This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2001-11-27.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> June 2000 >> Mission: Impossible II
After seeing Face/Off and Mission: Impossible II, I am quite convinced that John Woo likes masks and identity swapping. M:I-2 is packed with rubber masks, so that about a half-dozen times, a scene must be reinterpreted when you see who was actually in it. There were instances where I had great difficulty believing this device, especially since one character even has a mask of himself for someone else to wear. Of course, this was a far less offensive tactic than Mission: Impossible's constant backstabbing.
Unfortunately, Woo underestimates the audience's ability to understand that characters can act, and should not be confined to showing their true feelings when they should be acting. In a plot move that echoes Notorious, the Thandie Newton character is supposed to pretend to be rekindling her relationship with the Dougray Scott character. Although I imagine she is capable of doing the scene otherwise, Newton shows a constant distaste for Scott, even when he's looking right at her. If John Q. Critic can see that she isn't thrilled to be with him, shouldn't it be doubly obvious to an obsessed ex-boyfriend?
The biggest disappointment for me was the relegation of Newton's character to damsel in distress. The very beginning of the movie set her up to be tough, clever, and sexy. I don't think it even took fifteen minutes before she had to be rescued, and the character never had an edge again. I would've liked to see her save Ethan's butt at least once, and to be able to rub his nose in it. I was expecting something more along the lines of Michelle Yeoh's role in Tomorrow Never Dies.