Reviewed by: Ken James
|Featuring:||Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott, Rade Serbedzija|
|Producer:||Paula Wagner, Tom Cruise|
Tom Cruise is back as the odds-defying spy Ethan Hunt in “Mission: Impossible 2.” As expected, director John Woo delivers plenty of hard-hitting action, explosions, and daredevil driving to boot, but “M:I-2” overall disappoints. My impossible mission was suspending disbelief long enough to appreciate the action sequences of Hunt avoiding death while free climbing in Utah, or navigating a crotch-rocket through Aussie traffic and backroads while still sharpshooting, or numerous other ridiculous sequences. The formula of this movie seems to operate on the equation that Action + Tom Cruise = Good Flick. Too bad it doesn’t pan out that way.
In the opening we find Hunt climbing in Utah on vacation. A man alone in the rugged wilderness. After successfully completing an impossible climb, a helicopter approaches and his next mission is delivered. Hunt is to find three team members to accompany him. He chooses two male experts (Ving Rhames and John Polson) after merging with the sultry master thief Nyah in Sevilla, Spain (Thandie Newton) and convincing her to join up with him in saving the world by putting a stop to a deadly virus about to be released. Of course, she plays hard to get at first, but the two quickly find themselves in bed together (no nudity). He falls for her and vows to protect her. She becomes the bargaining chip and faces certain death unless Ethan can save the day. Cheezy, if you ask me.
Quickly the team finds themselves in Australia in search of the evil turncoat Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) who has nasty plans to make a lot of money. After violently stealing this brand-new virus from a German scientist of a Sydney-based pharmaceutical company, Ambrose plans to sell the virus and vaccine to the highest bidder.
After the release of this deadly virus, everyone in the world will have two choices: vaccinate or die. It sounds simple, but it really isn’t. The plot becomes confusing and muddled… only a minor vehicle for the intense action and cool photography.
While the high-tech gadgets were cool, it seemed to be a cop-out when both Hunt and Ambrose kept switching faces and voices. Sure, it looked real when they pulled off their faces; but it is a hard sell to buy. If only the rest of the film had been as good as some of the world-beat music woven into the film.
There are about a dozen instances of offensive language (including misusing God’s name). Sex is implied in two instances, though there is no nudity. Sexual innuendo is also present, though not abundant. The violence is extreme, with some brutal fight scenes and plenty of explosions, car chases, and the like.
Unless you’re a die-hard fan of Cruise, John Woo, or the old “Mission: Impossible” TV series, I suggest skipping “Mission: Impossible 2” in the theater. It may be worth a look on video if impossible Bond-style action is appealing to you.