Movie Review: Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

Here we are, the second part in my “Mission Impossible” review series leading up to “Mission Impossible: Fallout” in August. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mission Impossible 2”.

When a rogue agent (Dougray Scott) gets hold of a deadly virus, it is up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) to try to stop him from doing some bad stuff with it. So we go from a complex spy plot to a simple save the world plot. And I’m fine with that… for the most part. On one hand, sometimes you just need a “hero trying to stop a villain from doing bad shit”, and when it focuses on that it’s actually fun. But on another hand, this movie can be quite boring. The first half to be a bit more exact, as it meanders a bit too much for my taste. But when the second half kicks in, we get the fun, fast-paced, and focused action plot that we want. So overall this plot is… fine.

The characters in this are… well, they are… how do I put this… flat-ish. The first movie had tons of good character development, and this… doesn’t. Tom Cruise of course returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and unlike being a vulnerable and interesting character, in this he’s kind of like James Bond. He went from a complex character to a badass archetype. And while he can be fun to watch, I feel like something’s kind of missing here. Oh well, at least Tom Cruise is really good in the role. Next we have Dougray Scott as the villain, Sean Ambrose. He’s not one of the greatest villains of all time, but he works quite well for the story being told, being an enjoyable foil for Ethan. And Scott gives a really good performance. Next we have Thandie Newton as Naya, a thief that Ethan recruits for the mission (impossible) and even falls in love with. She feels less like a fully realized character and more like a somewhat generic love interest/prop. But she does get some decent enough moments throughout to make her feel somewhat useful. And Newton is good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Ving Rhames, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, and Rade Serbedzija, all doing okay in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Hans Zimmer, and it’s pretty good. It uses an interesting blend of orchestrations, acoustic guitar, and slightly distorted electric guitar to create some pretty cool sounds. It actually helps to make some bits a bit more exciting. As for the theme by Limp Bizkit… it’s actually okay when there are no vocals, as the instrumentals are fairly competent.

This movie was not directed by Brian De Palma, but was instead helmed by John Woo. And I think he for the most part did a good job. The shots look good and he does make the edit quite interesting. And when we actually get to the action scenes Woo shows his true colors… and man, that is a good thing. The action scenes in this are fast-paced, badass, brutal (for PG-13), and tons of fun. Say what you want about his pigeon fetish, but you can’t deny that Woo knows how to handle action sequences.

This movie has gotten a lot of mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 57% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,1/10.

“Mission Impossible 2” is a mixed bag of things, but ultimately works if you want some enjoyable action. It has an okay plot, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible 2” is a 7,01/10. So while very flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Mission Impossible 2” is now completed.

SLOW-MO PIGEONS DUAL-WIELDING PISTOLS.

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

As I’ve made clear on this blog a couple of times, I really enjoy the animated “Resident Evil” movies. The live action ones can burn in hell, but that’s a different story for a different day. So I was of course excited when a third entry in this series was announced. So I waited and a couple trailer came out and they got me excited and now the movie’s out and I’ve seen it so now it’s time to talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Resident Evil: Vendetta”.

When a vengeful black market dealer is about to unleash a deadly virus upon New York City, BSAA agent Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman) has to enlist the help of Leon Kennedy (Matthew Mercer) and Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) to try and stop the villainous man. So now we have our standard “Resident Evil” plot. And using the word “standard” doesn’t have to be a bad thing, because every “Indiana Jones” movie follows the same formula (and you know it), and people (mostly) love them). Same with “Resident Evil”, you can usually guess the story beats of each one, and that’s fine because they always find some way to hold onto you. And while the plot here isn’t bad, I just found that it didn’t really grab me. I was entertained, and thanks to the short runtime the pacing never let up more than it needed. But this plot overall just went by, never really grabbing me along. It’s just… fine.

The characters here, while not as great as in the last animated “Resident Evil” flick, are still interesting and pretty entertaining. Chris Redfield here is still the tough, determined, meathead that he’s always been. And while it’s weird not hearing Roger Craig Smith doing the voice, I do think Kevin Dorman does a good job in the role. Leon Kennedy in this is still the badass motherfucker that we know him as, with some of that cocky attitude still intact. Sure, they play him a bit more serious in this than in the last two movies, but he’s still entertaining as a character. And Matthew Mercer is of course once again great in the role. Rebecca Chambers is a character that we haven’t seen since 2002’s “Resident Evil: Zero”. And in this, instead of being a member of the STARS team, she’s a scientist. And she’s pretty cool, even though she doesn’t get to do a lot of cool stuff. And Erin Cahill is really good in the role. And the villain of the movie, Glenn Arias, they try to make sympathetic in a way that I won’t spoil here. And while I kind of understand his reasoning for doing what he does, as a villain he was just fine. John DeMita was good in the role though. So overall it’s a well acted movie (even if the dialog is often… not great).

The score for the movie was composed by Kenji Kawai and I think he did a great job with it. His score is cool, tense, and badass, often elevating scenes that wouldn’t have been as great without the music. And overall the score is just great, making for some good ear candy (the end credits song being a standout).

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” was directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and I think he did a solid job. Sure, he doesn’t build a lot of suspense with his directing, but he still brings a lot of flair and energy to it. Which also brings me to the animation and holy shit, this animation looks awesome! It’s detailed, fluid, and just looks all kinds of great. Especially in the facial animations which look terrific. And the action scenes too, while not subtle in the slightest (in fact they’re loud and kind of ridiculous), look awesome. They’re so much fun and just brought a big, dumb smile to my face. And is this movie scary? Fuck no.

This movie came out very recently and is very niche, so it doesn’t have a lot of scores on the sites I usually go to. Sure it exists on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no score on either site. And if scores are added to the sites, then I won’t edit this post. But on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” is a dumb action-thriller for fans of the games and animated features, and as one of those people I thought this movie was really fun. It has an okay plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great animation. My only flaw with the movie is that the plot didn’t really grab me in any way. Time for my final score. *Zombie moan*. My final score for “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is an 8,99/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d definitely say that it’s worth buying!

My review of “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is now completed.

Good to finally see Chris in one of these. I love Leon, but it’s nice to get good ol’ Redfield in a movie.