johnlink ranks MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)

There are some movies you remember not liking, and then upon seeing them later, you discover you were wrong. Then, there are those which you see in your youth, remember fondly, and then see later and wonder what you were thinking. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II falls into the latter category.

The movie has Ethan Hunt trying to track down a deadly virus.

I watched MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II (2000) on 8.18.09. It was my third viewing of the film, but first since probably 2001.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAINS THE SAME.

FILM

I remember liking this movie. I remember thinking it was clever, and a decent sequel (if not quite as good as the original). But seeing this thing again, it does a  lot wrong. The first film tries to make a point. As my previous ranking points out, it is one of the smarter summer blockbusters of its era. The sequel discards such trifles as the fact that Ethan Hunt never fires a gun in order to revel in slow motion scenes of the hero shooting and killing henchmen. The cleverness of filming is left to masks, and double switches, and trickery. Sometimes this works (as in the scene when we learn Hunt is a doctor and the villain is pretending to be Hunt when it would appear opposite). But, mostly, we get the sort of action-first, story-ignoring drivel which has since propagated our summer blockbusters. SCORE: 3

MOVIE

A few fun moments. We do get the patented John Woo dove flying by (several times in the climactic scene, for no good reason). But this movie does not have the rewatchability of the first one. I found myself more bored than stimulated. Sometimes knowing what is going to happen makes for a better second viewing, but not here.

John Woo adds a lot of pretty action sequences. But it rarely feels authentic. The last battle, ending in a motorcycle race/fight, feels overly choreographed with not enough heart. SCORE: 5

ACTING

The scene when the heroine (played somewhat well by Thandie Newton) has injected herself with the virus. Ethan (Tom Cruise, of course), vows to not leave her behind, that he will return for her. It is so overly acted that it becomes laughable. I would blame Cruise but (despite the flaws in his personal life) he usually comes across as a solid actor in his movies. I blame Woo for the bad acting here. Style over substance, and action over acting. SCORE: 3

WRITING

The infiltration scene in the first movie is wonderful, though contrived. The similar scene in this movie is contrived without the wonderful. It is a clearly overwritten piece which was not considered for its merit, but as a necessary piece of an M:I film. I give the writer (Robert Towne) credit for a couple nice surprises, including the last mask reveal. But the stuff in between those surprises is silly and unmemorable. SCORE: 3

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 3; WRITING: 3

3+5+3+3+0= 14

FINAL SCORE: 3.5

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~ by johnlink00 on August 18, 2009.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)”

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