Mission: Impossible II (2000)
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I liked the first Mission: Impossible better because it had a more advanced plot. This Mission: Impossible is just a bland shoot 'em up action film. Now there's nothing wrong with that. The movie was still immensely entertaining. It just didn't fit in with the first film. Even the character of Ethan Hunt, though still played by Tom Cruise, is different. In this movie he doesn't seem as serious about his job. He's more cocky. However, I do like that the character now has absolutely amazing skills in hand to hand combat.
Overall, if you're looking for a smart spy thriller like the first film, this ain't it. If you're looking for a fun action film with amazing action sequences, this is it.
The story is nothing but a series of clichés. The bad guys have stolen a killer virus and are intending to let it loose to make a fortune selling the antidote. Very predictable, eh? The characters couldn't be more two-dimensional if they were in a Nintendo game. Being a tomboy, I absolutely hate it when women in movies have no personality and are just added in as a love interest. Nyah, the chick in MI2, is a perfect example of this. She was the only female in the entire film and her sole purpose was to be sexy (as is subtly shown by several pointless cleavage shots). Sure, the movie wants you to think that she could kick ass if she wanted to by making her a professional thief, but isn't very convincing at that. In the end, while Tom Cruise is engaged in a very unrealistic battle sequence on a beach, she roams around aimlessly, considering the possibility of throwing herself off a cliff (which would have been a relief).
I was going to talk about the extremely pointless car chase sequence between the hero and the chick, in which they demolish their cars for no reason whatsoever, but I don't really know what to say about it.
The only good thing about this film is that it was so boring that I preferred doing the homework I'd been postponing for ages to watching the dumb motorcycle chases.
It is a pretty straight forward, brain at the door action movie but the real problem with it is the huge inconsistencies throughout the movie. OK, the acting is a bit crappy, there's the token love interest and everything else is pretty forgettable but its an action movie, thats their nature sometimes.
The 'chase' scenes are awful to be fair to them, especially the motorbike one. How is it that his bike doesn't explode when his gas tank is hit but everything he shoots blows up? How can a bullet fired almost directly at you shatter the visor on the bike and not hit the passenger? Then to top it all off before duelling with there bikes on the sand, the high performance road bikes take an off camera pit-stop to change the slick tires to off-road. This brief rant illustrates the stream of flaws through the movie and I think Mr. Woo should be accountable. Tut tut John. If you want action try somewhere else because this will leave you under whelmed. Try number III, its not all bad.
The sequel however has no plot, no interesting dialogue just mindless shootouts that would leave Gun and ballistic experts laughing in disbelief. John Woo is not a director he is a second unit director that got lucky. He cannot control his cast, he cannot convey any plot and he cannot stage believable action sequences.
Woo seems to be directing (if you could call it that) in his sleep. The storyline seems to slightly mirror the original film in that a member of IMF goes rogue (not another one!!) and tries to release a Killer Virus called Chimaera on an unsuspecting world.
Apparently IMF Boss (Anthony Hopkins) knows the whereabouts of the Villain's hideout and orders Ethan Hunt to plant the Bad Guy's Ex girlfriend in an attempt to undermine him. (Wouldn't it have been better if they just attacked the HQ with commandos etc)
In the original film Ethan Hunt gets promoted to Jim Phelps rank within the organisation but in the sequel he is still a "Point man" jumping around in commando gear. Ving Rhames and his Australian colleague seem to do absolutely nothing in this film other than occassionally tap on a computer laptop keyboard and try to look serious. By removing the "team" element that made the series so great it makes the whole thing look like James Bond rather than Mission Impossible.
An interesting point to note is that since we know that Jim Phelp's salary was 60K PA There is no way the Rogue IMF grunt in this film could afford a massive private army along with a beach front Condo.
Some other laughable points in this film include:
The painstaking attempt by Hunt to infiltrate a building by bungee jumping down a giant ventilator shaft while the Rogue IMF villain and his private army gingerly stroll through the front door of said building.
The IMF villain must be unbelievably dumb to initiate a shootout (including explosions) with Ethan Hunt in a deadly Virus/Chemical research lab.
The Second Unit Director's (Woo) laughable obsession with White Doves that seem to have more screen time than Anthony Hopkins.
The throat elastoplast that enables people to talk like other people including perfecting their accents (South African, Scottish, American)
And finally the car and motorcycle chases that seem to break the laws of physics rather than breaking the monotony of the plot.
It is hard to believe that it took four years of rewrites and production/ shooting to create this sorry mess. Even the soundtrack by Metallica and Limp Bizkit is absolutely Tuneless and irrelevant to the film.
Although it made an impressive opening weekend this film got so slated by critics and the media that it would be lucky to break even from box office takings. So do not expect an MI3 so quickly.
This movie will have the distinction of earning a Golden Turkey award.
I except most films to have that "Rambo mentality," as I call it, where hundreds of bullets are fired - and missed- at the hero, while he or she hits everything in sight. That was here but so overly done that is was absurd and downright annoying after awhile.
Tom Cruise, our hero, should have been shot so many times I lost count. This is director John Woo, for you, who always overdoes action and sometimes makes it ridiculous.
The good points are slick photography, interesting characters, good surround sound, low profanity and a very good soundtrack. Thandie Newton is attractive heroine and Dougray Scott is satisfactory as the main villain.
The movie plays more like a James Bond film, although it still has MI touches such as the fake rubber masks we saw in the first film. More realism in that 40 minutes would have made this a far better film than it turned out to be. Oveall, a bit disappointing.
Almost nothing from the first film has been picked up here: Tom Cruise? Yes, he's back, but he's not a spy anymore. He's James Bond, minus ANY cool gadgets or charisma. The awesome theme music? Gone, replaced with a horrible rock score. The action is typical Hollywood: Slow-motion gunplay and martial arts.
Ugh, I hate this movie! The acting and dialogue is lame, the techno-rock score even lamer, and the action scenes are mundane. Here's hoping 'MI: III' won't be as cringe-inducing as this disaster.
By the way, it was a clever touch to have Cruise receive his mission briefing via wrap-around sunglasses. Kind of nice to be reminded of RISKY BUSINESS.
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.
Being an amazing filmmaker, John Woo wanted "Mission Impossible 2" to have a lot more emotion and romance A romantic interest that can engage the hero emotionally, pushing him to exercise his skills In this case, he's trying to save the life of someone he cares for and loves The story revolves around three characters The good guy and the bad guy in love with the same girl
John Woo's sequences were highly developed, completely mind-blowing, dangerous and exciting Woo really pushed his elements to the edge, designing action that people have never seen
Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton looked very charming, proving to have a great chemistry with each other They also looked very natural I loved the scene when they meet, and how they meet The opening scene came from Robert Wise's "West Side Story" It is boy meets girl, girl looks at boy No story telling was needed With high speed and the judicious muting of sound, Woo made it a love-at-first-sight moment, isolating our two heroes in a very lovely way
Tom's character was a new kind of a hero A person who really cares about people, and enjoys life He has a great passion about nature, about love, about everything
Thandie's romantic life was very busy She is involved with the character played by Dougray Scott, Ambrose who's the key for the Mission team He is the one with the information which Thandie's character has to win back Dougray was a really interesting bad guy, as complex a bad guy as you can get and with an impossible mission...
Dougray's Ambrose becomes disillusioned with being in Ethan's shadow In deciding to have more power, he turns to the other side He forms a renegade band of ex-Special Forces people But Ambrose couldn't even be himself He includes his identity into Hunt's, when Ethan was not available So if he needed to be something, he had to be Ethan Hunt
Ving Rhames' Luther was a balance in the team He's a computer expert who brought the charm to his character Outside of Ethan Hunt, he is the only returning member of the IMF team
"Mission: Impossible 2" gave John Woo the ability to really use his filming style, which is the slow motion on key moments You can see Cruise slow-motion flipping through the air, walking through flames with a white dove sending a message to the evil, running and jumping out of a hole, climbing dangerous scary high cliff, jousting on a motorcycle, trapped in a gun battle, Kick boxing, and having a really sharp and pointy knife in the eye