Cruise Control
Review by Ross Anthony

Remember MI-1? Tom Cruise hanging from the ceiling while performing all sorts of spy operations? Yep, that's all I remember too. I wasn't crazy about MI-1, and am feeling nearly the same about MI-2. Inversely, if you liked the first, perhaps you'll enjoy the later.

I'm a big Cruise fan and willing to take the heat for it. He's a good actor and looks great at the end of a string, or tumbling backwards while kicking the bad guys in the face. In an MI-2 introductory scene, Cruise climbs Utah, getting that red dirt under his nails. Woo does a fantastic job of putting it all to the wall with aerial photography. This quietly huge moment is boosted even higher via a screaming contrast with the previous airplane out of control opening sequence. This is the scene I will remember from MI-2, and Cruise doesn't even know his mission yet.

Ambrose (the biggest bad guy) gets a hold of the cure for the nastiest man-made disease to date, all he needs is the actual virus to infect the masses, shakedown the head of a pharmaceutical company, invest in the stock market, then hand over the cure and badabing badaboom, he's a billionaire. A simple enough plan were it not for Cruise's hand-picked spy team. Professional thief Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton), the beautiful key player in his alliance, steals the affections of both Cruise and Ambrose, and that's no coincidence.

Though, these spies handle the art of science well, there's little chemistry between Cruise and Newton. However, in perhaps the first "romantic car chase" ever to grace Tom Cruisethe screen, the two tango in the dust and gravel of their spinning convertible sports cars, artistic and elegant - kudos again to Woo.

And that's it. No major twists, aside from some very nicely simulated cyber-face changing, but after the first face-lift ... well, you get the idea.

The dialogue is routine, dipping at times to below average. You know, the familiar, "Get him!" and "Put a sock in it!" and "Ha, you should have killed me when you had the chance." Plus, the filmmakers made every effort to repeat import information for us, dangling there on the edge of insulting. In fact, the overall production feels like an artfully crafted episode of the "A-Team." At age ten, I would have been ecstatic over it.

Most of the big action is big; though often popping wheelies into the ridiculous - it's still fun. Unfortunately, the momentum stalls in-between, while many presumptions just don't hold water.

Though at times he gets carried away, still true, Woo is cool. This mission would have been next to impossible without him.

  • MI-2. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton, Dougray Scott, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Sherbedgia and Ving Rhames.
  • Directed by John Woo.
  • Written by Robert Towne.
  • Story by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga
  • Produced by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner at Paramount.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:29 PDT