It's a tale as old as time. The all around good guy meets the right girl at
the wrong time, in the wrong place and almost kills himself (either
literally or through emotional turmoil) trying to make it work. "Mission:
Impossible 2" (Imdb listing) once again revives this blockbuster formula that has proven
successful for Tom Cruise in such movies as "Top Gun," "Cocktail," "Days Of
Thunder" and "Jerry Maguire." Apparently a smart move, if one believes "M:i-2's" box
office numbers, which already top $100 million worldwide since the May 25
This may not be the story one would expect to find at the center of an
action packed super-agent drama directed by John Woo. But Cruise once again
pulls off the impossible. He makes women swoon in their theater seats with
his rugged-but-still-oh-so-gorgeous looks in those tight, black jeans, the
leather jacket and three-day stubble, while the movie's action sequences are
bound to elicit one-syllable declarations of awe from male viewers.
Secret agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is summoned to Seville, Spain, by his boss
(Anthony Hopkins), when he chooses to accept yet another impossible mission.
Hunt and his team have to track down former-agent-turned-bad-guy Sean
Ambrose (Dougray Scott), who is in the possession of both a chemically
engineered virus, Chimera, that methodically destroys the cells of the human
body after 20 hours in the bloodstream, and it's counteragent. The task: to
relieve Ambrose of these priceless possessions and bring back a sample for
the good guys.
The 'in' is Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton), Ambrose's former girlfriend and an
internationally renowned thief. At first a reluctant recruit, she quickly
discovers her undying (and of course reciprocated) love for super agent Hunt
and agrees to help out by making up with Ambrose and providing the good guys
with inside intel.
As the plot thickens and takes a few interesting and some rather predictable
turns, John Woo gets down to business. The director, infamous for his action
sequences (most recently in films such as "Broken Arrow" and "Face/Off"),
blatantly shows off his talents and blasts the audience away with an array
of impressive explosions, incredible stunts, almost impossible fight scenes,
and ingenious spy-maneuvers.
The "M:i-2" cast pulls off a fine set of performances; from Cruise, who has the
inadvertent-sex-symbol thing down to an art, to Ving Rhames (returning as
team member Luther Stickell), who was last seen in "Out Of Sight" and
"Entrapment." British actress Thandie Newton, who already worked with Cruise
in "Interview with a Vampire," also has some noteworthy moments. Most notably
though is Dougray Scott. The Scottish actor, vividly remembered as
the Prince Charming in "Ever After," does a completely convincing 180,
portraying the perfectly horrible, evil-to-the-core Ambrose.
At times walking a thin line between emotional chick flick and hard-core
action thriller, "M:I2" comes out a winner by mixing up that dependable
blockbuster formula with Woo's action expertise. And, of course, there's always Cruise in those tight jeans. Sigh.
Filmfodder Grade: B+