Film Review-Mi2 Essay, Research Paper
Mission Impossible II: The Modern Spy Film
In a film genre filled with heavily accented hero s, fancy cars, beautiful women, and plot distracting action scene s, Mission Impossible II breaks away to stand out as a modern reincarnation of the past spy/action films. Tom Cruise returns to play Ethan Hunt, who is a mercenary working for an underground international agency. He has been assigned to stop renegade agent Sean Ambrose, played by Dougray Scott, from destroying the world. Along with Cruise, Ving Rhames returns as computer and communications whiz Luther Stickell, and the gorgeous Thandie Newton pops up as Hunt’s love interest. Director John Woo did a great job of having the writers fill in their plot around his high velocity action scenes. Mission Impossible II is an excellent example of a more modern spy film, with it s intense action, extremely impossible odds, and the untypical twist away from the norm of spy movies, M:I II had me eagerly awaiting to see what would happen next.
From hard impact fight scenes to high velocity car scenes, John Woo managed to live up to his reputation for creating action-filled masterpieces. Even though this film was far from a masterpiece, it still presents all that is necessary to quench the thirst of any action freak. One scene that sticks out to me, is when Hunt is leaving the Biochem test center, and he can t make it in time to get aboard the helicopter. Just as he realizes this, many armed men on fast street motorcycles begin zipping past, firing an array of shots. Hunt takes a man off his bike and the scene begins. As Ethan makes his escape, he is followed by Scott s character, Sean Ambrose. Hunt leads Ambrose to a sandy area, which almost is very similar to a rock query. They finally set up for what looks to be a classic game of chicken. As both characters speed towards one another, the camera buzzes about, building up the suspense from every angle. This is where the chase scene becomes the final battle. The moment that everyone has been waiting for. Both men jump from their bikes to slam into each other in mid-air. It is then an up and down battle for both men, using pistols at first, and then leading to hand to hand for the rest of the scene. This scene was one that kept the viewer into the final parts of a movie that was beginning to be stretched out by this point. With all the different twists and camera angles, the director sure gave the audience the show that they wanted.
The predicaments that Ethan Hunt is placed in fit well with the title of this movie, Mission Impossible. At several different times during the film, Cruise had some kind of almost impossible duty to perform. There is one point during the film, where Ethan has to make it inside the lab building, but the only way is to go through the roof. Here comes the trick for what would normally be an easy task. Hunt has to descend down to the bottom of a long shaft. The openings on the roof can only be forcibly opened for 40 seconds before the alarm goes off. Hunt has to be all the way to the bottom, and his ropes have to be winched back to the top all in this 40 seconds. This provides a great amount of suspense considering the camera kept shifting from Cruise flying down this shaft, to Rames instructing him to hurry, to the helicopter from which Hunt descended from hovering over the hole. Just to think that this sounds like impossible odds, the whole plot is based on the releasing of a virus that will kill you after being infected for 20 hours. At the mid point of the movie, it takes a dramatic plot shift. The girl whom Hunt is falling in love with, played by Newton, infects herself as a means of saving Hunt. Now Hunt must find the antidote and the remaining virus in less than 20 hours in order to save this new found love. This makes for good edge of your seat action as the film rolls out into its final parts.
Mission Impossible II manages to stand out in a crowd of spy flicks by changing the idea of what the audience would expect as your normal spy. Instead of a fascination with expensive cars like 007, Hunt prefers the likeness of many cyber-gadgets. There is a new spy for the new millennium. A man who doesn t allow any kind of toxin in his body, nor every suspecting female either. That is where this film greatly twists away from the normal spy films. Sex is not common with our new hero, he tends to find something that he wants, and he gets it. Hunt doesn t prowl for women with a suave personality, he uses his personality to try and outsmart Ambrose. This idea may be seen more in films to come, with an era of HIV and other STD s, the idea of promiscuous sex could begin to be a thing of the past.
M:I II was a good in many different ways, but it also had some downfalls, as does any film. But one thing is for sure, it definitely gave the viewer what they wanted. This film provided all the elements necessary for a great action film. M:I had the high velocity action, the moments of suspense due to impossible odds, and it went against the grain of normal spy/action film, such as the Bond series. Could Mission Impossible be the new beginning for action films to come? The only way to tell is to pay close attention to what hits the screens in the time to come. I give this film two thumbs up, and would recommend any action nut to see this movie.