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The Next Reel • Season 12 • Series: Mission: Impossible • Mission: Impossible 2

Mission: Impossible 2

“Well, this is not ‘mission: difficult’, Mr. Hunt. This is ‘mission: impossible.’ ‘Difficult’ should be a walk in the park for you.”

Hunt’s Back for Love, Doves, and Viruses!

Returning for a sequel to their hit, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner decided to explore the franchise with a different director – something they’d continue doing for the first five films. For this, they went with Hong Kong action filmmaker John Woo. Known for his over-the-top action set pieces, his use of slow motion, and his use of doves, it may seem a bit of a surprise that what Woo really wanted to inject this sequel with was romance. But is that where the film goes wrong? Or did it have issues even without the love story? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our ‘Mission: Impossible’ series with a conversation about Woo’s 2000 film Mission: Impossible 2.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about.

While it may seem natural to hire John Woo to direct a Mission: Impossible movie, it’s quite a surprise that this is the worst of the franchise. Woo’s filmmaking style doesn’t seem to fit. It feels like it’s a different universe than where the rest of the franchise takes place. But is that strictly Woo’s fault? Was it partially the story put together by Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga? Or the final script written by Robert Towne? It’s hard to say, but the romance Woo wanted to inject into the story certainly doesn’t help.

And that’s one of our primary complaints. Nya, as played by Thandiwe Newton, could be an interesting expert thief character but they drop that angle instantly and restrict her to love interest and pawn. Plus, by the time we get to the end of the film, they completely bail on Nya as a potential threat to humanity with the virus she’s carrying. No wonder Newton had such a miserable time making this movie.

But there’s also the angle of the virus and antidote. It seems very James Bond villain-esque, but even there it’s less about threatening the world and more about making a little money. Maybe it’s because we struggle with Dougray Scott as the villain, or the fact that his relationship with Newton’s Nya seems less likely than a possible gay relationship with his right hand man played by Richard Roxburgh.

Cruise does start his crazy stunts here with the wire work as he’s doing the free solo climb. His later stunts and action set pieces aren’t too bad, but they never feel great. It has its moments, but this film just never feels like it’s doing what it needs to be doing. Still, it makes for a fantastic conversation. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.
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