Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Directed by John Woo

Starring Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames


Woo is coming into his own. Fantastic action shot with great style within a believable story. The action is crazy but believable, same appeal as the Bond movies or True Lies. A full-fledged Wooish shootout, and probably the most exciting and best-shot motorcycle chase I’ve ever seen. Lots of very effective Wooish cinematography, including slo-mo Hunt and slo-mo pigeons. The best moment was probably the fire reflection in the eyeball, the white pigeon flying through the doorway, and a slo-mo Cruise walking through the smoke.

Excellent choice and use of music, enhancing the moment every time. Good to hear the theme and its many variations during the film. The last one only felt like a Mission: Impossible movie when they rolled the credits.

Well-written, with lots of dramatic moments and a Cameron-esque (Cameronian?) second wind. While the first one copped out of a real story with a silly, confusing internal operation, this one had a real villain and a real dramatic build. I particularly liked the cross-cutting sequence in which the bad guy tells us how Hunt is going to break into the building while showing us as it happens. And none of the good guys had to die for dramatic effect. That’s good writing. Perhaps Towne is to credit more than Woo. Lots of delightful comments about women. But I wonder why the company president didn’t wonder how he was miraculously cured from the Chimera infection. And I wonder why Hunt said had so much animosity toward Ambrose before any of the events in the movie occurred.

Perhaps the only fault comes with the editing. The action scenes are shot and cut well, but some of the simpler scenes have jarring jump-cuts and continuity errors.

Casting and acting is great. Cruise is a bad-ass, especially in that Matrix black leather. The much more physical Hunt is so much more appealing. Wonderfully acrobatic, but slightly goofy at times. After seeing his loast few movies, I’m slowly becoming a Cruise fan. Thandie, who plays what seems to be the equivalent of Emanuelle Beart from the first one both physically and dramatically, is very good. A surprisingly deep character and convincing performance from an unfamiliar actress. Nice seeing Rhames again. Hopkins is much more appealing than Voight. Even the Australian guy is good, not the token idiot who screws everything up that I was expecting him to be. Very cool seeing Australia, but I find it strange that the only one in the film with an Australian accent is the goofy sidekick.

Is it really possible to make masks that lifelike?

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