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Mission: Impossible III (2006) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

The postcard sent from Berlin has a postage stamp with post-2001 Euro Currency on it. The postmark however says "Deutsche Bundespost" which ceased to exist in 1994. The mail business is called "Deutsche Post" since then. Also a real German postmark would look similar, but instead of "Deutsche Bundespost" would state the town (e.g. Berlin) in the top half and the ZIP-Code (e.g. 10001) in the bottom half of the outer circle.

Character error 

Luther states Ethan is going to use a "fulcrum" to swing from one building to another in order to steal the Rabbit's Foot when in fact what the team uses is a pendulum. A fulcrum is a point for a lever to act upon, a pendulum swings under the influence of gravity.
When Ethan calls Musgrave to put a trace on the Rabbit's Foot, Musgrave says that he sees him on "Luang Tao Lu Road," but "Lu" in Chinese means "road." Therefore when he says "...Lu Road" it is redundant.
When Ethan is looking at the team that has been put together for the rescue mission, Luther Stickell's details come up, however his surname is misspelled with only one L (Stickel).

Continuity 

When Ethan's team goes to rescue Lindsey, Zhen is climbing the stairs in the warehouse, wearing night-vision goggles on her head. In the next scene they disappear.
When Ethan is in China to retrieve the Rabbit's Foot, the four guards on top of the roof clearly communicate and visually see each other. When sliding down the roof he only shoots two of the guards, leaving the other two alone. These guards would clearly see the two fallen guards and set off the alarm right away.
When Ethan is writing the calculations for the building jumps on the window, the math changes between shots.
After Ethan shoots down the jet on the bridge, it is seen blowing up and the helicopter swings away. A few seconds later, the helicopter is back to its normal position as if it never occurred.
As Owen Davian is being transported along the bridge, the fly over shot shows no cars passing next to the caravan, but then the camera cuts to a car behind the caravan and suddenly there are cars.
When they are being attacked and shot at on the bridge, Ethan's back left jean pocket is ripped. After recovering from the almost fall off the bridge, his jeans are no longer ripped.
When Davian is being kidnapped in the bathroom, as Hunt is coughing to kill time, the camera switches back between Hunt and the bodyguard, the tissue he is holding continually switches between his left and right hands.
SPOILER" In the final scenes of the film when Hunt and Davian are fighting, Hunt pushes Davian through the doors into the road. In the shot that the pair come rolling through the doors, we see three men standing next to the wall, looking on, however, in the next shot they are gone.
When Musgrave is speaking with Ethan in the convenience store he has a significant amount of chin and lip hair. When Ethan is watching the taped mission message from Musgrave in the next scene, he is extremely clean shaved. It could not have been taped that much earlier.
At the end of the bridge battle, Ethan leaps atop a taxi to take a shot at the helicopter. In the shot from behind, Ethan leaps directly onto the trunk lid of the red taxi with his right foot; in the immediate reverse (frontal) shot, he first pushes off the fender of the black Lincoln with his left foot and then hits the taxi with his right.
When Declan is getting ready to fire the tracer, he pushes his glasses up onto his forehead. When he fires the tracer in the next shot, the glasses have completely disappeared.
As Hunt, posing as Davian, leaves to sneak into the bathroom, his teeth and waistline have not been altered to exact Davian. However, minutes later, his teeth and waistline are identical to Davian's.
When Declan and Ethan are outside the wall in the delivery truck and have the hood up arguing, there is a male and female that are arguing with them. In one frame the female is standing with the male, then next frame the female is walking, the next frame the female is standing again with the male.
When Ethan put eye lenses in Vatican we can see veins on his hands. When Luther puts a mask on his face and says "congratulations", Ethan grabs him with his hands and veins disappeared.

Crew or equipment visible 

Camera operator visible in far left corner of Ethan's sunglasses at the funeral service.
When Ethan's team return from China and the camera pans around the airplane the entire crew can be seen in the red painted part of the plane.
When Ethan is escaping from IMF headquarters and climbing up the elevator shaft cable, you can see the back of his coat being lifted up from the cord that is lifting him.
When Hunt runs at high speed down a flight of stairs to where Julia is being held captive, you can see a brief moment where the guide wire used to support him (in case of a fall down the stairs) is visible to the left of the screen. It evidently was not completely removed during editing with CGI (the line is not fully visible, so it may be that some attempt was made to remove it).

Errors in geography 

Nowhere near Berlin is a wind park like the one in the movie. Also the geography in the background with mountains/hills is incorrect to what Berlin and it's surrounding areas look like.
The attack to release Owen Davian is set on Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. After the attack, Ethan Hunt jumps into a convertible and in a very short period of time drives across the 14th Street bridge toward the Jefferson Memorial, which is about a 3 hour drive from the Bay Bridge-Tunnel (The bridge-tunnel connects the Delmarva Peninsula with southeastern Virginia).
The railway wagons in the yard at the factory in Berlin have American-style couplings, not European ones.
The truck that Luther is in in the factory in Berlin is an American truck as vehicles in Europe don't have indicators (turn signals) switched on all the time.
As Ethan is just about to run through the streets of Shanghai, you can see a real map of Shanghai and the place where Ethan is. In the next scene, Ethan escapes through the rooftop and you can see a village, which in reality isn't there, because at this point of the map there are traffic routes and tourist streets. Then he runs through an old China street with old fashioned prototype Chinese, which in reality is a modern city street with normal people.
The GPS coordinates N57,50 E21,00 shown at 0:10:06 are in fact a location in Baltic Sea and not "near Berlin."
When Gormley is outside St. Peters he says his ETA is 2 minutes to the Sistine Chapel. Even running there would take far longer than this.
The shot of St. Peter's Basilica when Ethan is on the wall made it look like there are no trees inside the grounds of the Vatican. The actual view of St. Peter's Basilica from wall of the Vatican Gardens includes many umbrella pine trees. The shot also made St. Peter's Basilica look further away from the back wall of the Vatican than it actually is.
After Julia is kidnapped, Ethan leaves the hospital and AMR ambulances are in the background. AMR does not provide ambulance service for D.C. or Virginia.
When Ethan is in the Mercedes convertible fleeing the scene of the bridge attack, he passes several Virigina State Police cars with red and blue roof lights headed in the opposite direction. However, Virginia law states that police vehicles in Virginia can only have blue roof lights (red lights are reserved for fire trucks, ambulances, and rescue vehicles).

Factual errors 

A defibrillator submits an electrical charge that only affects muscles. Therefore, the charge would never make it to the brain. To try and kill the implant, a direct charge to the brain would be needed and in doing so, kill the person.
In the Vatican city, Ethan clips on what appears to be some sort of inductive wire tap over Ethernet cables to gain access to the internal security camera feed. An inductive type of tap that just goes around the entire cable would not work with Ethernet, as there are multiple pairs of conductors inside a single cable, each operating with differential signaling.
In the Bay Bridge attack as the missile detonates on Ethan's left side, Ethan is hurled to the left, not the right as one would expect.
While the IMF caravan is on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel with Davian, all of the vehicles with Virginia tags are labeled incorrectly. Virginia license plates consist of three letters, a hyphen, and four numbers (LLL-NNNN) not three letters as shown.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Ethan is fleeing the scene of the bridge attack in the Mercedes convertible, we see him steering with one hand and using his phone with the other, but the soundtrack indicates manual gear-changes are being performed. This can explained by the type of gear box which is either a semi-automatic or Triptonic.
In German, "IMF" would be pronounced "Ee em eff," yet the German commando in the helicopter pronounces it "Eye em eff." However, it would be perfectly normal for a German native speaker to pronounce it in English like he would for example "CIA" or "FBI".
When Ethan swings onto the roof in Shanghai, the security guards shout at each other in Mandarin. Although the Shanghaiese dialect is spoken in Shanghai, there are large numbers of "guest workers" in Shanghai, and Mandarin is widely understood. Moreover, the guards are reported to be former "Chinese Intelligence", and, as such, are likely to be drawn from all parts of the country, the majority of whom speak Mandarin.

Plot holes 

When Davian is hanging head-first out of a moving plane in the face of a deafening roaring wind, he still manages to hear Luther call Ethan by name inside the plane.

Revealing mistakes 

After they kidnap Davian, Ethan closes the lid of the drain. In the next shot when they are in the sewer, some light is coming from above. If the lid has been closed how can the light come from above?
Ethan is told to meet 'at the crack of dawn' the next morning for the mission, but when Ethan appears the next morning it is obvious the outdoor shadows are near mid-day.
During the infiltration of The Vatican, Ethan climbs on a thick wall beside a CCTV camera, turns it off, takes a picture of what it is seeing, prints it and hangs it before the camera before turning it back on. The Focal length of a CCTV camera is usually set to infinity, especially one that is taking a large view, meaning everything within 90 centimeters of the camera would be out of focus. The photograph was hung a few centimeters before the camera, that would make it largely out of focus.
When Ethan and Luther are using the machine to paint the Owen mask under the Vatican, the eye-holes in the mask stay white while the rest of the mask is painted. If the mask were really being painted, the head mannequin would have also be painted.
When Owen is asking Ethan where the Rabbit's Foot is in the beginning, and end, of the movie; the shots of Owen in the mirror behind Ethan are not consistent with the shots of him facing the camera. Specifically the gun position is down in the mirror shots (when Ethan is talking) and the gun is pointed at Ethan's wife while Owen is talking.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

When Ethan's wife is performing CPR on him, she is doing the breaths incorrectly. As a nurse, she should know to tilt his head back to clear the airway. The breathing, as she does it, does Ethan no good. In addition, CPR is designed to keep blood circulating until definitive care can be provided at a hospital. Precordial thumps (pounding the chest with a fist) can only attempt to jolt a fluttering heart back into a normal rhythm. Neither of these techniques can restart a pulseless heart, much less suddenly restore a victim to consciousness, as Ethan demonstrates.

Character error 

In the final scenes when Owen Davian is killed, there is a shot of a taxi with the Chinese characters indicating it is a bus.

Character error 

When Ethan calls Benji Dunn from Shanghai and asks him to trace the phone where Julia is being held captive, Benji tells him the trace location is "one mile to the northeast", however the map shows the location due straight North, not Northeast as Benji stated.

Continuity 

In the final scenes as Ethan is running through the narrow streets of Shanghai, he is almost hit by a truck traveling at quite a speed. As he turns the corner from where the truck has just come, we can see that it is narrow and there are pedestrians in the middle of the road. Not the sort of road for trucks to be traveling at that speed.

Continuity 

After Ethan parachutes from the building having recovered the rabbit's foot, when he is picked up by the Land Rovers, the road condition alternates from dry to wet and back to dry again in the space of seconds.

Continuity 

When Ethan is having the time release capsule in his brain detonated, Julia hides behind a wall to avoid gun fire. Her position on the wall changes to where her shoulder is over the wall and therefore able to get shot, back and forth throughout the whole sequence.

Continuity 

At the end of the fight between Owen and Ethan, Ethan rolls over so that Owen is on top, allowing him to be struck by the speeding truck. However, when we next see the road in which they were lying, it is a narrow side street completely blocked by stationary cars.

Crew or equipment visible 

When the Lamborghini Gallardo explodes after Zhen and Ethan go into the sewers, you can clearly see a chain protruding from the car just as it explodes, as the crew had used one to hold down the car and control the explosion.

Factual errors 

When Ethan is attempting to defibrillate Lindsey in the helicopter to destroy the implant, the defibrillator takes 30 seconds to charge. This time is way too long. Most defibrillators will charge to 200 joules in about 8-9 seconds and to 360 joules in about 13 seconds.

Factual errors 

At the end of the film, when Ethan is designing an improvised defibrillator using two power cables and first testing them by putting the ends in a bowl of water and flicking the switch, that would have resulted in a short-circuit that would have blown any fuses installed along the power line thus making it impossible for him to proceed using it on himself.

Revealing mistakes 

When Hunt bites Musgrave and knocks him out, it cuts to him lying unconscious on the floor. Musgrave flinches when a piece of debris hits him in the face.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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