Ruthless Impossible Mission Force agent Ambrose (Dougray Scott) steals an antidote to a new virus and offers it and the virus for sale to the highest bidder. IMF's Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is assigned to get it back - by using Ambrose's ex-girlfriend Nyah (Newton) to infiltrate Ambrose's group.
You will be excited, thrilled - and insulted. The story is good, if simple, but seemingly it can never be quite simple enough because the film continually halts the action to repeat the plot to us, sometimes word for word.
There are heart-stopping moments of excitement and there are plenty of good surprises. But there's also a painfully silly romance storyline straight out of a 1960s movie and always someone ready to explain that plot again.
Action is where this movie does shine. Unfortunately, the cleverest sequences are punctured by playground logic: 'Your barrage of gunfire can't hit me but my one bullet can kill you'.
The action looks gorgeous, though, and director John Woo and perhaps especially director of photography Jeffrey L. Kimball make the whole movie look fabulous. And Tom Cruise's performance, outside the romance, is first rate too, so this should have everything going for it. Yet we're treated as children and there's an annoying arrogance in that.
There is a reason for it: the dumbed-down plot is a kneejerk over-reaction to the idea that the first film had a complicated script. Hopefully if we can persuade the makers to treat us as adults, we'll get an M:I3 that's really good.
Read a review of the "M:I2" DVD.
Read a review of the first "Mission: Impossible" film.