Mission: Impossible 2 Reviews
Where the original DePalma classic aimed for a classy Hitchockian presentation, MI 2 (Helmed this time around by action movie legend John Woo) is more in keeping with over-the-top James Bond films of the 90's...except more EXTREME!!! (Needless to say, this entry has not aged quite as well as it's predecessor)
Okay, I won't mince words, the story is ultra-silly and over-the-top. That's to be expected from John Woo, who is the King of over-the-top, except here it goes too far at times, especially in the film's draggy third act complete with a drawn-out motorbike chase and Street Fighter-esque acrobatic fights.
Decent viewing if you are just looking for great action, but otherwise this is arguably the most skippable entry in the MI franchise.
Cruise is once again good as Hunt, and I like his look here, but I'm not big on how the character was portrayed this time around. At least we've got Ving Rhames back. He has a good rapport with Cruise and definitely cements himself as a necessary part of this series. It just wouldn't be the same without him.
If all you want is a loud, bombastic action fest with some spyjinks thrown in, then this is for you. If however, you want some intrigue and suspense to go with your action, then stick with the first one. I will say though, that one of the biggest highlights for me was this film's soundtrack, filled to the brim with then current alternative and metal tracks that really spoke to me at the time, and still kinda do.
Out goes the original notion of 'Hunt' acting in a well oiled espionage machine and in comes Mr Cruise's personal ego trip on how the classic franchise should go. Yes I can't deny that some of the stunts and gun fights/fights are almost beautiful in how they have been filmed, a virtual ballet of violence for sure but you can only do so much.
The motorbike 'jousting' sequence is almost embarrassing to watch really, its so stupid yet taken so seriously, there is nothing wrong with adding a different style to the franchise but they should have toned it down.
Bad move Mr Cruise and bad move Mr Woo for going overboard, slow motion action has fast become over used and almost jokey. The only genuinely decent sequence is at the start when Cruise shows us he has balls by doing his own free climbing stunts which are pretty impressive I must say, certainly makes you grip your armrest watching that hehe a very good tense yet simple sequence.
This time around, Ethan Hunt is a lot more gung ho and impulsive. Instead of refraining from gun use like he did in the first, he carries dual pistols and has an outrageous body count. Tom Cruise ups the intensity this time around by getting more involved with his damsel in distress. This becomes more relevant when he must go on a solo mission to take down the man that wants his squeeze dead. Whether it's a motocycle chase, knife fight or gun battle, Tom Cruise is always delivering quality. He makes all of the action a lot more believable than it might look otherwise and continues to make the character of Ethan Hunt one of the coolest spies in film.
Now John Woo has a very particular style that seeps into all of his movies and this is no exception. His love for flying doves, twin pistols and characters running from explosions is all here. He introduces a number of crazy henchmen, an overly creepy sidekick villain and a criminal mastermind that wants nothing short of total control. You either accept this bizarre combination of unbelievable stunts and larger than life characters or you don't; I for one have no problem enjoying the ride. The style is so consistent that you are never really pulled out of this reality.