The first Mission: Impossible movie was not good but at
least it had some energy and made some little effort to retain the feel
of the old TV series. This new movie has none of that. John
Woo seems to have run out of gas. His only preparation for directing this
movie seems to have been screening The
Matrix. All the action scenes in M:I2 are very Matrix-like.
I kept expecting Tom Cruise to say, a la Neo, "I know Kung Fu."
Cruise is reprising his role as Ethan Hunt, member of the Impossible Mission
force. Ving Rhames returns as his fellow M:I bad boy. The plot is
laughable. These guys have a lot to learn from James Bond.
At least Bond still thinks big. In M:I2, the super villain
(Dougray Scott) steals a deadly virus and its antidote but rather than
hold the world hostage for billions of dollars, he wants to sell it to
a drug company for 27 million pounds and some stock options. Joining
Cruise and Rhames on their mission is a sometime thief and ex-girfriend
of the villain (Thandie Newton). Her idea of acting is to go braless.
Otherwise, she doesn't do much except need to be saved after she injects
herself with the deadly virus. Even though we see graphic bloody
pictures of someone dying from the virus, Newton merely looks like she
is having a bad day. Anthony Hopkins has a brief role as the replacement
for Mr. Phelps. But even he seems exhausted or perhaps just bored. Rhames,
who I love, is pretty much wasted here as he sits in front of a computer
terminal for most of the film. Tom Cruise is, well, Tom Cruise. Nothing
new here. The writer, Ronald Moore of Star Trek fame, seems to have decided
to retain only one small element of Mission: Impossible, the wearing of
lifelike masks to impersonate other people. This ploy is used over
and over again in this movie until the climactic plot twist near the end.
But is it a plot twist if 100% of the audience has already figured it out?
I should point out that some people in the theatre were definitely
enjoying the movie. For instance, the couple sitting behind me, excitedly
and loudly discussed the action throughout the movie. But I can't
recommend spending money to see to see M:I2. It's the worst movie of 2000