Mission: Impossible was one of the best action blockbusters of the 1990s, deriving a quality unique among its peers from the tension between Brian De Palma's directorial stylisation and the overriding presence of its star and producer, Tom Cruise. The original 1960s television series provides not only the wonderful musical motif, but also the layered complexity of false realities and masked identities, which are revealed with the playful conjuring of a Russian doll. De Palma's trademark set pieces include a giant exploding fishtank in Prague, a helicopter chase through... the Channel Tunnel, and, most notably, a break-in to steal a vital disc from CIA headquarters in Langley. The moment in the latter when, in almost complete silence, Cruise dangles precariously from a cable is as sublimely exhilarating as any in American movies of recent years. --Steve NapletonVisually stunning, and a likely must for John Woo aficionados, the second Mission: Impossible outing from megastar Tom Cruise suffers from an inconsistent tone and tired plot devices--not only recycled from other films, but also repeated throughout the film. Despite remarkable cinematography and awe-inspiring, trademark Woo photography, the movie offers a tepid story from legendary screenwriter-director Robert Towne (Chinatown) and a host of other writers, most uncredited. Woo's famed mythic film-making is far from subtle, with heroic Hunt frequently slow-motion walking through fire, smoke or other similar devices, replete with a white dove among pigeons to signal his presence. The emphasis on romance is an attempt to develop character and a more human side to superspy Hunt, but still the story proves a distraction from the exciting action sequences. --NF Mendoza, Amazon.com [show more]
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