I knew pretty early on that I was going to hate Mission: Impossible II. One caveat is that I saw it on TNT, meaning it’s possible that parts were cut that would have made it more enjoyable. I missed most of the first scene - a jetliner crash - as well.
We are first reintroduced to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) while he is solo rock climbing on an impossible steep peak in what looks like the American West. Soon after Hunt is tracking down noted thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandie Newton). As he catches up with her on a job they are forced to hide in close quarters, with Hall straddling Hunt, her chest in his face. It’s not long after that Hall is overcome with lust after Hunt saves her life. The scenes are pure narcissism on Cruise’s.
The sequel gets worse as the film progresses. The original was a great spy flick. It had climactic action, but for the most part its excellence was built through intrigue. John Woo’s take on Mission: Impossible is drenched in action. It’s straight out of the Woo manual, and it’s probably everything in it. There’s an infiltration scene that seemed to be a derivative of the famous scene from the first movie. The rest is pure action film cliche. There’s quick cutting gunfight, an elaborate car chase, and an obscenely long fight sequence which follows a ridiculous motorcycle chase. Even the John Woo calling card doves make an appearance, albeit in an underground prison. I’m not sure how that was justified.
The generic British villain, Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott), is doing it all for the money, but there’s no real story behind why. The dialog is generally bad. Tom Cruise’s hair is terrible. Worst of all is the Nyah. She’s a cross between a fawning lover and a weak little girl. I absolutely hated the character.