This is the place where I complain about overrated films. Warning: some posts may contain SPOILERS!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Mission: Impossible 2 is overrated

Mission Impossible 2 (stupidly abbreviated (it's stupid because one letter is capitalized and one is not) to M:i-2 on all the movie posters (I'll use their rating from now on in this post because I'm too lazy to type out the full title, and I also want the very name of the film to seem subliterate)) is overrated. It is not overrated by the general public, but instead overrated by a few misguided individuals on IMDB. What gets me angry is not that these individuals gave it a middling-to-good rating and said "This is a movie with some awesome explosions" or some such thing; such a verdict about a movie is one I can accept, for I understand that sometimes people (even me) want to just sit back, give our brains a rest (your brain is less active while watching TV than while asleep) and watch 90-120 minutes of people getting shot and stuff exploding interspersed with scenes where a black cop and a white cop get into funny arguments--hence the popularity of such films as Lethal Weapon and its sequels and derivatives. However, the praise being give to M:i-2 by some people is simply ridiculous. Observe these comments from M:i-2's IMDB page(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120755/):

"A high class action movies..with alot to offer...what more can you expect from an action movie..tom is lovely..he really is the best..this movie couldn't get any better..I'm can hardly wait for the third one to arrive..!!"--A-TCH

"The best action-film I've seen! Cool moves, slow-mo, cool music, cool action-scenes! bad story though...Even though I'm not much for action-films, I enjoyed this. It shears my 1th place as an action-film all the way up there with The Rock! All in all, it makes real nice entertainment!"-- ekanSdiloS [Wow! It "shears" his "1th place"! That's enough to totally disregard any complaints about the story and give this thing a 10 star rating!]

"No questions asked. I thought it was better than the first because it was easier to understand, and there is more fighting sequences...The beginning of the movie is a bit hokey though, especially the tap dancing part. Another cheesy part is when Ethan and Nyah all of the sudden fall in love.When the mission starts, the great stuff starts. The thing I thought we were looking for, the action. The action is as great on DVD as it is on the big screen. So if you're looking for a movie that has great action, pick up MI-2 at the movie store on DVD if you have DVD. It has a simple plot. You people say that this movie has doesn't have a plot. If you want to see a movie that has a plot looks like a four year old wrote, see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. MI-2 gets a 10/10. "--justincase12387 [Well, I can't disagree with this guy's verdict on CTHD, but why he gives this movie a flawless rating despite having 2 parts he describes as cheesy is beyond me. Also, I find it quite sad he thought the sequel is better because it has an easier to understand plot and more action sequences; that's like saying a McDonald's hamburger is better than a filet mignon because it is requires less effort to eat and has more fat.]

But enough of me complaining about what stupid people said about this movie. It's now time for me to mix things up and complain about the movie itself.

Before I begin, I would like to say that the main villain and main hero of this film looked way too similar, which was annoying as crap when trying to figure out who was who.

The film starts out with some scientist injecting himself with a virus in a lab. After he is done with that, he walks outside because he has a plane to catch. As he is walking outside, he sees some children playing ring around the rosies. All of a sudden, the children turn black and white and there is all this blurry slow motion stuff. I suppose the point of it was to imply that the scientist was contemplating the children's deaths by the virus he had developed and injected himself with in the lab, but it was pretty stupid.

To briefly summarize the first hour, the scientist was supposed to meet Tom Cruise on the airplane I mentioned earlier to give him the virus, but Tom Cruise was on vacation, so the IMF sent some other guy instead, disguised as Tom Cruise with one of those face masks from the first movie, as well as a chip on his throat to alter his voice. However, the Tom Cruise substitute did not follow orders, and instead of collecting the virus and giving it to the US government (or whoever Tom Cruise works for), the substitute stole the scientist's briefcase, and drugged everybody in the plane with sleeping gas, causing the plane to crash into the Rocky Mountains while the substitute (henceforth referred to as "the villain") and his henchmen parachute away, intent on selling the virus for a bunch of money. Whoops.

Now, I am going to digress to another complaint, a complaint about movies in general. Or at least about spy movies in general. Is it just me, or are the world's espionage agents getting more incompetent every year. In The World is not Enough, the MI6 headquarters was blown up. The world's most prestigious secret intelligence agency had its headquarters, which should me one of the most secure places in the world, BLOWN UP! In Die Another Day, James Bond, the MI6's star agent, was captured. If their best man gets captured, imagine how many screwups their average agent makes. Anyway, we now come to M:i-2 (which actually came out before those two James Bond movies I just mentioned, but lets ignore that discrepancy in chronology for now) in which the US government sends a man to retrieve a deadly virus for them, but instead he hires a dozen henchmen, steals the virus, kills a planeful of people, and then sets out to sell the virus to the highest bidder. What sort of moron hired that guy? How could someone so evil get into such a sensitive position, and then go to so many lengths to betray the government without getting caught? It's all pretty stupid.

Anyway, while all this was happening, Tom Cruise was out rock climbing while really annoying music played in the background. The government finally finds him (he didn't tell them where his vacation was) and a government agent on a helicopter shoots a rocket at him. The rocket misses, and opens up to reveal that it contains some sunglasses. Tom Cruise puts on the sunglasses, and they have an audio recording that tells him about his new mission (to retrieve the stolen virus, etc). Then the sunglasses self-destruct. Why they had to use expensive sunglasses and an expensive rocket to deliver them with is something I don't understand. It seems it would just be more efficient to hand him a self-destructing walkman or something. Or maybe they could give him some papers and make sure he burns them. Or maybe Tom Cruise's lazy boss could go over and tell him personally. Seeing as how Tom Cruise's boss is also responsible for hiring the evil substitute who screwed everything up in the first place, I think it would be a good idea to keep that guy's time in the office to minimum.

Anyway, before they self-destruct, the sunglasses tell Tom Cruise that he can choose any two team members (they don't ask how many he thinks he'll need--they automatically know he will need exactly two), but the third must be some woman. I forgot her name, but she's the only female with a speaking role in this movie, so if I refer to her as "the woman", you'll know who I'm talking about. The audio recording mentions her talents as a thief, but that's it.

Tom Cruise goes to Spain. There is a party going on at some house in Spain, and some valuable necklace that the woman wants to steal is being stored in the house. Tom Cruise goes into the house, and sees the woman for the first time. Then the film is boring for 5 minutes as there is a lot of crappy slow motion shots of Tom Cruise and the woman looking at each other across the room. Then the slo-mo mercifully ends.

The woman goes upstairs and starts trying to crack the safe the necklace is in. The safe is right next to a bathtub, and Tom Cruise gets in it. Then a guard walks by, and Tom Cruise and the woman have to lie on top of each other in the bathtub to avoid detection. When the guard leaves, the woman gets on her knees to continue cracking the safe; Tom Cruise remains flat on the bottom of the bathtub, and when the woman spreads her legs over his face, he spends a while looking up her skirt. Eventually, Tom Cruise offers her a job, but she rejects him.

The next day, the woman is driving around in her expensive convertible sports car. Tom Cruise (who also owns an expensive convertible sports car) starts following her. They get in a car fight,and ram each other. Considering the cost of the cars, I would say each ram cost 1000-5000 USD. Then, all of a sudden, the cars join together, absolutely parallel and facing the same direction, and start spinning around. This is shown to the audience in the form of another interminable slo-mo sequence. Eventually, the sequence ends with the woman's car hanging precariously off of a ledge, and the woman dangling off the cliff, hanging on for her life. Tom Cruise pulls her up. Then, they have sex.

The next day, Tom Cruise's boss gives him a surprise: they actually needed the woman because she was the former girlfriend of the villain, not because of her thieving abilities. Whoops. I guess that should have been mentioned in the briefing that was delivered in the overly high-tech sunglasses. (Btw, the fact that Tom Cruise was willing to wreck a sports car with a 6-digit price for a mission he was assigned to with a decadent pair of sunglasses explains why the US government is in so much debt: it hires traitorous people like the villain and then inefficiently spends millions trying to fix what they just broke). However, after about 3 minutes of talking (less time than the total of all boring slo-mo footage in this film), the woman consents.

Anyway, a bunch of stuff happens, including the villain cutting off one of his henchman's fingers for no reason, and it turns out that when the villain killed the scientist and stole his briefcase, he didn't actually get the virus, which is still in a lab in Sydney. So the bad guy now has to steal the virus from the building, which makes me wonder why he didn't just do that in the beginning.

Anyway, Tom Cruise has to sneak into the lab and destroy all the virus before the bad guy can steal it. Through some cosmic coincidence, they both decide to do their stuff at the exact same time on the exact same day. However, the bad guy has research Tom Cruise and has come to realize that Tom Cruise always does his missions the same way; the fact that one of the IMF's best agents can have his moves so easily predicted is somewhat disturbing. Anyway, Tom Cruise sneaks in and destroys all but one of the vials of the virus. Right before he destroys the last one, he pauses for no good reason, and the bad guys (who had no trouble dispatching all of the 3 security guards the company had decided to post in the lobby to protect its headquarters and deadliest viruses) burst in and shoot it out of his hands. The villain brought the woman along for some reason (maybe it was bring your girlfriend to work day for bad guys), and she eventually decides to betray him and inject herself with the virus. There is a lot of shooting during all of this, but the sound is muted, and everything is in crappy slo-mo while a stupid song plays in the background, so it's extremely boring.

Tom Cruise now has to kill the bad guy and steal the antidote (isn't it convenient that for every virus in a movie there is a perfect anti-virus that will make you better even if it is administered 5 minutes before death? Scientists have not come up with an anti-virus for any naturally occurring virus, nor have they been able to create a virus of their own, but I guess once the latter of those two things is done, the former just falls into place) to give to the woman. He goes to the room where the villain is about to sell the virus, and kills all but one of the guards with a grenade to the door. Then, Tom Cruise dramatically walks past the flaming doorway, and looks ominously at the villain as a dove flies over his shoulder. Symbolic or stupid? You be the judge.

(I have heard that John Woo makes it a trademark of his to have a dove fly in his movies. He is quoted as saying that in one part of one of his movies, he wanted to show that the protagonist and antagonist were similar in that they were pure of heart, so he used the metaphor of a dove. However, John Woo really needs to think of some original stuff, for one piece of symbolism does not a good film make, especially when it is the third time that piece of symbolism has been used. Also, Tom Cruise and the villain are quite different, so the dove doesn't really make any sense.)

*Warning: if you do not want the only good scene in this otherwise mediocre-at-best film to be ruined, do not read the next two paragraphs*

The villain sends his remaining henchman to catch Tom Cruise. The henchman returns with Tom Cruise. The villain shoots Tom Cruise to death. But then he realizes that the person he just shot to death was his henchman (he recognized him because his finger was missing) with a Tom Cruise mask on, and that Tom Cruise had been wearing a mask of his henchman and had now stolen the antivirus and is escaping.

However, this scene, in retrospect, does not make any sense. How did Tom Cruise manage to have a mask of himself and of the henchman? Were the masks in his pocket or something? Did Tom Cruise have psychic abilities (maybe he was aided by that chick from Minority Report) and predict that he would need those masks, and have them made just before he went on the mission? It was quite an exciting scene at first, but quite a stupid scene at last.

Having stolen the antivirus, Tom Cruise has a car chase (most of (notice I say "most of" and not "all of") the last 30 minutes of this film aren't that bad (but that doesn't excuse the suckiness of the preceding 88 minutes)), and then a final confrontation with the villain which was stupid because Tom Cruise manages to somehow dodge a bullet, except we aren't even treated to some cool special effects. The bullet also does not hit the helicopter or any of the people standing behind Tom Cruise. (What was a helicopter with several people doing behind Tom Cruise? It was there to bring the woman to meet him because for some reason the villain decided to release her. (Which was stupid because if I were the villain I would kill her once I had no more use for her, or at least use her as a hostage (DUH!!!)))


In conclusion, the plot of this movie was crap, and there wasn't enough action to even begin to make up for it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2/15/2005 06:52:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3/10/2006 07:19:00 AM

 

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