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Mission : Impossible 2  

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)
Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott)
Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton)
Luthur (Ving Rhames)
Head Director of Special Agents (Anthony Hopkins)
Directed by John Woo Written by Robert Towne
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and some sensuality
Running Time: 127 minutes Distributed by Paramount
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Mission: Impossible 2 is a loud, explosion-filled and complicated action romance. The plot of the film revolves around a virus, an Ebola-like disease, which has been stolen by bad special agent Sean Ambrose (Scott). The head director (Hopkins) quickly gives agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) the mission of recovering the virus from Ambrose. But first he must recruit professional thief Nyah Hall (Newton), Ambrose’s ex-girlfriend. While recruiting Hall, Hunt falls in love with her. Hunt also recruits two more agents for the mission, including the computer genius Luthur (Rhames). Unfortunately, the team’s strategy is devasting for Hunt, which is to send Nyah back to Ambrose to do reconnaissance work while the team tries to figure out Ambrose’s intentions. Thus, leading the team into a chase of cat-and-mouse with Ambrose to try and complete their mission.

Mission: Impossible 2 is a well-made film, but lacks a good writing and the “mission: impossible” feeling. What I mean by the “mission: impossible” feeling is the excitement that the TV series and first film installment of the series brought to audiences. John Woo is an amazing director. His quick visionary style is unique and fun to watch. Woo brought his talent over to America after being the Steven Spielberg of Asia. Woo directed the American action films, Hard Target, Broken Arrow and Face/Off. Woo uses the same type of stunts and action in all of his films, but his direction is always striking. In this film, Woo uses his creative slow motion action and great transitions blended in with many explosions. He brings a different type of style to the series than De Palma did with the first Mission: Impossible installment. His style is more big action than De Palma’s shadowy, spy-tech vision. I did like Woo’s direction in Mission: Impossible 2, but I would prefer watching De Palma’s direction with a type of story like Mission: Impossible.

Robert Towne’s script is far-fetched and shabby. Towne also wrote the script for the first Mission: Impossible installment. Like the first film, this installment is very confusing and unreal. The nice aspect about the first installment is that Ethan Hunt is an agent that barely slips out situation after situation. However, in this film, it is like Hunt is in Mortal Kombat and he just blows up everything. The character development is good in the film, but it was as if the story didn’t have any type of awareness of law or security. Examples are that the Hunt and Ambrose are practically blowing up Australia, and there is never one police car or fire truck at the destruction. The action in the film is overshadows the complicated script, which might work well for audiences. On the other hand, the many unexplainable loopholes in the script might leave audiences scratching their heads in confusion.

It is fun to watch Tom Cruise as the James Bond type of character, Ethan Hunt. Cruise is a recognizable actor that will make Ethan Hunt a known character in households around the world. Thandie Newton is elegant and poised as the thief Nyah. Nyah Hall is a role that will open doors for Newton for more female lead roles in films. Ving Rhames is likeable as always in his return as the hacker Luthur. Rhames’ deep voice and intense facial expressions are two of the most noticeable features of the actor’s craft. Also, Anthony Hopkins delivers a noticeable cameo as Hunt’s boss. The one nuisance of the film’s acting is by Dougray Scott. Scott overplays the villainous role of Sean Ambrose. Scott was not a good choice for this character; he turns in one of those terrible performances of when an actor tries to act too angry, evil and mean.

Mission: Impossible 2 is a film that I thought was nowhere near the enjoyment of the first installment. The film has some fun moments, like the motorcycle chase scenes. However, the film’s script comes up short. This movie is going to make a ton of money. Additional proceeds will in also roll in from overseas as well; action films always do well internationally. Though I was neutral on this film, it is a big popcorn movie that audiences will enjoy.

Report Card Grade: C

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