Mission: Impossible II
Directed by John Woo
Starring Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, and John Polson.
Way back in the summer of 1996, Mission: Impossible was one of the big blockbusters I wanted to see. But, sadly, I did not get to go see it. So, when it came out on video at Christmas 1996, I ran out and rented it. I returned to the floor lounge to find that the woman who hated me, Tara, had already laid claim to the TV and VCR. I begged her to let me watch it, and she said “Oh, like you’ve been dying to see it.” And I said “Actually, yes I have.” And she finally let me watch it. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go through that much trouble to see the sequel.
Since a lot of people didn’t understand the plot of the first one, they decided to keep things nice and simple for the sequel. Sean Ambrose (Scott) is an IMF agent who’s gone rouge, and has stolen for himself the world’s most potent virus and it’s antidote, called Chimera and Belleraphon respectively. Ethan Hunt’s (Cruise) mission, if he chooses to accept it, is to get the virus and antidote back. To do this mission, he must first recruit Nyah (Newton), a jewel theif and former love of Sean’s. They hope that she can use her former relationship to infiltrate Sean’s gang. Padding out the team with computer expert Luther Stickwell (Rhames) and pilot Billy Baird (Polson), they go off to save the world! But, complications ensue when Ethan and Nyah fall in love. Can he complete the mission without putting her at risk?
John Woo is one of those directors with a distinct style. The dramatic slo-mo close ups, people letting loose with a gun in each hand, that kind of stuff. That style definatley adds to the film. This movie is all about the stunts. From Ethan’s rock climbing at the start, to the climactic motorcycle chase, it just doesn’t let up. Scott makes an excellent villain, and now I see why he was the original choice to play Wolverine. Cruise, of course, is Cruise. This is just a great way to spend 2.5 hours in an air-conditioned theater. But, if you’re forced to see it on video, I’ll understand.
One last thing that’s annoying me about other reviews for this film. Everyone’s saying it was written by Robert Towne. But, there were two other writers on this film: Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga. Why are they being left out? Because the only other thing they did before this was Star Trek. So do me a favour. When you see this, cheer when their names come on screen.