This movie does get good, eventually, but it's so far in that most audiences will have checked out before it gets there.
I gotta knock it some points for the way-too-on-the-nose soundtrack (I get it, it's the 80s!), but despite that it's still an enjoyable movie, with action scenes you can (largely) follow. And yes, what you've heard is true; parts of it do play out like a kid-friendly version of The Shape of Water. But that just adds to the movie's charm in a weird kinda way.
This film is a guilty pleasure through and through. It is ungodly stupid. The plot is silly, Anthony Hopkins is underused, the action set pieces defeat the purpose of the IMF to begin with (remember the TV show? if they had to pull their guns that meant they'd failed), John Woos trademarks are overused or used inappropriately...
And yet, I love it. I love every ludicrous moment of this movie. And once I'm able to get a new copy to replace the one I had to sell I am watching it in glorious HD just so I can soak every moronic moment. With gusto. :)
More than 10 years after watching the first one, I finally got around to the second one. Life had a way of getting in the way. Not just for this one, but for a lot of the Classics I've always wanted to see. Here's hoping 2018 can change that for more than just this movie.