You'd think that after tackling an utter fiasco and coming out on top, a guy
has to have a break or a job that is more fun and along expected lines, or partially
so. Ethan Hunt is no different, and if anyone deserved it, he did. Hey, I'm
not talking about a firefighter or a bomb defuser getting to be the president
of the United States (that appears to be more fun, these days). More like a
spy doing his agency's job than someone else' - a terrorist organization, as
in the first installment of this series that may just about give the audience
a spy that can take on James Bond. That may be the reason that things are so
simple in this edition of M:I, as they like to call the series (it's
on its way to becoming one). But heavens, it is that much more scintillating.
It couldn't be much different with its dynamic director's stamp all over it.
The message reaches its target and self-destructs. The vacation is over, the
masks are out, and it is another mission: impossible. It must have seemed so
to Cruise and Wagner (the producers) when they decided to revive Ethan Hunt.
But then Hunt is where the impossible is, so all they had to do was create the
latter. In fact, the movie starts with a scientist saying something to the same
effect - creating a monster in the search of a hero. The monster is a deadly
virus Chimera that finds its way into the hands of the baddie, Ambrose (Dougray
Scott). Hunt's assigned his mission, that of recovering Chimera, by his rather
articulate boss, played by Anthony Hopkins.
His mission involves recruiting a master thief, Nyah (Thandie Newton), and
no sooner do they meet than it's time for bed. It is quite disappointing then
for Hunt to know that she is the ex-flame of Ambrose, and has to go back to
him in order to elicit information from him. The only new twist to the plot
after here is the fact that Ambrose has the antidote for Chimera, rather than
the virus, which is not so safe in a pharmaceutical company's building. Somewhere
down the line, the operation to retrieve Chimera becomes one to save Nyah from
On second thoughts, even in the absence of espionage jargon and subtle mind
games, the plot is rather engaging. But what bestows the charm upon it is the
action and style. With John Woo, they invariably go together. Now, if you are
out to gauge the plausibility of the sequences, then you are definitely watching
the wrong movie. But, if you consider choreographed action to be an art, then
it doesn't get better than this. A slow-motion sequence has your attention by
the scruff, and an abrupt speeding up of the scene jerks you out of your immobility.
One has to say that the final duel between the Ambrose and Hunt does remind
you of the WWF bouts. But the best part of it all is that Woo's action carries
emotion that holds your attention as much as the actual stunt does.
But the movie holds its own, even in the absence of its USP for the most part.
Sheer style and twists keep you glued to your seat. The screenplay, however,
repeats most of the scenes from the original, and overuses the mask angle. What
could have been better is the choice of the villain. Dougray Scott literally
drawls his dialogues, and contorts his face to conjure up the only expression
that he seems to be capable of, and it isn't pleasant. But Thandie Newton is.
She oozes sensuality throughout, but never appears a bimbo. Tom Cruise, of course,
has everything woven around him. Bu then, it isn't the most challenging role
he will ever essay. He is competent and, most importantly, at his dynamic best.
A director at his peak, a star at his stylish best, a series extremely engaging
and the most breathtaking locales. What more did you expect from the movie?
If anything, then just watch a rerun of the original.