Review: Mission Impossible II
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"Was it good?", a girl outside asked a man coming out of the cinema beside me. "Terrible", he replied. I didn't rate it very highly either, and it certainly wasn't up to the standard of director John Woo's previous two offerings "Face Off" and "Broken Arrow".
I haven't actually seen the first Mission Impossible film but unless it was absolute drivel (doubtful since they made MI2), it proves that the sequel theory ('oh, the second film in a series is always better, look at the Godfather II, Star Trek II, Superman II etc.') doesn't always hold true.
The first thing that upset me slightly about the film was that there was no Jim Phelps character (played by Peter Graves on TV and Jon Voight in the first film), it's a bit like leaving Hannibal out of the A-Team if you know what I mean. Okay, there was an IMF leader or director-type character (played by that other Hannibal, an uncredited Anthony Hopkins), but that lacks the continuity I like to see in film serieses, and as far as I know, Tom Cruise is the only actor to appear in both films (perhaps they are going James Bond style...).
Apart from that, the action scenes were spectacular but slightly spoiled by the fact that we'd seen most of them before in the trailers. Woo also makes plenty use of the "face off" idea with everybody pretending to be somebody else, and if you're outside the 10 to 70 age bracket it may all be a bit confusing.
I did like the casting of Australian and British actors for characters in the film as it added to the international feel they were going for with segments in Spain and Australia. They also kept the wonderful theme music by Lalo Schifrin, revamped for the noughties by film composer Hans Zimmer.
Slightly drawn out in places [baddie comes back one time too many as usual] but entertaining nonetheless, I'd wait for it on video though.