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  • Post last modified:September 19, 2022

Mission: Impossible II


Tom Cruise. Photo: Paramount

A thief (Thandiwe Newton) infiltrates renegade agent Sean Ambrose’s (Dougray Scott) home; she’s part of Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) team who must stop Ambrose’s lethal virus from spreading all over the world. The screenplay of this sequel echoes Hitchcock’s classic Notorious (1946); Robert Towne clearly had a homage in mind, which isn’t a bad idea. Still, all things considered this is huge letdown from the 1996 original. Director John Woo’s signature pigeons in slow motion becomes a tedious device, but Cruise’s opening cliffhanger is terrific and there are a few treats to be had along the way, including the leads’ sexy rapport.

2000-U.S. 126 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by John Woo. Screenplay: Robert Towne. Cast: Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Thandiwe Newton (Nyah Nordoff-Hall), Dougray Scott (Sean Ambrose), Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson… Brendan Gleeson. Cameo: Anthony Hopkins.

Trivia: Co-produced by Cruise. According to Towne, Woo had written the action scenes even before work began on the screenplay. Ian McKellen was considered for a role. Followed by Mission: Impossible III (2006).

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