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Section Header
Mission: Impossible 2
Composed and Produced by:
Hans Zimmer

Choir Conducted by:
Gavin Greenaway

Hollywood Records

Release Date:
June 13th, 2000

Also See:
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible III
The Rock

Audio Clips:
5. Mission: Impossible Theme (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (150K)

9. Injection (0:34):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (263K)
Real Audio (164K)

12. The Bait (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

14. Mission: Accomplished (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

Regular U.S. release. A song album for the film was released a few weeks prior.


Mission: Impossible 2

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Sales Rank: 60996

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Buy it... if you seek twelve truly inspired minutes of beautiful acoustic guitar and vocalized highlights, courtesy of Heitor Pereira and Lisa Gerrard.

Avoid it... if you suffer from psoriasis or eczema, for Hans Zimmer's insultingly simplistic action music for synthesizers and electric guitars could make your lymph nodes swell up and cause a nasty skin rash.

Mission: Impossible 2: (Hans Zimmer/Various) Fans of John Woo have long speculated about what the distinctive director's take would be on a James Bond film, and 2000's Mission: Impossible 2 largely answered those questions. Certainly stylish in all of the trademark Woo choreography and photography, the sequel to the 1996 Brian DePalma hit would dumb down its script into a Bond clone, leaving no doubt about its characters and their purpose. Actor Tom Cruise proved once and for all that he qualifies as a Bond-like action star, performing most of his own stunts in the production. While most of the film is set in Australia, a segment is rooted in Spain, and it is this part of the film that provided composer Hans Zimmer with the best inspiration in his score. The first Mission: Impossible film featured an edgy Danny Elfman effort that largely mirrored the movie's haphazard and fragmented storyline. Zimmer, like the script of the sequel, dumbs down the music for the franchise with a predictably synthetic and metallic style of sound to be expected in any Woo film. He drops the orchestral and synthetic blend favored by Elfman (and Michael Giacchino, who would handle scoring duties for the third entry) and substitutes only his array of electronic devises, ranging from his typical library of faux-orchestral samples to rock band elements and soloists. While Zimmer largely took solo credit for this score, his methodology included handling each scene with impromptu contributions by a handful of regular collaborators that he refers to as his "band." This group contained the usual Media Ventures names, including Nick Glennie-Smith, Jeff Rona, Klaus Badelt, and Heitor Pereira, as well as vocalist Lisa Gerrard, with whom Zimmer and Badelt had just recently struck the jackpot with Gladiator. The sequences featuring the work of Pereira and Gerrard would specifically become the highlights of Mission: Impossible 2, with most of the remaining score resorting to senseless action techniques that are so simplistic that even dedicated Zimmer collectors acknowledged their relatively immature nature.

Like Elfman, Zimmer would only employ Lalo Schirin's famous theme sparingly, though his rock concert performances of that theme, so heavy on the electric guitars that it's hardly recognizable, are easily an insult to the style of Schifrin's intent. The most devastating aspect of the Mission: Impossible 2 is its wild inconsistency within the boundaries of its instrumentation, likely caused by the varying ideas of each contributor. Trademark Zimmer action from The Peacemaker, down to the identical, deep male chorus, is provided in "Ambrose." From there, attempts to liven the atmosphere with wicked rhythmic devices only serve to irritate you with their incessantly clicking and slashing effects. Outwardly brutish guitars offer the worst of The Rock in predictable bursts of action, not unlike some of the more obnoxious sequences in the score for Woo's Face/Off. A laughable variant of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" leads to a disgraceful guitar performance of Schifrin's theme in "Bare Island," though the "inspiration" for this cue isn't quite as glaring as Zimmer's lawsuit-inducing resurrection of Holst and Wagner in Gladiator. This wasteland of action material in Mission: Impossible 2 never establishes its own viable action motifs, leaving the Pereira and Gerrard portions of the score to compensate. And thankfully, they really do compensate for the mass of unintelligible suspense and action music. A seemingly disembodied theme occupying the ridiculous scene in the cue "Injection" is performed with beautiful elegance by Gerrard, proving, like much of her music, that her voice can really save pretty much any cue. This lengthy, melodramatic performance in the minor key over a Tears of the Sun-style of rhythm uses some vocalizations in a non-language that fans of Gladiator will particularly appreciate. This theme, along with Gerrard, would return in "Mano a Mano," a cue dominated by solo percussion work but also featuring hints of the same theme before fading into pure "Elysium" territory at the end. Given the concurrent work done on the two scores early in 2000, it's no surprise that Gerrard's identical vocals would carry over Mission: Impossible 2, and listeners are rewarded by her presence.

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Also carrying over from Gladiator is Pereira, the acoustic guitar performer throughout Zimmer's modern career and whose role in Mission: Impossible 2 is as influential on the score as it would be in Spanglish. He performs two themes in this score, both rooted in the Spanish location and love interest portions of the plot. The first, lesser heard of the themes is an interesting major key variant on the "Injection" theme, introduced fleetingly in "Nyah." Its full performance comes in the redemptive "Mission: Accomplished" finale cue, giving the theme an unbashfully positive spin not much unlike the upbeat conclusion to The Rock (even the synthetic finger snapping effect works in this cue). The more rewarding idea for Pereira's guitar is the actual love theme from Mission: Impossible 2, doubling as a representation for the Seville locations. Zimmer whips up hand and foot percussion for "Seville" that had been used quite well recently in James Horner's The Mask of Zorro and Bill Conti's The Thomas Crown Affair. The usage here is frightfully out of place, but given that everything in this Zimmer score is provided in excess, it should be no surprise that the cue is eventually accompanied by a wailing electric guitar. Even the subdued variants of the theme are provided in an excess of length. The soft performances of this theme by Pereira in "Nyah" and "Nyah and Ethan" are outstanding; his touch is as superior as any solo guitarist performing for film scores today. The latter cue, with overlayed performances and soothing backing by bass elements, is so contrary to the in-your-face attitude of the remainder of the score that it's a godsend at the end of the album. Between "Nyah" and "Nyah and Ethan," as well as the absolutely necessary "Injection" cue, the Mission: Impossible 2 score contains twelve minutes of extremely enjoyable material that should belong in any marginal Zimmer fan's collection. But most of the remainder of the score is both insulting and revolting, occasionally bordering on painful. Some of this material could make your lymph nodes swell up and lead to a nasty skin rash. On the score album, the placement of the heavy dance beat remix of "Iko-Iko" by Zap Mama makes little sense in the middle of the score, and further enflames your irritation. Buy only with the intent to separate the highlights onto a compilation. ** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Hans Zimmer reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.98 (in 89 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3 (in 266,330 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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   Mission: Impossible 2 Formula
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 42:17

• 1. Hijack (4:09)
• 2. Iko-Iko - performed by Zap Mama (3:23)
• 3. Seville (4:32)
• 4. Nyah (Film Version) (2:20)
• 5. Mission: Impossible Theme (0:39)
• 6. The Heist (2:22)
• 7. Ambrose (2:37)
• 8. Bio-Techno (1:42)
• 9. Injection (4:49)
• 10. Bare Island (5:30)
• 11. Chimera (1:42)
• 12. The Bait (1:00)
• 13. Mano a Mano (4:22)
• 14. Mission: Accomplished (1:44)
• 15. Nyah and Ethan (5:05)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert notes include extensive credits, but no extra information about the score.

  All artwork and sound clips from Mission: Impossible 2 are Copyright © 2000, Hollywood Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/17/00 and last updated 11/10/07. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2000-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.