Mission: Impossible II (Extreme Collection) Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Cas Harlow, 21st December 2011.
After the twists and turns of Brian De Palma’s first Mission: Impossible tale, it came as quite a shock to fans when they found the second film in the hands of action maestro John Woo, who drastically shifted the style and tone to make this feel almost like a sequel in name only. With Cruise’s IMF agent counterpart to Bond and Bourne, Ethan Hunt, now wholly entering superspy territory, Mission: Impossible II drifted even farther away from the founding principles of the original classic TV series, and, at times, verges on outright parody. At the end of the day, though, there’s no denying that John Woo’s chapter in the franchise is still bloody good fun, a thoroughly immersive, endlessly stylish and often action-packed experience which, whilst pretty far from perfect, is the kind of extreme example of a guilty-pleasure movie that, no doubt, many fans actually enjoy a whole lot more than they would ever like to admit. More fresh and interesting than just regurgitating everything that worked in the first movie (a trademark of most other franchise sequels), I’m glad they took things in a different direction, even if it was a good move for the next movie to return to the series some sense of normality. Watch it for Cruise at his absolute coolest, and most action-driven, and for all the balletic ballistic slo-mo mayhem that Woo is known and loved for.

Released as part of Paramount’s purportedly new Extreme Trilogy Collection, as with the first movie, this is just the same old Blu-ray recycled in new packaging, with exactly the same video and limited standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, as well as all the same extras. Thankfully the video is still a step up from its predecessor, and at least hits ‘good’, and the audio is much the same, besting the first outing but never rising to the ranks it might have achieved with a remastered lossless track. Again, this is the best you’re going to get short of forking out for the expensive-but-superior Japanese set. Certainly there’s no doubt that this overall release is still good value, and this film is an enjoyably different middle-chapter in what is still a reliable series of undeniably entertaining blockbuster spy-action-thrillers; films that you really ought to have in your collection.


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BRW

Novice Member
I never thought much of this film, it was far too cheesy. Love the review though, and I would still be interested in a longer cut although I suppose that will never happen. Looking forward to ghost protocol!
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
I never thought much of this film, it was far too cheesy. Love the review though, and I would still be interested in a longer cut although I suppose that will never happen. Looking forward to ghost protocol!

As with Hard Target, we'll likely never get a (official) release of a longer cut of Mission Impossible 2, there's just not the demand for it, and I don't know whether anybody would have even bothered keeping any decent prints of the alternate material. Ah well, I doubt it would have saved this movie, but it would have made a nice curio.
 

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