IMF agent Ethan Hunt must pursue an ex-agent who has stolen
a biological weapon with plans to sell it to the highest bidder.
Mission Impossible II (2000)
Directed by John Woo
Written by Robert Towne
Starring Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton,
Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, Brendan Gleeson, John Polson
Sequel to 1996's Mission Impossible
Based on the 1966-1973 TV series
Mission Impossible II is one of the dullest, most disappointing sequels I have ever seen. As I experience these movies for the first time, it makes me think the franchise only got good around part four, much like the Fast & Furious movies. So far, I have not been impressed with the early entries, with this one standing out as a particularly rotten egg. Somehow, putting John Woo at the helm of one of these didn't create an action masterpiece. Instead, we got a two hour slog through Sydney as Tom Cruise tries to keep the nonexistent story together long enough to get to the next action sequence, most of which were fantastically executed in the film's one redeeming quality.
I was surprised at how much this film ripped off GoldenEye, from the ex-agent stealing a secret weapon to the flirty car chase in the mountains. It didn't manage to snag GoldenEye's charm or excitement, though. Dougray Scott plays ex-agent Sean Ambrose, one of the most forgettable movie villains in history. His motivations and personality were so uninspired and generic that it actually started to lull me to sleep after a while. The lack of chemistry between Cruise and Thandie Newton made for a terrible love story subplot as the IMF team tries to destroy an engineered virus called Chimera. It seems like a simple enough plot, but for some reason, there's so many ins and outs that seem to exist simply to confuse the audience.
This sequel should've killed the franchise right here. The fact that it didn't tells me how much early 2000's audiences loved Tom Cruise. While the franchise did eventually blossom, it was already pushing two strikes as early as the second entry. With a generic plot and a host of forgettable characters, it's a wonder people are even still talking about this movie. Except if you're like me, and you hated it too.