Ralph Potts reviews the second installment in the popular Mission Impossible film series which is making its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

90
Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Tom Cruise, Dugray Scott, Thandie Newton, Richard Roxburgh, Ving Rhames, Brendan Gleeson, John Polson
Directed by: John Woo
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by: Robert Towne
Region Code: A

Release Date: June 24, 2018
"Expect the Impossible. Again"
My Take:

Mission: Impossible 2, the second installment in the MI film series sees Director John Woo bring his own brand of excitement to the mission. IMF agent Ethan Hunt is back, partnering up with the beautiful and light fingered Nyah Hall in order to stop renegade IMF agent Sean Ambrose from releasing a new kind of terror on an unsuspecting world.

I liked Mission Impossible and when I saw that action director John Woo was attached to its sequel I went into viewing it with high expectations. I wouldn’t say that it was disappointing but, a total disappointment. There is most definitely a style over substance to the film where the bombast proves entertaining but, the weak narrative, lackluster characters and wooden performances weigh it down. I just didn’t find the chemistry between Cruise and Thandi Newton to be credible. I also thought that Dougray Scott was a swing and miss as the heavy. Brendan Gleeson was underutilized and would have made a much better villain.

Mission: Impossible 2 is passable but, is definitely the weakest of the MI films IMHO, and as such is my least favorite. Be that as it may, I am of course, glad to now own it on Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for some intense action violence and some sensuality.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

 

Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): 

 

Mission: Impossible 2 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound.

For its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray Mission Impossible 2 was derived from new 4k scan of the original 35mm elements.

It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. A film like Mission Impossible II has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won't consistently result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.

I watched Mission Impossible 2 the day after watching Mission Impossible. As I began making my notes I noticed that it shared many of the same qualities as the Ultra HD presentation for MI. Looking at the sequence where Ethan dangles on the cliff face, the improvement in depth, definition and color rendering was striking. The exterior shots of Australia with its delineated earth tones and the vividly reproduced variety of pastels during the scene at the racetrack looked great. The night scene in Spain where Ethan first makes contact with Nyah looked terrific as the deep reds, rich blacks and sepia tones popped.

The addition of high dynamic range added a tangible visual element that enriched both natural and artificial light, especially later in the film when the action ramps up. Dark highlights were rendered with excellent dimension especially when coupled with brighter visual elements. The image isn't razor sharp and, there are intermittent issues with innate softening, but detail rendering is very good overall. Grain remains intact with predominantly natural/organic reproduction that occasionally takes on more emphasis. As with the Ultra HD presentation of MI, this is the best Mission Impossible 2 has ever looked on home video.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Mission Impossible 2, I found the HDR renderings to be close but, felt that the DV presentation better served the film’s elements. I thought that low level sequences had slightly better dimension, revealing interstitial layers that weren’t as noticeable on the HDR-10 version. I preferred the handling of blues and reds, finding them to be a tad more pleasing. These relatively minor differences aside, you can’t go wrong with either presentation as both offer solid video quality that highlights the positives of the format.

As with each of the Ultra HD release for the first three films in the series, Paramount saw fit to provide a lossless 5.1 channel soundtrack which offers a much-needed improvement over the previous lossy Dolby Digital track. The 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD sound is quite good and makes active use of the entire system. This is an excellent audio presentation that brings out the best in this action soundtrack. It features solid dynamics and punchy bass that augment the impact associated with the films action-based elements and music score. The mix facilitates seamless integration of the front and rear channels, creating a stable and proportioned listening experience. The surround channels are actively engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience. Dialog is reproduced with enriching clarity as I never had any trouble with prioritization even during the film's active segments.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Mission Impossible 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Mission Impossible 2 Blu-ray
  • Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Mission: Impossible 2 is the follow-up to Mission Impossible, offering a style over substance approach and flat narrative that ultimately left me wanting. It’s making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring transformative video quality, engaging and complimentary lossless surround sound and legacy bonus material. If you’re a fan this offering presents Mission: Impossible 2 in its finest light since coming to home video.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems