July 31, 2015


The Mission: Impossible films constitute a rather curious franchise.  They are not meant to showcase a sprawling narrative, nor do they necessarily give us 20 years of insight on the evolution of a particular genre.  Instead, the series seems to exist solely as a bellwether for the career of its producer and star, Tom Cruise.

In this sense, Mission: Impossible II reflects the mind of a Hollywood demigod at his mid-career apex, matched perfectly to high-flying and unabashedly self-congratulatory vibe of American culture in the year 2000.  It's a nonstop smirkfest posted at the last mile marker of a decades-long highway of persona-driven action cinema, timed precisely to the moment when the comic book bubble began to emerge and starring the only actor who could afford to ignore the changing of the guard.

[Our apologies for the tinny audio quality this week.  A rogue nation was tapping our channel, so we had to initiate ghost protocol.  We'll be back to normal in the next episode.]

Mission: Impossible II (2000)
Directed by John Woo
Produced by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner
Story by Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga
Screenplay by Robert Towne
Based on the TV series Mission: Impossible created by Bruce Geller
Starring Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Richard Roxburgh, Brendan Gleeson, and Anthony Hopkins

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