Mission: Impossible 2
By Nell Minow,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Good thrill ride of a movie with nonstop action.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The IMF forces with honorable intentions and great courage once again defeat a formidable enemy. Good triumphs over evil.
Positive Role Models
To foil the greedy, power-hungry villains, the heroes are strong, brave, loyal, passionate, and honor-bound. One leading member of the team is known to be a thief, but is redeemed by her self-sacrifice and grace under pressure.
Violence & Scariness
Almost continuous action and violence beginning with a harrowing plane crash and explosion in which everyone aboard is killed. That is soon followed by a sequence that shows scary images of cell destruction caused by a deadly virus. The film's hero is a one man army, punching, using martial arts, driving skills, gunfire, and athleticism (including dangling from a sheer precipice) to fend off dozens of villains. Bodies fly; vehicles explode; automatic weapons are fired; a man’s fingertip is cut off using a cigar clipper. There are point-blank shootings, flame throwers, lengthy hand-to-hand combat sequences, and high speed chases with careening, crashing vehicles.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Playful sexual innuendo when two characters are forced to hide in a bathtub together. Very soon afterward, they kiss passionately, start to undress, then are seen in post-sexual cuddling with only bare shoulders visible. More embraces and kisses follow as the relationship intensifies. It is implied that the film’s heroine will voluntarily resume a former sexual affair in order to trap a villain.
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Infrequent swearing including: "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "damn," "hell," and "bastard."
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Products & Purchases
Bulgari brand is visible. The franchise has a heavy marketing component.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission: Impossible 2 is as action-packed and suspense-filled as the original film, though it's far more brutal. Characters are dispatched using an amazing assortment of weaponry, skills, and derring-do: knives, automatic weapons, plane crashes, falls from steep cliffs, vicious hand-to-hand combat, martial arts, explosions, flame throwers, and the devastatingly visual of a virus slowly destroying a human body. In most instances, however, an effort is made to keep the gore and carnage off camera, so while bodies fly and things explode, the audience is not exposed to the grisly aftermath. There is some sexuality with kissing, mild foreplay, partial undressing, and post-sexual cuddling. Some swearing ("bitch," "ass," "damn") is heard infrequently.
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Mission: Impossible 2
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What's the Story?
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 is the essence of a summer movie: gorgeous stars, sensational stunts, nerve-wracking chases, steamy romance, some "gotcha" plot twists, and lots of explosions. This time, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has to retrieve the secret formula to a virus that could destroy humankind. Hunt's task won't be easy – the virus has been stolen by his former colleague Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) who knows all his tricks. As Hunt's boss (an unbilled Anthony Hopkins) says, "It's not Mission Difficult; it's Mission Impossible." He must persuade his girlfriend (and jewel thief) Nyah (Thandiwe Newton) to get romantically involved with her ex-flame, Ambrose.
Is It Any Good?
This is a terrific thrill ride of a movie, and Cruise just keeps getting better. The first film in the series was a huge success, but most viewers thought that the real mission impossible was trying to understand the plot; with Mission: Impossible 2, they make it simple so we can just sit back and enjoy. Ving Rhames returns as the world's least geeky computer genius, but aside from a couple of impeccably delivered lines, he never gets a chance to show us what he can do. Hunt is more like loner James Bond than he is like MI's Jim Phelps. But that's a small point.
Director John Woo's trademarks are all here -- the hero sliding across the floor in slow motion, firing two guns at once, the balletic combat, the villain's streak of sadism, and an engaging willingness to tweak, even spoof, his own conventions. Unfortunately the movie leaves out the best part of the original Mission: Impossible concept, back in the days of the TV show, and that was teamwork. It was a lot of fun to see how the special expertise of each of the MI team members was going to come in handy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what makes an action movie good. Is it the special effects? The acting? The story? Why do some action movies stand the test of time while others are simply awful?
What role does violence play in a film like Mission: Impossible 2? Does its glossy nature distract from the brutality on the screen? Is it glamorized? Do different types of movie violence have different impact on kids?
- In theaters: May 24, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: November 7, 2000
- Cast: Dougray Scott, Thandiwe Newton, Tom Cruise
- Director: John Woo
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 123 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violent action and some sensuality
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
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