Mission Istaanbul and any hopes you might have had of watching a smart, realistic thriller, come crashing down... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Mission Istanbul is written on self-prescription, directed as per the convention and has action to exaggeration.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Why do all the Turks speak fluent Hindi? We don't know but that's the least of this film's problems... full review

Thumbs down, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...This one's a Turkey if there ever was one, and to relish it, you've got to be in the mood for Christmas.... full review

Thumbs down, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...discovered unconventional love for action stunts.... full review

Thumbs down, by Elvis D'Silva, Rediff : ... chase and action sequences are cut together so haphazardly that future generations of film students could write several inconclusive theses about why anyone would keep backing their escape vehicle into a van they've already got past... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Slowly but surely the continuous music makes you beg for some aural relief.... full review

Thumbs down, by Lasyapriya Sundaram, Times Now : ...Zayed can’t act to save his life.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...there isn't much that Vivek's long hair and Zayed's serious be-spectacled look can do to save the film... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

4 readers - 0 yays 3 so-so 1 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by http://PSYRATOWNICZE.NET/

Not Interested in Watching, by seznamka flirt

Not Interested in Watching, by where to buy garcinia cambogia

Want to Watch, by Danial

Want to Watch, by Halley

So-So, by click click click

So-So, by Consumer Goods

So-So, by young ones

Nay! Thumbs Down, by oknoplast

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Vikas Saagar (Zayed Khan), almost a divorcee is in Istanbul for a dangerous reporting job. Only the TV channel hiring him seems to be more than just another channel.

Note: There were a couple of scenes that just made me curious. One was where it seems like Zayed Khan is looking at a Vivek Oberoi's locket (at the cemetery), but the angle is just not right from where he is standing in reference to Vivek Oberoi. So, why did they make him look in that angle? Absolutely similarly, there is this 'mountain dew' scene where it seems like Vivek Oberoi this time is looking at Shweta Bharadwaj's cleavage, but the angels don't match up. Why give that feel?

What Worked

  • Some of the actions scenes were enjoyable for hardcore gore lovers. I'm not one, but could stomach what was shown here. And, whether I like it or not, I've always admired the destructive creativity. I especially loved the villain's affinity to break LCD screens!!

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Why-o-why does a senior journalist like Suniel Shetty know how to shoot around and fight like a guerilla warrior?
  • The look Shweta Bharadwaj (Liza Lobo) gives in the camera after the party song. That's so soap opera-ish.
  • The whole 13th floor set was shoddy including the all-important lift!
  • What a lame excuse for Vikas Saagar to be chosen for the job by Rizwan Khan (Vivek Oberoi)!?! That he has computer-phobia!
  • The absolutely predictable cheesy gore used to get to the 13th floor! Shheeesh!!
  • How come the surveillance cameras know who the viewer is looking at and follows the object all along?!
  • The sudden infusion of attempted-comedy using Mountain Dew and George Bush. Seriously, what was all that about?! How did it fit into the story?
  • I found the gunman in the helicopter trying to refill his machine gun extremely amusing. Just to clear the air, I was laughing at the writer who wrote the scene not with him.
  • Did they just make the pen drive survive a swim in the sea?
  • The entire 'try to hide because my photo's in the newspaper' sequence was such a sham! They were literally painting the town red!
  • Did Vikas say "jacket" when he meant "cap" which by the way, he was going to wear to disguise himself!?
  • The dumb villains who take forever to walk and stall so that they can be beaten up!


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Did Vikas Saagar call his soon to be ex-wife, who he was trying to woo, 'dumbo'? Men! I tell ya...

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Very violent. A guerilla war, gore, visual grossness every once in a while. Fist fights, gun fire and bomb explosions are in plenty!
  • Sexual content: Nothing specific except for the ill-clad women in the songs.
  • Concept: Well, terrorism, power-hunger...
  • General Look and Feel: It's a hardcore fight-fight action flick.

Mission Istanbul - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Running time:
120 minutes

Comments (11)

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Mission Istanbul Review...

This mission is filled with convenient coincidences & sprinkled with Apoorva Lakhia style gore. It pretends to be smart in the beginning and loses interest in that too post-interval....

Mission Istanbul looks like a vehicle to promote sponsoring brands Mountain Dew and Aaj Tak News Channel.Mission Istanbul suffers from weak characterizations and a bad plot. It isolates the viewers from the thick of things. At no point does the viewer feel connected to the script.

read review at http://bollywoodtrends.blogspot.com

ajay brahmatmaj's review

[...] Reviews: Withoutgivingthemovieaway , [...]

And this year's bravery award goes to Meetu for sitting through Kismat..,Contract, Money hai.. & Mission Instanbul; all in a matter of ONE WEEK.

And the award is a lifetime supply of RGV's Aag !!!

Sudhirji, ab mein kya kahu? aap jaise shubhchintak ho to dushman to dhool khaayenge...

hey there....
u hav a nice blog....

mine is at http://fungusoffline.blogspot.com

please chek it out...can we exchange our links????

Hey Sanyam, thanks! I link to reviews in my 'to each his own' section. So, let me know when you start regular reviews and I can link to them.

Andy, saw The Dark Knight, just didn't review it. Liked it too :)

:) Rahul

j, the good thing is both of you enjoy the same kind!

Your email version does not have the super cool photos of the *super cool* dudes and the dudette. Just wanted to let you know.


I like the concept :)

Thanks for pointing that out, Solitary Dreamer. Will try to get that fixed.

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