Mission: Impossible II (2000) Rated PG-13

mi 2Ethan Hunt must find a rogue agent in possession of a deadly virus.  To do so, he enlists the help of his new love interest: a thief and the former girlfriend of his targeted enemy.  Starring Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Dougray Scott.

Well, even though I am 15 years late coming to the game, I still found myself fully engaged, amused, and riveted throughout this movie.  The legendary John Woo directed this second film, and his signature style is stamped on nearly every scene:  from the slow motion advances, to the acrobatic fight sequences.

Rhames is woefully neglected in this film; his comedic timing and powerful presence is lost behind a computer throughout much of the movie.  And Dougray Scott is a surprise menace, after his charming turn as Cinderella’s prince in Ever After.  However, Tom Cruise is affably tousled and tough and gives an admirable performance, especially considering the fact that he performed many of his own stunts.  And, my personal favorite line of his: “Damn, you’re beautiful,” captured the show-stopping appeal of his co-star Thandie Newton.  There couldn’t be too many close-ups of her lovely face in this movie, and there are several.

I’m not much of an action-movie girl, so my husband had to remind me to relax beside him; I think my tension was stressing him out.  This film definitely kept me in active suspense, even though I knew the good guy would prevail. The fighting sequence at the end of the movie was a bit heavy-handed, with its crashing waves and unnecessary flips and leaps (all in slow motion, of course, for effect).  But, there were several stunning moments, as well.

For fun, be sure to check out the last frame of the movie, where four boys play catch in the background.  I have a feeling that John Woo never was much of an athlete;)

Fun and fast-paced with a high dose of action and a taste of romance, Mission: Impossible II is worth a watch.


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