5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2001
The sequel to 1996's box office hit is a predictably enjoyable film.
The film's plot is, thankfully, much less complicated than the first film, which makes it easy to follow. The tone of the film is set stylishly with the much loved M:I genre, Tom Cruise being told he has a new mission while in the middle of a desert.
The plot has an original idea, but one that is drummed into viewers' heads constantly throughout the film, to the point of grating. It also drags on for far too long. Though the various plot twists just about cover it, the chase and fight between Hawke and Scott's character is hard to enjoy fully because it is too long, and we have already seen endless similar action. The sensual scenes between Scott and Newton are never really effective because they don't go anywhere.
The characters are interesting enough, but again, nothing extraordinary, and the use of masks becomes increasingly ludicrous as the agents begin donning masks that they could not possibly have had.
On the other hand, the movie's secret agent genre is deliciously enjoyable, and promotes a sort of futuristic James Bond feel to it.
The film itself is satisfactory, with many positive features, but it does have too much unneccessary padding and is often completely unrealistic. It may be good, but not half as good as the original.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2005
Polished, stylish and slick are all adjectives you could use to describe Mission Impossible II, but at the end of the day strip away all the gleam and gloss and designer costumes, you've basically got a James Bond film with American accents.
That's not to say the film isn't good. As I say it is extremely professionally executed. The scenes and sets are visually stunning, whether it's Tom Cruise hanging from finger tips from the mountains, or the helicopter fly pasts over Sydney Harbour or even the sultry Latin heat of Seville you really can't criticise the imagery.
Likewise you have to respect the thrilling stunts. Unbelievable and implausible they maybe, but they do work and ensure an edge of your seat ride. The gadgets and gizmos and similarly fantastic but are also great fun even though they open more holes in the plot than provide explanations to story development.
The performances are good, Cruise proves he can play the all action hero as well as anyone else and at least his winning smile is more attractive than the grimaces of most the bunch of all-action actors. I found Thandie Newton slightly too underdeveloped to be a credible female interest character, but I did think the chemistry between her and Cruise worked well. Dougray Scott and Richard Roxburgh make suitable baddies, although the less said about the dodgy accents the better, and it's always great to see Anthony Hopkins whatever the role.
So if all this is so good why have I only given it three stars? Well basically, we've seen it all before, there's no real new hook to grab the viewer and to be quite frank, some of the stunt sequences simply go on too long. Once the face-ripping off trick has been shown in the plane, you just know it's going to re-appear several times and it's uses are neither surprising, or in this age of superb special effects, stunning.
If you like James Bond, you'll love this. If you like car chases and shoot outs, you'll love this. If you like suave designer clothes hung of beautiful people, you'll love this. For anyone else this is a fun way to spend a couple of hours, but nothing more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2000
The film starts well with a genuinely thrilling climbing sequence but from then on becomes one of the worst action films John Woo has ever made.
The plot is simple to the point of being predictable, but as with all action films the narrative of the film is not the point, it is the action.
Unfortuatley John Woo has been restricted by his star and the studio and so we get a luke warm Woo film instead of the wonderful excesses of "Face/Off".
Overall not worth watching if you're a true Woo fanatic but it does create an interesting comparison to his more auteuristic takes on the action genre. Finally the DVD does contain a comentary from Woo and is worth buying just for that and the rest of the extra features.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2014
‘Mission Impossible 2’ (2000) is the second in the franchise starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. I bought the DVD because I knew I’d seen it but couldn’t remember it. I now know why.
It’s straight out of the stable of the original which is one of my favourites. However, this one really over-exploits the face-mask features, Ethan over- demonstrates his acrobatic approach to life and there are perhaps too many whiz-bangs even for a SINCERE fan. I mean that seriously, folks. Because it’s all there but I wondered why. The final climax is exciting, falling into two parts: 1. Ethan destroys cars, motorbikes and men in a bid to escape and 2. He has a prolonged bout vs. the chief nasty with gun, fist and motorbike. All very exciting but far too long.
The plot is ramshackle and centres on a plot to kill of millions of people with a deadly virus. Somehow Ethan quickly discovers who, what and why. The chief villain (Dougray Scott as Sean Ambrose) is as nasty as you can get, ably assisted by Richard Roxburgh as Hugh Stamp. The ‘love-interest’ (Thandie Newton as Nyah Nordoff-Hall) dreams her way through the film, looking good but showing how little she can act – but with her lines what else could she do? Ving Rhames does a good job as No. 1 Best Man (but not as well as in the predecessor) and Anthony Hopkins does a cameo role to bring in the money.
Overall it’s not a bad film, so I’ll give it 3 stars, but it’s just a pretty pointless way to spend a couple of hours – noise, spills, comic-book violence but, in the end, not very much. And not a patch on the Jason Bourne series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Okay, so De Palma's film wasn't Citizen Kane, but at least it had its moments when Cruise's insatiable vanity was kept in check in favour of some well-executed set-pieces (even if one was stolen lock, stock and barrel from Topkapi). Woo's disastrous sequel - at the time the most expensive film ever made - is like an endless hairspray commercial, with the ever limited Cruise (who used to be able to act but now just runs off a checklist of six annoying expressions) constantly flicking his hair in glowing slo-mo - you keep on expecting him to say 'Because I'm worth it.' Unfortunately, they're so busy making him look pretty that they forget to include any of the basics of a Summer movie. The action scenes are few and far between and not worth the wait; the script is another lazy and lifeless stinker from Robert Towne that rivals his Love Affair for banal inconsequentiality (this time he's reworking Hitchcock's Notorious and an old Man from UNCLE episode); and the Brits in the cast let the side down even more than Woo, Cruise and Towne combined - Thandie Newton seems semi-comatose, Hopkins hams it up and cashes the cheque, while Dougray Scott demonstrates just how dull an actor he can be even when mugging relentlessly. The only good thing that came of this film was the over-runs keeping Scott from playing Wolverine in X-Men: judging from his subsequent performances on screen and stage, if being boring on screen was an Olympic sport, this guy would win Scotland gold every time.
Possibly the most tedious vanity production ever made. Good extras on the DVD, but that's the best that can be said for it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2004
I must say I enjoyed the twists and turns of MI1, apart from the fact that it very quickly turned in a "Cruise Crusade" about 15 minutes into the film, when about 75% of the main cast bit the dust. So after much ado thought I would catch the lastest installment. I found it below par - the Thandie Newton proves to be a very capable 'love interest' and Cruise is a fair Ethan Hunt, but I have been left with the feeling that the movie could and should have been a lot better. All the ingredients were there - good enough actors, excellent locations etc. But anyone with a reasonable IQ would have guessed the outcome of the story minutes before it was played out on the screen. The ending where the bad guy says "you should have killed me when you had the chance" is painful.
Good points - the car chase though not original, will provide visual interests to car fans - (just close your eyes when Ethan and Nyah crash them), the Spanish dancing/robbery scene when Nyah and Ethan first meet was very good. After that however the plot wears thin. Other visuals of note include the many explosions and cyber face changes - but after the first 2 this too begins to bore the viewer. Also Hunt's side kicks were not used enough in the plot - which is a shame as they are very good actors who could have added to the movie greatly.
So if you are into fast cars, fast bikes, fast women (sorry Thandie!) and even faster men (Tom and Dougray Scott -the bad guy!) then this is for you. If you are a fan of the original series then please turn away if you not not want to be disappointed. You will only feel cheated and your intelligence insulted by the lack of convincing plot.
Thanks for reading!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2000
After the first Brian DePalma MI film which combined a complex story, solid performances and tense action set pieces to brilliant effect, it seemed things could only get better when it was announced that action master John Woo would make the sequel.
Woo directed some of the finest action films of all time (Hard Boiled, The Killer) and fresh from his success with the superb Face/Off the idea of his take on Mission Impossible was irresistable.
However the result fell far short of the first film and Woo's earlier classics.The story was dull, the action was strangely unengaging and the the acting average (espacially the bad guy).
The strangest part is that the makers seem to have forgotten that this was a sequel to another film and so all of a sudden Tom Cruise is a happy smilling wise cracking joker who can do crazy (and completly unnesscary) kung fu moves, and although he has a team they dont do much (I though the Mission Impossible IMF was supposed to be a team??)
And to top it off all of John Woo's usual ideas (slo mo, doves, catching guns mid air etc)that make his films good are overused to the point that it looks like its meant to be a joke.
The Region 1(US) version has some great extras:
• Commentary by director John Woo • 15-minute "Behind the Mission" exclusive cast and crew interviews • Five-minute "Mission Incredible" stunts featurette "Impossible Shots" • Exclusive interviews with John Woo, Tom Cruise, stunt coordinator Brian Smrz and others • Metallica's music video of "I Disappear" • Alternate title sequence • MTV Movie Awards show parody, "Mission Improbable" with Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller and John Woo. • Widescreen anamorphic format
Paramount will most probably keep the UK version the same. The DVD is good but film isnt as good as it should have been ...still better than James Bond anyday ;)
on 28 June 2015
Spoilers in this review.
This is the weakest in the series. It's biggest problems are the over the top slow motion shots which include at least trippled shots of the same single action taken, e.g Tom Cruise doing a hefty kick which because of the slow motion and multi shots from different angles while Cruise is flying through the air, takes up to 5 seconds to complete, instead of 1 second from a hard, quick swift kick which Bruce Lee would have done. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Sometimes the slow motion really is that bad.
Then there is the main villain, Saun Ambrose, this time played by Dougray Scott, who is an agent gone rogue and can predict what Ethan Hunt will do. Last time I checked, Mission Impossible is about getting in and out of missions without anyone knowing at all. But Saun apparently knows exactly how Ethan will go about doing the biggest mission in the movie, and gives a running commentary to his men and for the Audience who don't want to know because they want suspense. He's giving the commentary 'as' Ethan is doing the mission. Okay, director John Woo is fairly good with action movies, but his directing style doesn't help this movie.
Thandie Newton is very beautiful, and quite frankly a lot more stunning than most of the other overpraised and overated actresses put there, in the looks department I mean. Unfortunately she's not very good in this. However I will glady choose Thandie over Megan Fox.
The main Story about a deadly virus that a Phermeseutical company wants money from, which in itself is kinda sick, is less complex than the first movie. Even though the first movie is better.
And there is a small twist thrown in to give Hunt some more work to do to extend the movie, and get to the point where he can have a big fight with Sean partly in slow motion and kill him.
As an action movie, M:I-2 is fairly good. Not as good as let's say 'Taken', but it's still quite entertaining, and Tom Cruise still holds the screen very well along with the awesome Ving Rhames, making this movie more than just a bog standard sequel. It does have its merits. Sadly there is sloppy writing. Nyah Hall putting the memory card back but into the wrong Jacket pocket, and Ethan waiting around when he easily has a perfect shot to destroy the Kimera virus (if that's how you say it) just so there can be a shoot out because the the villain knows he is there when he shouldn't know he's there, and so there can be that small twist for the movie to be extended. Hunt just waits there with the virus and cure in his hands , and he spends the time in deep thought with a few flashbacks.
Movie 3/half out of 5 stars
on 16 May 2015
Ethan Hunt has been sent on a mission to destroy a genetically created disease called 'Chimera'.
He must also contest with a gang of terrorists headed by a former IMF agent who has already managed to steal the cure, and now needs 'Chimera' to complete their grand plan of infecting the whole world.
In order to infiltrate and locate the terrorist group, he relies on the help of thief Nyah, with whom he quickly develops an interest in.
Time is not only running out for Hunt to find and destroy 'Chimera' before the terrorists get their hands on it, but he must also find the cure, so as to save his love interest who has already become infected by the disease from a terrible and rapid death.....
John Woo is a wonderful director. His pre Hollywood movies are visually stunning and almost poetic with their action scenes, and Face/Off is arguably one of the most bonkers action movies that Hollywood has churned out in the last twenty years.
So it comes as a complete surprise when this movie, despite the high concept, Cruises star power, and franchise name reaches its peak, when Cruise reaches his peak when climbing.
It's completely incoherent, allegedly Woos cut clocked in at over three hours, but hey, the studio wanted the money, knew people would see it, and despite the nonsense, it's make bucketloads of money, because the trailer looked brilliant, and Woo was a huge deal then.
So what we get is, the obligatory stunt that hinders each movie,man impressive last twenty minutes, but almost ninety minutes of waffle, Scott chewing scenery, and Cruise with his best Zoolander pose in slow motion.
It's all eye candy, and really nothing else, Hopkins shows up for a bit of plot explanation, Newton is just there to justify Cruises hatred for Scott, and Rhames comes back for a little comic relief.
It beggars belief that the franchise continued after this mess, but rest assured the film went from strength to strength after this.
So all in all, it's just a two hour advertisement for Loreal shampoo featuring Cruise.
Why? Because he's worth it....
on 3 July 2012
Well, well, Mr. Woo, we meet again. And this time around your mission - should, you choose to accept it, is to deliver the sequel to a film directed by a Brian De Palma, that boasted an eclectic cast, was based on a seminal '60s TV series and swooped alotta' dollar at the world-wide box office. Quite a proposition, certainly, but then, this is Mission Impossible.
Maybe that is the problem; maybe this is truly an impossible mission to pull off? Gone are the innumerable characters and the gloriously complicated plot. Gone, too, is an actual team to speak of (one poodles about in a helicopter and the other does little more than tap aimlessly on his laptop), and criminally absent are gadgets of any real invention.
What we're left with is Hunt... He's up against defected Agent Ambrose (Dougray Scott) Sean Bean's character from Goldeneye springs to mind when watching him, i wonder why?Exotic Love Interest (Thandie Newton), flips from aloof femme fatale to infatuated girlie in a preposterously short space of time. So, it's James Bond then. A fluid, kinetic, visually impressive one admittedly, but Bond all the same.
And it starts with a pre-credit mid-air heist (complete with mountain-top collision cliché) that culminates in the theft of both the crucial deadly virus and its only antidote. And so, enter- he of the staggering pay cheque, also known as Tom Cruise.
This, you see, without a doubt is Tom Cruise's show. From scaling cliff faces to abseiling into confined spaces (1-uping its predecessor's most famous scene), he looks nothing short of spectacular; flowing locks, chiselled jaw, toned muscles and glistening brow, all captured in mouth-watering slow-mo and longing, brooding close-up. Again and again... and again
Which inevitably throws into question who was really wearing the trousers when this film was made? It just doesn't really feel like a John Woo film the whole thing smells of over-indulgence that has an aftertaste of the excessive. At some points the cheese metre seems to go beyond even Schwarzenegger levels into some weird place that feels like a loreal advert with guns in it. I think the answer seems fairly clear who was in the driving seat for this film.
I am not saying that this film was bad on any level but if Tom Cruise wasn't on board as a producer, the vanity element would have been turned down dramatically and John Woo could have done his awesome thing and this would have rivalled the original film. As it stands Tom Cruise wanted to make this film so he could look extremely bad ass, and he does, but as a result the film ends up being a good but forgettable action flick with little substance beyond slow motion hair flicking.