Friday, 28 December 2012

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)

Just watched this as part of Film4's MI marathon tonight. Of all the MI films, this is the only one I own on DVD; I can only guess that I used to like it. It's not all bad, but certainly the weakest of the series. Directed by John Woo, so cue lots of jumping and shooting, shooting and jumping, slow-mo doves (some were backlit pigeons) and some very stylised action (including a dramatic motorbike chase that almost features Tom Cruise and Dougray Scott, but does feature an obvious switch between slick and offroad tyres mid-chase!).

Possibly the most straightforward plot of the series, Ethan is trying to figure out the link between Chimera and Bellerophon, actually a virus and its antidote, and what Sean Ambrose (Scott's character) wants with them. Of course he's trying to create an epidemic so that he can peddle the cure, making fat loads of cash. Actually with such a relatively simple plot it's amazing that so little happens in the film until the very end. I think far too much emphasis is placed on the romance between Nyah (Thandie Newton) and Ethan, and their relationship juxtaposed with the idea of Nyah sleeping with Ambrose so that the IMF can work out what is actually going on.

Cruise is good again as Ethan Hunt (this is really a film just to make him look cool), but otherwise everyone is fairly ordinary, even Anthony Hopkins phones in a performance. The best person is easily Brendan Gleeson (isn't he always?) as George McCloy, head of the molecular research company Biocyte. But he's the one really shining thing in an otherwise outwardly exciting and stylish, but inwardly ordinary and lacklustre film.