Mission: Impossible - 2 (2000)

Rating: ****
Release Date: 5/24/00
Director: John Woo
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Anthony Hopkins

It may not be John Woo's masterpiece, but it sure is one hell of a fun and exciting ride! This is what summer movies are all about! Special agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is assigned to recover a super-virus and its anti-virus from a renegade rival team member named Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) who decided to steal it. The key to recovering the stolen goods is a master thief named Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton) and she gets dragged into the middle of the escalating conflict between Hunt and Ambrose. After much adrenalin pumping insanity, Hunt and Ambrose finally duke it out on the beach in a fairly respectable display of Western martial arts, and the world is once again a safe place. Sure it's stupid, campy, over-the-top, and completely implausible, but this is "Mission: Impossible," right? That's the whole point. Get over it. And who better to direct this mind blowing craziness than the master of over-the-top action himself, John Woo? A classic case of style over substance, but Woo's style complements the elements of the film so perfectly that little else matters. It's also keenly aware of its own silliness, and deftly pokes fun at itself to great effect. Criticize it as much as you want, but you can't deny how immensely entertaining it is - and in the final analysis, that's all that counts. It's been several hours since seeing it, and I still can't get this stupid grin off my face...