Review - Mission: Impossible II

Thandie Newton and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible II

Breathtaking stunts: Thandie Newton and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible II

Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is back, tasked with saving the world from a dastardly villain intent on unleashing a deadly virus – cackle, preen. The “this time it’s personal” angle comes from the fact that the villain is a former Impossible-ist himself, and also the former lover of the woman Mr Hunt is now in love with.

You’d have thought it a mission impossible to make a duff sequel to Brian De Palma’s all-action 1996 movie with the fine ingredients assembled here. For starters there’s the $125m budget and Cruise, still one of the biggest stars in the world (he earned $60m+ for this). Then there’s the damsel in distress, Thandie Newton, a woman so beautiful that she could make a pope cry. And Dougray Scott as a Bond-style uber-baddie, malevolent as a man can be in designer gear. But there’s something not quite right. Perhaps Anthony Hopkins is symptomatic. Why hire the boombastic Hopkins only to throw him away in a minor role as Cruise’s control? And what of the contribution of Chinatown writer Robert Towne, forced to write around John Woo’s spectacular set pieces? And by “write around” I mean “join the dots”. M:I2 is lean, it’s efficient, it zips about the globe in much the same way as Woo’s camera zips about Cruise – way above him, circling about, swooping, and that’s just the pre-titles sequence set on a spectacular rock face. Suspense isn’t Woo’s thing, spectacle is, which is why, between rock faces and the peeling off of latex masks and helicopters and explosions the film just kind of hangs there, inert. Plus there’s the love subplot with Newton to be factored in. If there is one thing to be learned from the Bond movies that Cruise is so clearly is setting out to surpass, it’s that the minute Bond falls in love, the films fall apart.

© Steve Morrissey 2001


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imdb poster Mission: Impossible II
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
Run time: 123 min
Rating: 5.9
Genres: Action | Adventure | Thriller
Director: John Woo
Stars: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton
Trivia: A secret agent is sent to Sydney, to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called “Chimera”
Storyline IMF agent Ethan Hunt has been sent on a mission to retrieve and destroy the supply of a genetically created disease called ‘Chimera’. His mission is made impossible due to the fact that he is not the only person after samples of the disease. He must also contest with a gang of international terrorists headed by a turned bad former IMF agent who has already managed to steal the cure called ‘Bellerophon’ and now need ‘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 an international thief Nyah of whom he quickly develops a love interest. Time is not only running out for Agent Hunt to find and destroy ‘Chimera’ before the terrorists get their hands on it, but he must also find ‘Bellerophon’ so as to save his love interest who has already become infected by the disease from a terrible and rapid death. Written by Javert-5
Plot Keywords: mission, terrorist, virus, scientist, thief
Box Office Budget: $125,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: £4,621,948 (UK) (7 July 2000)
Gross: ESP 2,173,814,826 (Spain) (29 June 2001)