Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames

Director: John Woo

Tom Cruise is James Bond, no I mean Ethan Hunt, super spy who’s mission, should he choose to accept it, which of course he does, is to bring to justice a fellow rogue agent who has stolen a deadly virus, which if released would kill millions of people.

Dougray Scott is Sean Ambrose the evil villain who is the rogue agent trying to sell the virus and the antidote to the highest bidder.

Thandie Newton is the beautiful ‘Bond girl’, I mean ‘Mission: Impossible’ girl who up to now has been a professional thief called Nyah Nordolf-Hall, The original series always had a beautiful girl on the team and in the movie she is recruited by Hunt (Cruise) as one of his team.

Ving Rhames returns in his role as Luther Stickell, the teams computer and surveillance expert, and Anthony Hopkins is Mission Commander Swanbeck, Ethan Hunt’s boss and the parallel of James Bond’s ‘M’.

The question: Is MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE the American 007 ?

Although I’ve drawn parallels to Bond in both the story outline and the characters, it has many twists and turns and is far more complex than we have become used to in the Bond movies.

The film also stays with the original TV series upon which it is based right down to the mission briefing, although now instead of listening to a tape recording the briefing is delivered via a missile fired from a helicopter containing a pair of sunglasses equipped with a 3 dimensional display and miniature speaker. The sunglasses spectacularly explode in 5 seconds after the end of the message, superbly dissolving the picture into the next scene and the beginning of the story.

The other very special thing about this movie is that it is no ordinary film sequel. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 is a John Woo film, and a film directed by John Woo has parallels and nuances unique to other John Woo films.

Tom Cruise apparently did most of his own stunts in the film, and it’s quite amazing that he finished the film in one piece as they are spectacular, not to mention the martial arts, which under John Woo’s direction makes you want to run off and join your local Aikido class.

There is no doubt that if you combine MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE made into a sort of American James Bond with a director that makes the hardest hitting superbly stylistic action films around, then you get James Bond – only much much much better!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 is a superbly made action movie with a great soundtrack. Here’s hoping that the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise will keep going for a long time, with Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and John Woo directing.

6 out of 6 stars