Mission Impossible wants to be the new James Bond series so bad it’s not even funny. I guess Tom Cruise hasn’t looked lately at the rotting compost heap the 007 flicks have become (see my review of Tomorrow Never Dies). Mission Impossible 2 has on advantage over the new Bond movies though. The only precedent it has to overcome is Mission Impossible 1. Too bad that’s a movie which kicks this stupid sequel ALL in the ass.
The plot for M:I-2 is lackluster to begin with (deadly man-made virus with a threatening code-name falls into the hands of terrorists). And the lead villain might as well have been played by my neighbor Frank. He’s an accountant who likes to talk lawn care. He’s also the most boringly non-descript bastard on the planet. The bad guys in these spy movies always have the charisma of a freshly-neutered wombat. And we’re supposed to believe that they can attract and maintain followers / sidekicks?
Let’s talk about the good guys. The hero of M:I-2, Ethan Hunt (Cruise), is capable of miraculous feats of mental concentration under the worst conditions (i.e. picking a lock while someone two feet away is lobbing grenades at him). All of that goes away, however, when it necessary for the plot for him to do something TOTALLY MORONIC! Every mission he undertakes is planned in ultra-minute detail. Movements are timed to the second. Every contingency is triple covered. Until the last mission, that is, when Hunt actually steals the virus from the terrorists. He goes through worlds of shit to swipe it, and when he leaves the enemy compound with it and tries to jump in his getaway chopper, he can’t because it’s too high off the ground. Give me a fucking break! (or at least a Nell Carter -Tom Cruise sex scene) Couldn’t they land the helicopter so he could get in? He’s got every other spy gizmo under the sun, why not a pair of fake pole vault legs, or spring-soled shoes a la Wile E. Coyote? Instead he sits there and jumps up and down like a white man trying to dunk and looks like an idiot. But then you realize, if he catches that chopper the movie’s over because he’s got the virus. And if he makes it into the helicopter we would also miss…
THE MOST RIDICULOUS MOTORCYCLE CHASE SCENE EVER FILMED! Of course Tom Cruise is fleeing with the virus on a motorcycle being followed by the lead bad guy, also on a motorcycle. Do you suppose they crash their bikes and have a twenty minute hand-to-hand battle on the beach? Is that question rhetorical? Is a frog’s ass watertight? I have one more question. Does John Woo live his whole life in slow motion? If you sped up his life to regular speed, he’d be like eight years old.
The final verdict: Mission Predictable.