Mission: Impossible II
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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 so far.