Retro Review: Mission: Impossible 2

Tom Cruise returns to the action genre and the 2000 summer box office with the much anticipated M:I2.

The sequel to the 1996 smash, “Mission: Impossible” brings us back into the world of secret agent Ethan Hunt. Hunt’s job this time is to stop rogue Sean Ambrose (played devilishly by Dougray Scott), from distributing a deadly virus called Chimera. Hunt is forced to team with Ambrose’s ex-lover (Thandie Newton) for the mission. Along for the ride is Hunt’s old buddy Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) who helped Hunt out in the previous film.

“Mission Impossible 2” is a wild ride. It is a lot more entertaining and less confusing than its predecessor.

Problems I had with the first one, included the confusing plot that involved at least three subplots which never gelled.

In this film we have a large plot but no where near the confusion. The plot and its execution reminded me a lot of the TV series, that these films are based. The mission seemed to be a problem the people in the series would deal with.

In the first one, you had rebellion and vindictive leaders of the whole organization and that whole concept goes against the formula which made the series so intriguing. Another reason I think the plot and execution was so familiar is that it has been done in numerous Bond films. If you have a working formula, why not stick with it.

A problem I had with the film was in the directing. Hong Kong action film director John Woo has made a staple in all his films to have slow motion scenes which are supposed to captivate an integral plot point. I loved the first couple slow motion shots which really seemed to accent the allure between Cruise and Newton. It also gives the audience a chance to see the chemistry building between the actors. Not to mention the beauty within Newton’s eyes. But as the third, forth, and fifth slow motion scenes came forth, I became annoyed. Why were they needed in the action sequences?

The whole second half of the film is heavily laced with huge stunts, special effects and motorcycle showdown that makes you wonder, can they do that? A perfect example of that involves Cruise half spinning in slow motion on the back of a motorcycle while firing his gun.

It looks so unbelievable slowed down and analyzed that I wonder if it would have been more believable in real time. The final fight scene is vintage Woo and does show the controversial sequence which injured actor Dougray Scott during filming.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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