Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Mission-Impossible-2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Your mission: Matchmaker

When it comes to the Mission: Impossible franchise, the third movie and after, even though I love them, doesn’t quite feel like the Mission: Impossible I grew up with. The first film came out in 1996 and the second was released in 2000, which as you probably know – have similar filming styles back then. That filming style is a little corny, but feels just…right. Not too flashy, not too aged. Those first two will remain in my memory for a long time – and memorability is a factor in how I review. When I think of Mission: Impossible, I mostly think of Mission: Impossible II, which came out when I was 12 – the start of when I wanted to be a spy. That’s right, this movie is super nostalgic for me, but how is it for the rest of you?

Mission: Impossible II centers around a genetically modified virus called Chimera that basically gives you a day before it affects you and cannot be reversed. This thing, if unleashed on humanity – would be bad. When Ethan learns that another IMF agent stole the virus to sell on the black market, he enlists the help of a common citizen, the other IMF agent’s ex-girlfriend – to go undercover and retrieve the virus back.

So there are good things and bad things.  The main bad thing I saw with this movie was how much focus Tom Cruise wasn’t given. It was more a movie centered on Thandie Newton’s character than anything else, but that’s not bad and I’ll tell you why. It’s not bad because it’s still clearly a spy movie. Mission: Impossible III had a romantic element as well, but it could have gotten away with claiming it wasn’t at the same time. It was way too emotionally-driven, while this one was emotionally driven as well – it had enough really cool spy stuff at the same time.

I guess another negative aspect to this film was in way too many uses of the spy mask. Too many uses of a spy mask like that is unnecessary and makes you wonder why they don’t just wear one at all times if it makes things that much simpler? At some point in this film, you’re bound to ask when enough is enough, because it becomes a bit of a gag – something a parody film could have made fun of. It’s a cool concept, even cooler in the third, but keep it simple, stupid. For the most part, that’s just a pet peeve of mine.

The rest of the movie I like. I like the virus plot, the chemistry between Thandie and Tom, the fight choreography, the motorcycle chases, and most importantly, the “impossible mission”. This is the bare minimum requirement in a Mission: Impossible film for obvious reasons, and something the third lacked. The impossible mission wasn’t so much Ethan’s, but Thandie Newton’s character’s mission. She’s a civilian that has to act normal in arms reach of an old IMF agent who has possession of a destructive virus…and there’s not a lot Ethan can do to help. You just know something bad is about to happen – and that’s how you know this is an impossible mission.

The Good:

This is a spy movie at heart, and a good one at that. It has just enough spy action and character development to feel just right. The mission itself does indeed feel impossible, which is a big positive. Plus, that soundtrack is probably my favorite out of the series.

The Bad:

I wish the film centered a little more on Ethan’s character than it did, and I wish they didn’t rely so much on the spy mask – because it quickly started to feel like a cop-out, but other than that, I am satisfied with this flick.

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)

Nutty2

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Taken too far.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

It was only a few days ago that I was talking about the rarity of comedy sequels, and whether or not that rarity was a good thing. We really don’t see many comedy sequels, and to be fair, it really should stay that way. As much as I love comedies and the characters they create, continuing the story is not always the best idea. The Nutty Professor, despite the flaws it has, still had a lot of funny moments and meaningful messages. The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps is a movie that I don’t quite understand. In 1996, Eddie Murphy dressing up as countless people is silly, sure, but did we really need a movie with more focus on the Klumps? I mean, they don’t even help the overall plot. Anyways, enough of my rant, let’s talk plot.

Professor Sherman Klump is back and fatter than ever. Okay, he’s equally as fat. Anyway, he’s onto a new invention, and instead of a reduction in weight, it’s a formula to reduce age. That’s right, a synthetic version of the fountain of youth. However, somewhere deep in the crevices of his DNA remains last remnants of Buddy Love…whose just itching to come back out. In fact, Buddy’s personality is escaping in Klumps own, and so he decides to extract it…which only makes things worse, because now there is a Buddy and Sherman in the same world. However, the split is having a negative impact on both of them – Sherman is losing his intelligence, while Buddy is gaining the abilities of a pooch.

I actually like the whole idea of Buddy Love physically escaping the Professor. Did they really need another Eddie Murphy in the movie? No, but I do love films that represent insecurities as physical representations, which is a rarity in film. I was somebody that actually liked the scene in Superman III that had Clark Kent face off against Superman. It symbolizes a metaphorical struggle within oneself, and to see that in film is always a good thing…in my opinion.  That alone I wasn’t angry about, I thought it was smart, instead I was angry at the use of the Klumps.

We get it, har har, you play several characters in your own family, and they’re all just rude and dysfunctional. That’s great, but when it comes down to it, there’s not a soul on earth that can’t see that they are simply comedic relief and have no right to be considered anything more. Trying to create multiple subplots just to have more of the family was a downright awful idea. When it comes right down to it, the story alone wasn’t bad, but it was absolutely ruined by a clump of Klump storylines that I couldn’t care less about. They don’t further the story, they water it down, and for that…I just can’t forgive the writers.

Past that, the messages were about the same things as the first…so there’s that. It was still about insecurities, but it wasn’t an insecurity that any audience member could really connect with unless they are schizophrenic. Seriously, the beginning of the movie had Professor Klump fighting voices in his head, which caused him to do things he didn’t want to do, then the story goes on to physically interpret multiple personalities disorder. I know that wasn’t the intention, really, but it’s hard not to think about. The execution was wrong, the use of the Klumps was too much, they went wrong in every which way…to the point where it was just……bleh

The Good:

It’s cool to see Eddie Murphy jump back into his character and show off his unique sense of humor and acting range. The physical split in personality was also very smart – as it’s a symbolic representation of man vs. self.

The Bad:

The movie just isn’t any good. They took what should have been normally considered just comedic relief and turned it into mindless plot. Not only that, but the comedic relief wasn’t even that funny because, again, Tyler Perry ruined it for me.