Donovan's Mission: Impossible 2 ReviewSubmitted by ryandonovan at 2000-06-06 00:32:20 EDT
Rating: 0.0 on 2 ratings (2 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
DONOVAN’S MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 REVIEW
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Thandie Newton is so fucking hot. Good god. She is absolutely the best thing about this movie. Sure, she's a bit scrawny and short enough to make 4'2" Tom Cruise look like a power forward, but she's got a disarmingly girly smile and a face that's just as cute as Christmas. The rest of the movie? It was pretty good, but it's more fun to point out its shortcomings than its successes, so that's mainly what I'll do.
I'm going to come right out and say it - I liked the first Mission: Impossible ten times better. People complained that the plot was too confusing. That's because most people are idiots (yes, that includes you, reading this article). So thanks to you, the story for M:I-2 is absurdly predictable and painfully straightforward. But if you still need help following it, I hear the Playskool Picture Book version will be available soon. Fucking morons.
Every trick in this film can be guessed before it happens, and one particular gag is used three or four times. I won't tell you which one, but I'd love to, just to spoil it for you. But chances are you'd forget it by the end of the day anyway. That is, if your illiterate ass can even manage to read this article.
So let's dissect the movie's key players, starting with the cast:
Tom Cruise (Hero): For the most part, I can’t stand him. He wasn’t nearly as cool as he was in M:I-1. He did his own stunts (90% of them, supposedly), so I’ll give him props for that. But he looked like a sissy with his long hair, even though he needed it for all the Wooistic slo-mo headspins. On the plus side, he did some hand-to-hand combat, and there’s something generally satisfying about watching him get kicked in the face. But be kind and try not to laugh at his martial arts.
Thandie Newton (Love Interest): Holy shit.
Dougray Scott (Villain): Quite irritating. Someone please take the marbles out of that goddam Scotsman’s mouth so I can understand what the hell he’s saying. He had the poorest dialogue of anyone in the film. He tried to scare the audience by cutting off fingers with a cigar cutter. Honestly, Larry Drake (remember Benny from L.A. Law?) in Darkman was more menacing with the same device. To top it all off, the jackass got hurt doing motorcycle stunts, delayed production, and lost out on the role of Wolverine in The X-Men.
Richard Roxburgh (Villain’s Henchman): I thought it was the guy from Kids In The Hall. My bad.
Ving Rhames (Hero’s Teammate): Severely underutilized. He was very cool, but hurting in the badass department. His dialogue would have benefited greatly from the use of profanity. “Punk” just doesn’t cut it after “Soon-to-be-living-the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-agonizing-pain Mr. Rapist”. His character should have gotten it on with Thandie Newton and left Tom Cruise with his cockinballs blowing in the wind.
Anthony Hopkins (Hero’s Boss): A true (uncredited) cameo, the best kind. Honestly, I expected more. Quite dry, not very witty or razor-tongued. At the very least, he could have been more sage-like. I’m tempted to say he was underutilized as well, but alas, he was a cameo, and it is a cameo’s nature to be utilized very little.
John Woo (Director): Mixed feelings. Without a doubt, his action sequences rock. He blissfully ignores gravity, kinetics… hell, every law of physics. His fights are choreographed with a certain perverse grace, set in slow motion to tranquilizing songs like it’s some sort of masochistic musical. I dig the way he uses fire and pigeons, and I’m a sucker for a shot that looks cool, even when it sacrifices logic. But I could do without a few things, like his signature mid-gunfire verbal showdowns, where the hero and villain have a rare and awkward conversation. And in M:I-2, he had characters re-use lines during the movie, I suppose attempting some kind of satisfying plant-and-payoff (as with “Red light, green light” from M:I-1), but he failed.
Robert Towne (Writer): Disappointing. For god’s sake, this guy wrote Chinatown, one of the most cited and classic examples of perfected plot-twisting. And he churned out this script? There were less twists than a goddam flagpole. And the dialogue was shockingly dull.
Finally, the Music: Pretty top-notch. You can’t beat the original Lalo Schifrin theme song. It’s a strong runner-up to the Star Wars and James Bond themes, as far as anthems go. Limp Bizkit’s rendition is not bad, and it works for the film. It starts out awesome, quiet and subdued, then gasses up with guitar and lyrics, but actually becomes less appealing. The film alternates between the theme, some great Flamenco, and some dreamlike Middle-Eastern-sounding music; kind of like Enya with a kick and a suntan. It’s the same kind of music you’ll hear everywhere this month, including Gladiator, the season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sting’s Desert Rose. Metallica makes a donation as well, their first-ever movie soundtrack contribution, which runs during the closing credits. Watch for a song during the opening credits that sounds disturbingly like the opening song from Cruise’s Rain Man. On one last musical note (pun completely intended), John Woo said in an interview that he listens to pop music for inspiration while choreographing his fight scenes. His inspiration for M:I-2? The Spice Girls. That guy’s fuckin’ crazy.
So, after I gave it a pistol-whipping, should you see Mission: Impossible 2? Sure, why hell not. It’s enjoyable. And you’re a sheep, so you’ll do what everybody else is doing. Will there be an M:I-3? You bet your ass. Will I go see it? As long as they bring back Thandie Newton…