By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
When a deadly virus is stolen by former IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is enlisted to assemble a force, and stop him. Along the way, he enlists Sean’s former flame Nyah (Thandie Newton), a professional thief and safe-cracker. Nyah’s job is to rekindle her relationship with Sean, and provide reconnaissance. As the team gets closer to Sean, Ethan finds himself falling for Nyah, a complication which compromises the mission when Nyah is found out.
I’d compromise my mission for her… hur hur
Director John Woo knows how to make a good action sequence, and MI:2 is full of them. Tom Cruise is his willing accomplice, performing most of the stunts himself, including a worryingly precarious rock climbing sequence, in which no safety net was used. The 1990’s were extraordinarily kind to Woo, with films such as Face Off, and Broken Arrow being massively successful. In MI:2 he employed his full bag of tricks, from slow motion photography, to epic gunfights, to birds…
Sadly, this time without a Cage…
While ultimately successful in the box office, the original Mission Impossible movie confused some (mostly young) audiences, who found the plot’s twists and turns hard to follow. MI:2 was a concious attempt from the studio to dumb the franchise down into a pure action platform, and they succeeded. The plot is ultra-simplistic, and makes sure to follow a check-list of everything audiences of the year 2000 wanted to see in a movie. Fortunately, John Woo still imbues the film with a certain creative artistry that ensures the flaws are less obvious to all but the most cynical of filmgoers.
Tom Cruise’s Half-Mullet on the other hand, was positively fabulous…
As a spy flick, the biggest flaw is the film’s total lack of a mystery. From the very beginning, they let you know exactly who the enemies are, what they want, and how they’re going to get it. Even the simplest action movies have plot twists, but Woo’s decision forces the film to stand on its action sequences alone to sustain interest. It works for the most part, but leaves the audiences wanting.
A simple-minded, but ultimately satisfying action thrill-ride
Take a Drink: when Tom Cruise climbs anything, or runs anywhere
Take a Drink: anytime the Chimera virus is mentioned
Do a Shot: for John Woo’s Trademark Slo-mo