May 24, 2000

Mission:Impossible 2
Article by Matt Daniels      Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

As mentioned in our January article about Audi's involvement in Mission:Impossible 2 we had hoped to bring you more behind the scenes details about the cars used in making the film. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures was extremely tight-lipped about this film prior to its release and we were unable to gather further information. But all is not lost, I got in to the advanced screening of the movie and now have a full review of the film.

To recap, we had learned last summer that the TT Roadster and a S8 were being used in the film, and later learned that an A6 was also used. When production of the film started there were no actual production versions of the TT Roadster available; the TT Roadster you see in the film was actually four fully functional hand built prototypes supplied by Audi along with 4 additional bodies. The Roadster is featured in a chase scene early in the film which takes place in Spain, although it was filmed in the San Gabriel Mountains just outside of Los Angeles. The S8 and A6 were to have very minor roles in the film and after seeing the film I can tell you that their roles were very minor indeed!

Overall I really enjoyed this film. However, I'm not a film critic so I'm not even going to try and do a real review of the film -- I was mainly there to view the Audi's. The plot of M:I-2 is pretty basic: IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) double crosses the team and steals a deadly virus with plans of getting rich off its cure, which he has also stolen. The mission, if they choose to accept it, is for Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Ving Rhames, John Polson) to recruit professional thief Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton) and find the virus and destroy it at all costs. Nyah also happens to be the former girlfriend of Sean Ambrose, which causes some problems since she has a fling going with Tom Cruise's character.

About 20 minutes into the film Ethan Hunt is in Spain making contact with Nyah for the first time. As she leaves a party the valet brings around her TT Roadster, she gets in and takes off. In the next scene, we catch up with Nyah while driving along a mountain road. Ethan Hunt pulls up along side her in his Porsche Cabriolet and a very light hearted chase ensues. This chase scene was actually fairly disappointing since it was more like the two characters were engaged in foreplay (not a high adrenaline scene). The TT does get a ton of exposure and looks fabulous on screen, but if you're expecting heart pumping action from the TT Roadster you'll come away disappointed. For those interested in seening this scene now, it is available online almost in its entirety at Entertainment Asylum.

Half way through the film the S8 makes its appearance, but to my surprise it was actually an A8. The A8 makes a very brief appearance -- it's on screen for about 2 seconds and you'll miss it if you're not looking for it. The car pulls up to the camera, then the scene cuts to the characters inside the car. They talk for a bit inside the car, but it's impossible to tell what type of car they are in. Then the movie moves on and the A8 isn't seen again.

As for the A6, try as I might, I did not see it in the movie, which is surprising since it had to be specially imported into Australia for the film. If the A6 is in the film, its appearance is even more brief than the A8. If you happen to see it in the film, let me know so I can look for it next time!

How is the rest of the film? The film is directed by action master John Woo (Face/Off, Broken Arrow, The Killer) and it's very exciting and visually compelling. The film contains all the John Woo signatures -- ballet like action scenes, people firing at each other with two guns, and of course a white dove flying around. But to die hard John Woo fans, you may be a bit disappointed, since to gain its PG-13 rating the violence was toned-down. Most of the big action scenes don't happen until the last third of the movie, but when they happen it makes the whole experience worth it. The motorcycle chase alone is worth the price of admission.

For those that are only interested in seeing the movie for the TT Roadster, I recommend downloading the clip that I mentioned above and saving your money. But, if you're looking for a good piece of summer entertainment M:I-2 will fit the bill nicely. And as a bonus Audi has decent presence in the film.

For a more in depth review of this film by a real film critic who's opinion closely matches my own, please check out Kevin Maynard's review at Mr.Showbiz.

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