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Review: Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)

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Steve Kong

Oct 6, 2000, 8:15:37 PM10/6/00
Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
Review by Steve Kong
The Hard Boiled Movie Guide

What a way to kick off the summer of 2000! If you're a Hard Boiled Movie
Guide reader, it'll be no surprise to you that I enjoyed Mission:
Impossible 2 because of my heavy bias towards movies made by John Woo. So,
to get this out of the way early: Don't Miss Mission: Impossible 2. Now, if
you want the details, read on.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) can be likened to being the American version of
James Bond. If you thought the first film was convoluted and confusing,
you're not the only one. After watching it a few times, I was finally able
to string most of it together. If you like that kind of spy-versus-spy type
movie, M:I-2 will disappoint you. But, if you're looking for a cohesive
story that is punctuated by some eye-popping pyrotechnics and shoot-outs,
you're in for a treat.

The story of M:I-2 is pure and simple. A rogue IMF Agent, Sean Ambrose
(Dougray Scott), has stolen a deadly virus. It is up to Hunt and his
associates to track down Ambrose and retrieve the virus before it is
unleashed to the world. There are twists and turns all through the film,
most of them using the (overused) masked agent trick. Assisting Hunt this
time around are Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie
Newton), and Billy Baird (John Polson). Doing a short and sweet cameo is
Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins as Hunt's unnamed new boss.

As far as the story goes, it's enough to keep a summer audience's attention
without being overbearing. The one drawback was the predictability of the
script, and again the overuse of the whole masked agent bit. There is one
real audience pleasing twist in the film. This twist involves Hunt planning
a break-in while Ambrose figures out Hunt's plans. A brilliant cutting of
this sequence makes the sequence superb.

For me writing a review of a John Woo film is both easy and difficult. It
is easy because all of his films entertain me, but difficult because I tend
to rattle on like an uncontrollable fan who can't look past the name John
Woo. The action in M:I-2 is top-notch. Woo pulls out all stops with the
action, but the action seems to be all crammed into the end of the film,
making the film feel heavy in the beginning with exposition and heavy at
the end with action. The balance falls in the sense of wonder and grandeur
that Woo puts into the film. For instance, Woo shoots a flamenco sequence
early in the film with such flair that it stands out as more than just a
dance sequence.

As for the actors, we're not going to a summer movie to see Oscar-caliber
acting, and the cast knows that. All the members do a good job with their
parts, but don't expect Tom Cruise to be putting in anything but his silly
grin. Also take into account that M:I-2 is the first film in which Cruise
fires a gun onscreen. Worth mentioning is Thandie Newton who is absolutely
gorgeous onscreen and steals every scene she is in. Sadly, Ving Rhames and
John Polson do not get much to do in the film. Rhames is relegated to
running equipment back and forth, or sitting in a van. Polson has even less
to do.

Final word on Mission:Impossible 2? Go see it for some summer eye-candy
fun. Don't Miss Mission:Impossible 2.

Steve Kong

not all film critics are the same.
i'm your hard boiled movie guide.

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