- Summary -
Director : John Woo
Year Of Release : 2000
Principal Cast : Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Hopkins, Rade Serbedzija, William Mapother, Dominic Purcell, Roland Kronmeyer.
Approx Running Time : 123 Minutes
Synopsis: IMF Agent Ethan Hunt returns to duty to track down a lethal poison gas threatening to kill millions around the world, unless a terrorist’s demands are met.
What we think : Like being trapped in an elevator with somebody suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mission: Impossible II rankles the nose and offends the spirit. Bereft of coherence or logic, devoid of passion, and brimming with pompous, gargantuan action that means little, this sequel to DePalma’s sl0w-burn success is borderline unwatchable. If you removed the copious slow-motion in this thing, you’d have a 30 minute travelogue of Australia.
I want to take you on another journey. Back to the end of the 20th Century, in an era of explosive pop-culture expectation perpetuated by the massive phenomenon of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. That film, the first Star Wars film in over a decade, was perhaps the most anticipated film of the 1990’s (hell, there’s even a film about the expectation for Phantom Menace!), until it actually came out and people realized they’d been duped into paying to see a film that was the creative equivalent of a person taking a dump on your chest. A year later, in 2000, John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II came out and, wouldn’t you know it, did almost exactly the same thing. John Woo is most assuredly a far better director than George Lucas, so expectation for MI2’s quality was undoubtedly founded on the history Woo had with a film camera – the man was fresh off Face/Off, the Travolta/Cage starrer that was an insane gangbusting joyride of a thing, and had a cult following from his Asian films like The Killer and Hard Boiled, among others. Here in Australia, Tom Cruise was enjoying a sort-of position as “adopted son” thanks to his marriage to “our” Nicole Kidman, and the fact that a large portion of the movie was filmed on our shores only added to the attention it received here. So you have Tom Cruise, John Woo, and an expectation that the franchise would deliver a superior film to the one DePalma delivered barely four years previous. Again, expectation; a film fans folly.