Mission: Impossible II

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Mission: Impossible II
Mission Impossible II.jpg
Theatrical teaser poster
Directed by John Woo
Produced by
Screenplay by Robert Towne
Story by
Based on Mission Impossible 
by Bruce Geller
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Jeffrey L. Kimball
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • May 24, 2000 (2000-05-24)
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Australia
Language English
Budget $125 million[1]
Box office $546,388,105

Mission: Impossible II (marketed as M:I-2 and in the new Blu-ray release, Mission: Impossible 2) is a 2000 American action spy film directed by John Woo and starring Tom Cruise, who also served as the film's producer. It is the sequel to Brian De Palma's 1996 film Mission: Impossible and has Cruise reprising his role as agent Ethan Hunt of the IMF, a top-secret espionage and clandestine operation agency. The film is the second installment of the Mission: Impossible film series and was followed by Mission: Impossible III (2006) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011).

The movie has strong thematic similarities with Alfred Hitchcock's 1946 spy thriller Notorious.[2]

Plot[edit]

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), while vacationing, is alerted by the IMF that someone has used his identity to assist Russian bio-chemical expert Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich (Rade Serbedzija) of Biocyte Pharmaceuticals to enter the United States, but purposely crashed the commercial airliner en route. Nekhorvich, an old friend of Ethan, had forewarned the IMF of his arrival, planning to deliver a new virus called Chimera and its cure, Bellerophon, both of which he was forced to develop by Biocyte, into the IMF's hands. With the crash of the plane, IMF is worried that the virus is out in the open, believing that rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) is behind the incident. IMF assigns Ethan to recover it. Ethan is told that he can use two members of his team to help him, but the third person to help him must be Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton), a professional thief presently operating in Seville, Spain as she will be able to get close to Ambrose, being an ex-girlfriend of his.

After recruiting Nyah, Ethan meets his team, computer expert Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and pilot Billy Baird (John Polson) in Sydney, Australia, where Biocyte laboratories are located along with Ambrose's headquarters. As Ethan and the others stake out Biocyte, Nyah gets close to Ambrose and begins to find any information related to the Chimera virus. At a horse racing event, Ambrose quietly meets with Biocyte's CEO, John C. McCloy (Brendan Gleeson), and shows him a video of the Chimera virus affecting one of Nekhorvich's colleagues taken from Biocyte, using the footage to force McCloy to cooperate with them. Nyah is able to pickpocket the video footage long enough to transfer it to Ethan and his team, who learn that the Chimera virus has a 20-hour dormant period before it causes death through mass destruction of the victim's red blood cells. This is depicted through several increasingly graphic pictures, which show the victim dead after 34 hours. Bellerophon can only save the victim if used within the 20-hour window.

The IMF team kidnaps McCloy and learns that Nekhorvich had actually injected himself with Chimera, the only way he could smuggle the virus from Biocyte, and had all the known samples of Bellerophon, now presently in Ambrose's hands. Ambrose has blackmailed McCloy to sell him the virus for £37,000,000 and promising to return the samples of Bellerophon. Ethan's team plans to break into Biocyte and destroy the virus. Ambrose, posing as Ethan, tricks Nyah into revealing Ethan's plan. Ambrose secures Nyah and prepares to raid Biocyte himself to secure the virus. Ethan is able to destroy all but one sample of the virus before Ambrose interrupts him, and a firefight ensues. Ethan learns that Ambrose is holding Nyah and stops firing, during which Ambrose orders Nyah to retrieve the last sample. When she does so, she injects herself with it, thus preventing Ambrose from simply killing her to get it. As Ambrose takes Nyah and Ethan escapes from the laboratory in the ensuing gun battle between Ambrose's men and Biocyte security, Ethan starts a 20-hour countdown before the virus takes over Nyah's body.

Ambrose opts to let Nyah wander the streets of Sydney in a daze, intending to trigger a Chimera pandemic in Australia and orders McCloy to effectively hand over enough control of Biocyte to make him the majority shareholder; Ambrose's plan is now to make a fortune when prices of Biocyte's stock skyrocket due to demand for Bellerophon. Ethan's team is able to locate and infiltrate the meeting, stealing the samples of Bellerophon while taking out many of Ambrose's men. Luther and Billy locate Nyah who has wandered to a cliff side, intent on killing herself to prevent Chimera from spreading. As the two IMF agents bring Nyah to Ethan, he and Ambrose engage in a fist fight. With little time left on the 20-hour countdown, Ethan finally gains the upper hand over Ambrose and shoots him dead, and then Luther injects Nyah with Bellerophon. Ethan reports to IMF on the successful mission. IMF clears Nyah's criminal record, and allows Ethan to continue his vacation with her in Sydney.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The studio expressed concern over the safety of filming Ethan Hunt's entrance in the film, where he is free solo climbing. Cruise refused to drop the idea because he could not think of a better way to reintroduce the character. There was no safety net as he filmed the sequence, but he did have a harness. He tore his shoulder when performing Hunt's jump from one part of the cliff to another.[3]

The first trailer to the film was released in November 1999 and was later shown before Pokemon: The First Movie.

Music[edit]

The film's original score was composed by Hans Zimmer and features vocals performed by Lisa Gerrard.[4] In addition, the film includes contemporary music such as Limp Bizkit's rendition of Lalo Schifrin's Mission: Impossible theme entitled "Take a Look Around" as well as Metallica's "I Disappear".[5]

While vacationer Ethan is rock climbing one can hear Iko Iko which seems to be a title much appriciated by M. Cruise since the song was also performed in Barry Levinson's Rain Man opening scene.

Different time, different version, while The Belle Stars were singing in 1988 a remixed Iko Iko by Zap Mama echoes over Grand Canyon's like Dead Horse Point State Park[6] in Moab, Utah in 2000.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film was a financial success. In its North American opening weekend the film grossed $57,845,297. The film eventually grossed $215,409,889 in its North American release and $330,978,216 in other territories, totaling $546,388,105 worldwide, the best performance of 2000.[1]

Critical response[edit]

Mission: Impossible II received generally mixed to positive reviews from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes indicates the film was certified as "Rotten" with overall approval rating of 57% based on 141 reviews, with an average score of 6/10.[7] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 60% based on 33 reviews.[8]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said that "if the first movie was entertaining as sound, fury, and movement, this one is more evolved, more confident, more sure-footed in the way it marries minimal character development to seamless action."[9] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly felt the film was a "throwaway pleasure" but also "a triumph of souped-up action."[10] Ella Taylor of LA Weekly said that "every car chase, every plane crash, every potential drop off a cliff is a masterpiece of grace and surprise."[11] Desson Howe of The Washington Post said that "[John] Woo [...] takes complete command of the latest technology to create brilliant action sequences."[12] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said, "Check your brains at the popcorn stand and hang on for a spectacular ride."[13]

J. Hoberman of The Village Voice called the film "a vaguely absurd thriller filled with elaborately superfluous setups and shamelessly stale James Bond riffs."[14] Dennis Harvey of Variety said the film is "even more empty a luxury vehicle than its predecessor" and that it "pushes the envelope in terms of just how much flashy packaging an audience will buy when there's absolutely nada inside."[15] Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader said that "no hero or villain winds up carrying any moral weight at all."[16]

Some fans considered Mission: Imposible II was the darkest and weakest installment in the series, even though its predecessor received controversy over the fact Jim Phelps from the television series was revealed to be a traitor.[17] While applauding Tom Cruise's performance and the fast-paced action scenes, many criticized the plot, dialogue, little resemblance to its source material and lack of substance. It was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards at the 2000 ceremony, including Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Supporting Actress for Thandie Newton.[18]

A comedy short titled Mission: Improbable was shown during the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. It is a mockumentary of the behind-the-scenes stunts of Mission: Impossible II, and stars Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller and John Woo.

See also[edit]

  • Mission: Impossible, the television series that served as an inspiration for the film series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mission: Impossible II (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ Brad Brevet. "Did You Know 'Mission: Impossible 2' is a Remake of Hitchcock's 'Notorious'? Here, Have a Look...". Rope of Silicon. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Series 16: Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. January 23, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Filmtracks: Gladiator (Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard)". Filmtracks.com. October 27, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 [Original Soundtrack]". Allmusic. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Moab Movie Locations - Take a tour of some of Moab's famous movie locations.". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Mission Impossible 2 (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Mission: Impossible II". Metacritic. 
  9. ^ Roger Ebert (May 24, 2000). "Mission: Impossible II". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  10. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)", Owen Gleiberman, June 2, 2000, Entertainment Weekly, Time Inc.
  11. ^ Mission: Impossible II review, Ella Taylor, LA Weekly[dead link]
  12. ^ "'M:I-2': Mission Accomplished", Desson Howe, May 26, 2000, The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Mission: Impossible II review, Lou Lumenick, New York Post.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Smoke and Mirrors", J. Hoberman, May 30, 2000, The Village Voice.
  15. ^ "Mission: Impossible 2", Dennis Harvey, May 23, 2000, Variety.
  16. ^ Mission: Impossible II review, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
  17. ^ "Mission: Impossible Reviews & Ratings - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "2000 RAZZIE Nominees & 'Winners'". Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. December 4, 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 

External links[edit]