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M:I 2 entertaining, nothing more


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Casey Dexter
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
June 7, 2000
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

Cruise, Woo's eye candy leaves little room for a story

Mission: Impossible II is eye candy, pure and simple. Just as it's predecessor, the movie makes little sense, is needlessly violent and places Tom Cruise - oddly enough - in an action role. But unlike Mission: Impossible I, this time the film is under the helm of stylistic master John Woo and because of him, is it ever fun.

From the get go, Woo makes sure his audience knows that this is a decadent movie he has made. Not 10 minutes pass from the first frame and the film has already changed locations drastically three times, has used a helicopter and a plane, has put the hero, Ethan Hunt, in fatal danger at least twice and has utilized Woo's telltale slo-mo shot once.

By the time the beautiful heroine Thandie Newton is introduced, the audience has fallen into a sort of comatose, sugar-shock state. There are no more gasps from the women, no more guffaws from the men, the only thing left is a dazed look on everyone's faces.

Right around now the plot is revealed - which is good, because if it had been seen prior to the coma state, who knows how many people would have stayed to watch. The events happen as if the film crew got together and choose places they wanted to see and then created a script to follow the dots.

A famous scientist who has created a deadly virus is murdered on his way to deliver it to the good guys. Guess who killed him for it? The bad guys.

So Sir Anthony Hopkins has to go call in Agent Ethan Hunt to kill the bad guys and get back the virus before all of humanity is destroyed. Adding into all of this pressure is Ethan's new girlfriend, Thandie,who has to play the old, "I know I broke up with you, the bad guy, six months ago, but please believe that I really do love and miss you and want to be with you from now on," routine to help the good guys. Because of this, Cruise must show off his emoting skills and portray Ethan as fighting his jealousy as well as his arch enemy in order to save the day.

Dougray Scott acts as the evil head honcho in this film, and is at least more attractive than Jon Voight was in the first Mission: Impossible. But as far as personality goes, the script supervisors must have invested all of their money into Cruise's character. Everyone not Ethan Hunt seems to be a huge stereotype. Scott's character not only goes through the pain of his breakup, but also the elation of having his girlfriend back, the skepticism involved with taking her back, the pain of being backstabbed by her - and it all pretty much reads the same through out. He isn't particularly menacing, he isn't particularly charming. He's simply ordinary - probably a result of some unwritten contract of Cruises' stating that no one else in his movies can be handsome or charming or even have personality.

By the end of the film, anyone paying attention will know how Ethan will make his escape and hopefully everyone should have already known going in that the good guys always win. But none of that matters for this movie. It exists simply to entertain, to see Tom Cruise do jumping kicks in slow motion, to see Thandie Newton in skimpy clothes and to see the bad guys have the shit kicked out of them. That is the candy that adults pay to see and John Woo delivers.

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