Movie Reviews: Mission Impossible II




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     Paramount (2hr. 6min.)
     The Mission Impossible Force tracks a rogue agent with a stolen virus.
     Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Dougray Scott
Bottom Line:


     There's a scene early in Mission: Impossible 2 where Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt, in slow-motion, enters a smoke-filled dive and walks past several flamenco dancers performing on top of a table.
     The sequence is intertwined with cutting MTVish images of Beloved's Thandie Newton as Nyah Hall, stealing a prize jewel necklace. The scene begins to alternate between slow-motion and sped-up images.
     The fast-pace stop-action cinematography is the classic signature of action film guru John Woo maker of Hard Target and Face/Off.
     Unlike the 1960's television show where the IMF Force relied heavily on deception rather than direct confrontation with the opposition, M:I-2 is a stunt-driven roller-coaster ride that pays homage to the Die Hard series rather than to its original concept of a thinking man's spy genre.
     That in a nutshell was the problem with the first Mission Impossible as well. Audiences found the film too plot heavy and convoluted. M:I-2 is direct and linear. Cruise is assigned to track down rogue agent Dougray Scott whose has stolen a deadly virus and plans to sell it to the highest bidder.
     Through an array of disguises, motorcycle chases and running gun battles that make the OK Corral look like target practice, Cruise tries to recover the virus before it can be sold. He also enlist the help of computer hacker Ving Rhames and Newton who was Scott's old girlfriend.
     As one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer (which means they have to protect the box office), the producers left nothing to chance. They liberally sprinkled in Matrix like slow-motion action, and repetition at various angles of kicks, punches and thunderous explosions rival any Red Rocks rock concert. But who's complaining? Fact is there's no one to complain to. Woo did exactly what he was suppose to do - hit audiences somewhere between the solar plexus and the groin.



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