Mission accomplished

Sequel-itis infects Cruise's M:I-2, but not fatally

After that sequence, the film continues to rely heavily on car and motorcycle chases, but adds some very nicely staged hand-to-hand, or (perhaps more accurately, given the style of the combat) foot-to-foot, fight scenes.

While the emotional part of the plot is satisfying and the action scenes--accompanied by the usual cranked-up multitrack music and effects--are exciting, there is still the issue of plot mechanics. Even more than its predecessor, M:I-2's story relies on many implausible motivations and cheap sci-fi gimmicks. While one can give Towne points for at least trying to explain most of the implausibilities rather than assuming that no one will care, his explanations aren't very convincing. On a moment's reflection, you realize that the reasons that Sean and Hunt do certain things either make no sense or are so artificially contrived as to irritate.

The film also indulges in the first film's worst device--the perfect masks that were an excuse for the cheapest sort of identity reversal. "I look like X, but really"--rrrrrippppp--"I'm Y!" While treading delicately to avoid spoiling a surprise that won't in all likelihood surprise anyone, let us simply say that the final use of this nonsensical gimmick completely defies logic, even if you suspend disbelief long enough to accept the gimmick itself.

Face-off: Cruise's movie-star mug and John Woo's action-flick acumen pay off in M:I-2.
Face-off: Cruise's movie-star mug and John Woo's action-flick acumen pay off in M:I-2.

Details

Starring Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott, Ving Rhames, Brendan Gleeson, and Richard Roxburgh

Release Date:
May 24

Official site

Directed by John Woo

Screenplay by Robert Towne; story by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga; based on the television series created by Bruce Geller

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Be forewarned: Abandon all hopes of common sense, and enter the theater with high expectations for visceral entertainment. You won't be disappointed.

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