Mission: Impossible 2

Original Motion Picture Score

Hollywood Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/31/2000

After collaborating with Lisa Gerrard on one of this summer's best scores ( Gladiator), I was waiting to hear what composer Hans Zimmer would do with the score to the Tom Cruise-blockbuster, Mission: Impossible 2. Having created some of the best movie scores in recent history ( The Lion King, Crimson Tide), Zimmer is one of the most popular composers today. He's also one of the most reviled modern composers as there are many who feel that his over-the-top, testosterone-filled scores ( The Rock, The Peacemaker) are nothing more than loud examples of the worst kind of scoring.

Unfortunately for Zimmer and his fans, the score to M:I-2 is not going to strengthen their position. At the same time, Zimmer haters will not find here more ammo for their rifles. In fact, Zimmer's score is a middle-of-the-road work. It's not the greatest, but not the worst. I'll explain.

Those of us that enjoyed his work from Gladiator may be delighted to hear pieces like "Seville" and "The Heist," as these tracks feature a great use of flamenco guitar. They are very reminiscent of that previous soundtrack. They serve to underscore Ethan's meeting with Nyah in a Spanish-villa. Both are very good and rank among the best tracks here. You'll also find "Nyah," which uses a softer-turn at the guitars, a step down from the previous tracks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But this wouldn't be a Zimmer score without some fast and techno-sounding pieces. The best of that are "Bare Island" and "Injection." "Bare Island" sounds like a rock operetta as it mixes both rock guitars with violins and the trademarked Zimmer choirs. It also includes a fast, rock version of the "Mission: Impossible Theme." At the same time, "Injection" combines all of these elements--the choir, the guitars, the orchestra - to create an action-filled and melancholic piece.

Still, there are some tracks here that fans and critics alike will cringe upon hearing. "Bio-Techno" is a very forgettable use of guitars and techno loops. Meanwhile, "Chimera" is nothing more than mood music - and not even good mood music at that. They definitely will not bolster Zimmer's case in front of his critics.

Furthermore, you will find that the majority of the score falls on mediocrity. "Hijack" mixes electronic beats and rock guitars, but doesn't sound cohesive. "Ambrose" mixes violins with the ominous male choir that Zimmer uses so much. "Mission: Accomplished" and "Nyah and Ethan" bring more of that Gladiator-vibe with their guitar work, but they get repetitive after a while. Finally, "Mano a Mano" uses strong beats and drums with Nyah's theme and a female choir to create the music to the final battle. Unfortunately, without John Woo's great visuals, the piece falls rather flat.

One more thing I must mention is that Zimmer barely uses Lalo Schiffrin's classic "Mission: Impossible Theme." It's there alright, in tracks like "The Bait," "Bare Island" and "Mission: Impossible Theme." However, while fans might enjoy his rock take on the theme - as opposed to the techno flavors of the Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen remix - it is often nothing more than a quick taste. Personally, I would have preferred a longer and stronger remix of the theme. (Or, if they didn't want to shell out the money, they could have released an instrumental version of Limp Bizkit's take, which I find to fulfill my wants - except for Fred Durst's lyrics).

Overall, I found this score to be an average action score. There were some highlights, there were some lowlights, but the majority of it neither excites nor scares. One of the things that one should get out of an action/spy soundtrack is the cool feeling of wanting to be one. The James Bond scores often take this into account and release some cool music - like David Arnold's Tomorrow Never Dies score. Unfortunately for Mission: Impossible 2, there was none of that around. Instead of trying to build something, they just created another average action movie with an average action score. (You know this is coming, right?)

Mission: Failed.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2000 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Hollywood Records, and is used for informational purposes only.