Films Review November


In the inevitable yet ultimately tired sequel to “Mission: Impossible,” a brilliant secret agent turncoat has stolen a deadly virus and plans to use it to hold the world hostage. missionimpossible2Instead of the usual Swiss Bank account payment, he demands stock participation in the pharmaceutical company that has developed the antidote. It’s a modern twist to an old dilemma, one of many in “Mission: Impossible 2.” Unfortunately, for all its twists and turns, the sequel fails to generate the breathtaking thrills of the original. The plot and characters are pedestrian, leaving poor star Tom Cruise stranded. His character, Ethan Hunt, is the only interesting thing about the film. The artistic failure of “Mission: Impossible 2” rests on the shoulders of director John Woo and writer Robert Towne, both remarkably talented men. Together, they are guilty of the worst cinematic crime: they made a boring movie. Most bad movies serve as celluloid car wrecks. You want to slow down to get a better look. “M:I2” demands that you put the pedal to the metal. Click on title for complete review. (Paramount)


The characters and the situation look awfully familiar. Two outlaws, trapped inside an abandoned building, decide that the only way out is through the front door, fighting. They argue a little, make amends, and then come out shooting. If you’re thinking “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid,” think again. It’s actually a scene at the end of “Shanghai Noon,” a frisky comedy western starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. The similarity between the finale of George Roy Hill’s 1969 masterpiece and “Shanghai Noon” is not coincidental. It’s an homage, an affectionate tribute to all that came before it. If “Shanghai Noon” wasn’t a comedy, it would have been a rip-off. Here, it’s an in-joke, one of many in a film that more than serves its purpose as broad summer entertainment. Click on title for complete review. (Touchstone)



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