Ossus Library Index Action Movie Index


Directed by John Woo (2000, Paramount Pictures)
Starring Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, and Anthony Hopkins

Agent Hunt seeks a renegade agent, who stole the cure to the most dangerous man-made virus ever created.

View count: Twice



2+ stars+

October 10th, 2003 on TV

    The movie started out really well, with the relationship developing between Hunt and Nyah, and the mystery of the virus, what it is, what it does, and what people want with it.

I still loved the scene where Hunt recruits Nyah, as they flirt without saying a word between shakes of the Spanish dancers, and then sitting in the bathtub while she breaks into the safe. Her line in the car "where did you get this phone number -I don't even have this number" was hilarious, since she stole the car. It begs the question of why she answered it!

I also enjoyed the mystery of the virus. At first, they didn't even know what Chimera was. However, Hunt figured it out too quickly. Still, his interrogation of the head of the pharmaceutical lab was fun, as fun as all the other impersonations in this film!

The movie became really slow after that, though. I found the fist-fights to be tiring, and the motorcycle chase redundant. There were a few glimmers of excitement in the second half, but I found myself getting restless.

The slow motion directing, typical of the director, didn't impress me too much this time around. The movie was still rather fun, for the most part. It was an action movie, and a typical one.



3 stars

June 25th, 2000 in the Theatre

    What is expected in this type of movie is good chases, explosions, and just plain fun. And this movie delivered.  So much of the cinematography was entrancing, with odd angles and slow motion, that it made up for a lot of the clichés.  There were also a number of twists, not in terms of plot, but characters.

Agent Hunt is sent to escort an Australian biochemist to the US with an important package, but it turns out that Hunt is not available, so a look-alike agent is sent instead.  And that agent, complete with full mask and microchip to alter his voice, decides that the package is just worth stealing, and destroying the plane, he gets away. 

The opening scene is quite dramatic, and shows to what great lengths the agent is capable of going.  The deaths of so many people is shocking.

Hunt recruits Nyah, a professional thief, to help with the job of locating the renegade.  He falls for her in a really neat scene around some Spanish dancers, and helps her escape when he purposefully trips the alarm on the place she is about to rob.  The car chase that follows is disturbing, because it includes two really posh sports cars as she tries to get away from him. 

Of course, they end up sleeping together, and actually falling in love.  That is when it is disclosed that she was brought into the mission because she is to resume her former position of the renegade agent's lover, to steal his secrets away. 

But the agent is wary, and has some wary friends.  She steals a video disk from him, and shows it to Hunt.  They discover that the Australian biochemist created a monster virus, Chimera, and its monster antivirus, in order to help cure all forms of the flu.  But now the terrorist has control of the antivirus, and it is presumed that he will release the virus when he can get a hold of it. 

Nyah is caught, and forced to "walk the plank".  For Hunt infiltrates the pharmaceutical lab in order to destroy all traces of the virus, but the agent knows him too well.  As the last part of the virus is about to be destroyed, a heavy gunfight begins.  Hunt, of course, loses control of the virus sample.  It gets thrown around the floor, but eventually they realize that they might release the virus if they keep it up.  Nyah is sent to retrieve it, and she injects herself. 

Hunt tries to retrieve the antivirus at a secret meeting the next day.  This firefight was the best of the show, as Hunt takes out just about everybody.  The slow motion and the effects were great.  He gets the antivirus, and escapes on motorcycle.  I still think the bike should have easily outran the pursuing cars.  But then it wouldn't have been a good chase.  As it was, the chase was sort of anticlimactic after the preceding scenes. 

The renegade agent and Hunt end up on the beach together, motorcycles completely trashed, and their guns on the sand, out of reach.  They each forgo any opportunity to kill the other one in favor of punching, where the other can of course turn the tables fairly easily.  I could have done without this fight, or at least most of it. 

As the helicopter arrives with Nyah, almost dead from the virus, and Hunt is about to administer the antivirus, the bad agent of course comes back to life.  Hunt then gets to kick his gun out of the sand and into his hand (I'd like to learn how to do that).  The outcome is not really worth mentioning. 

After debriefing, they can now get lost among the crowd, in a scene similar to the one in the latest Bond film

The acting was actually first rate.  The directing was stylized, so it was not meant to be taken realistically.  And it was really neat to see most of it.  But everything seemed to go on for too long.  The chase scenes and the fight scenes, especially. 

The character bit that I liked, which is normally missing from this type of film, was the relationship between Hunt and Nyah.  He thought they were going to use her as a thief, and gets very jealous when she goes to be the agent's lover again.  She is reluctant, too, but because of the dead people on that 747 from the beginning of the film, she agrees.  All throughout the film, we can see both their pain at seeing the other in the situation they are in. 

Thandie Newton is gorgeous.  And she played her part very well, too.  She conveyed the entire range of emotions, and did it well.  The music helped.  It energized when necessary, and was muted when that was needed.  It also took over during some of the slow motion scenes, which was just perfect.  My favorite was the Spanish dancers, with them moving around and around. 

Not entirely forgettable, this was a good, fun action movie, with stylized violence and an invincible main character who could do incredible things to stay alive.


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