Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.
Chimera is a deadly virus that will bare a deathly death unless you are given the antidote. The creator of Chimera is murdered and the antidote is stolen by a disavowed IMF agent, Sean Ambrose. The Impossible Mission Force, IMF, hire the skilled and charming Ethan Hunt, and the beautiful Nyah Nirdoff-Hall, who has had her share with Ambrose. Their mission, should they choose to accept it is to send Hirdoff-Hall undercover to Ambrose and learn what she can for Hunt to bring down Chimera, but they will have to break into a secure lab by jumping off buildings and dodging bullets. Its impossible.
Less brains and more bangs but still far from greatness - 70%
Whoops! This appears to have been something of an oversight on my reviews list, despite me having seen it the other day on ITV2. The problem with this film is that it's one of those I assumed I'd already written about, thanks to heavy TV syndication. After viewing the third film the other day, I was reminded how little this had to do with the original source material but was still an entertaining, if extremely shallow, action blast with the old John Woo trademarks all present and correct.
Tom Cruise returns as super-spy Ethan Hunt, who's rock-climbing holiday is interrupted by his superiors at the IMF. Ethan is asked to recruit beautiful thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton) to accompany him on his latest assignment: to recover a deadly virus called "Chimera" stolen by former IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) in Australia. As Ethan fights his growing attraction to Nyah, he in unable to prevent her falling into harm's way and before long, Ethan is caught in a deadly race against time to prevent the virus being unleashed and to find the antidote to save Nyah's life.
After so much criticism of the first movie's overly-complicated plot, it's no real surprise that "Mission: Impossible 2" is dumber than lighting a match in a room full of dynamite. This has Woo's stamp all over it, feeling like a wish-list of action scenes and death-defying stunts crammed between slow-mo shots of doves and needlessly stylish shots devoid of dialogue. It has nothing at all to do with the "Mission: Impossible" series, something which parts one and three at least attempt. Acting is adequate but no more - Newton feels the most out-of-place - but it's the action scenes that rightly dominate and for which Woo is known for the world over. But for Woo veterans, there isn't really anything there you haven't already seen before.
So basically, it's a disappointing action thriller that doesn't do anything new. So why do I prefer this to the others? Maybe it's because I'm a shallow kinda guy but I suspect the real reason I prefer this is because it's a film aimed squarely at the audience and not at the critics. Woo knows what the majority of pop-corn munchers look for in an action movie and here, he delivers such a huge amount that there is something for every action fan. The problem with that approach, especially with this film, is that it couldn't be any more different from what went before it. Imagine if one of the "Godfather" sequels had been a romantic comedy instead of a mob flick - this is that movie. And because it's such a wild change from the first, it effectively killed off the franchise by stripping away its identity. Even J.J. Abrams struggles to get the series back on track, despite mixing the action and the intelligence into one film. "Mission: Impossible 2" isn't as bad as some have claimed but it is proper movie Marmite - you'll either love it or hate it with every fibre of your being.
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