Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movie Review: "Mission: Impossible II" (2000)

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Movie"Mission: Impossible II"
Director: John Woo
Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

A former IMF agent named Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) and a group of terrorists steal a deadly virus known as Chimera, and its only antidote. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew are activated to go in and retrieve the stolen virus and antidote before it can be unleashed on the population.

I can remember watching this movie initially because of its kick-ass soundtrack. It was smack dab in the middle of the Nu-Metal phase of my life and it was my everything. I watched this movie so much, in fact, I can still remember parts of it almost word for word, even today. It will always have a soft spot in my heart, but that doesn't mean it's a fantastic movie, especially when considering the other movies in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. Ethan Hunt, again played by Tom Cruise, and the IMF are back, but this time, instead of Brian De Palma's unique camera angles and hard-nosed shooting style, John Woo takes the reigns as director, and the results are a mixed bag of explosion-y and dramatic. John Woo was previously known for his Hong Kong action films like "Hardboiled" and "The Killers" before coming to Hollywood and directing American movies like "Broken Arrow" and "Face/Off." Woo brings this action-centric style to the M.I. franchise by adding his signature visual trademarks like slow motion, white doves, and white doves in slow motion. Oh, and did we mention he likes to use slow motion? Because he does...a lot...even when it isn't necessary and seems completely out of place. But hey, it makes everything look super cool guys...right? Don't be haters.

Like we mentioned above Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt and just like he has for all these films, he performs at least some of his own stunts, even the ones that are quite dangerous, we do appreciate this fact about him. It's cool to watch him dangling off a cliff, running around explosions, and in all sorts of insane situations. Even though he doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to sanity, Cruise is as always extremely charming no matter how he may appear off screen. While on screen, he is always gold. The main villain this time, unlike "Mission Impossible," is no mystery. We know from the get go that it is former IMF agent Sean Ambrose, played by Dougray Scott, who just has a sinister looking face plus an accent, which would make him a suspect in any film. They know who he is, just not where he is. In order to find out, Ethan is asked to recruit a thief named Nyah, played by Thandie Newton, to help find where Sean is hold up. She has personal insight as to how Sean operates since she is his ex-girlfriend, and this could possibly gain her more access to him. After tracking down both Sean and Chimera and its antidote, Nyah "goes rogue" and does something that might jeopardize millions of lives, including her own. Though its plot is flimsy and much of the language in the script leaves a lot to be desired, this is not a terrible film. Hell, even as the low point of the "Mission: Impossible" series, it's only middle of the road and not worse, even when viewed over time. It is an awesome movie to watch visually unfold, and even though there are some insipid lines and some misplaced direction, it's still a silly, fun movie to watch if you're in the mood to marathon the series.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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