[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mission_impossible_ghost_protocol_4875.jpg]]

''Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol'' (2011) is the fourth film in the ''Film/MissionImpossible'' film series starring Creator/TomCruise.

A mission to infiltrate the Kremlin goes awry when a massive bomb goes off, Ethan's team being framed for the act and the resulting political backlash ends up shutting down the entire IMF under operation [[TitleDrop 'Ghost Protocol']]. Basically the only ones left, they must operate without their normal resources and backup while clearing their names and stopping the real culprit's darker goal.

Directed by Creator/BradBird in his live-action directorial debut, Creator/JJAbrams stayed on as a producer, Tom Cruise and Creator/SimonPegg return, joined by Creator/JeremyRenner and Paula Patton, with Creator/JoshHolloway and an unbilled Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. This film is less about Ethan Hunt than the previous three (hence the lack of [[NumberedSequel sequel number]]).

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!!This film provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Jane Carter.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: When Benji and Ethan are in the hallway at the [[spoiler:Russian archives]] they use a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_from_ultrasound#Products 'sound projector']] to distract a guard, and use a paper thin [[http://inventorspot.com/articles/oled_television_wallpaper_gives_you_room_view_24270 TV screen]] to make the hallway seem empty.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler: Brandt, to some degree. He has some personal demons regarding what he thought to be a mistake he made in the field]].
* AwesomeButImpractical: The device Ethan and Benji use to disguise their presence in the hallway can only accommodate a single person's viewpoint. Once a second person enters the room, the device constantly switches back and forth between the two viewpoints.
* AxCrazy: A possible interpretation of Cobalt:
--->'''Brandt''': He was asked to resign because...well, because he's crazy.
* BatmanColdOpen: We see the IMF team finishing up a job (which goes wrong), ''and'' Ethan being busted out of prison, before the title sequence.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: The film opens with Hunt having spent an indeterminate amount of time in a Russian prison, implied to be several months. He still has ''gorgeous'', presumably high-maintenance hair.
* BigBad: Kurt Hendricks
* BigNo: Ethan when Kurt Hendricks jumps off the parking garage holding the nuclear trigger.
* BitingTheHandHumor: At the end of the film, [[spoiler:the director's previous employer, Pixar,]] has a ''very'' close brush with destruction. This can be seen in the trailer.
* CallBack: [[CastingGag Andreas Wisniewski]], who played one of Max's henchmen in the first film, shows up in ''Ghost Protocol'' as a henchman of The Fog. He smiles when he and Ethan recognise each other. He even hands Ethan a bag mask similar to the one used in the first film for the meet with Max.
** Ethan employs the "phone call to intentionally find me" trick to this film's InspectorJavert in the same way he did in the first film, in order to get them to the scene and get his name cleared.
* TheCameo: Tom Wilkinson. A more traditional cameo has Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell and [[spoiler: Michelle Monaghan as Julia]] - again, all three are uncredited.
* CameraSpoofing: A kind of in-person version, with a television screen as thin as fabric used to hide Ethan and Benji walking up a hallway.
* CaptainObvious: Brandt, big time.
-->Your line's not long enough!
--> NO SHIT!
** In fairness, he is [[spoiler: still maintaining his "harmless analyst" cover at this point.]] His CaptainObvious tendencies evaporate with TheReveal.
* CarFu: Chasing after his target in a dust storm that gives him zero visibility, Ethan uses his TrackingDevice to tell when the other car is driving towards him, then jumps out seconds before impact.
* CarCushion: Justified when it happens in a multi-level parking garage.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The goggles Ethan uses when he climbs to the server room in the Burj Khalifa (and which he puts in his suit jacket during the meeting with Wistrom) are used a few scenes later when he chases Wistrom during the sandstorm. He also makes a big deal about rescuing a friend of his in the Russian prison, who comes back to help him later on.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Brandt is a senior analyst for IMF, and his first major moment is identifying a face Ethan drew up without having to consult the database. As the team loses that database connection, his knowledge of people of interest became more valuable.
* ClimbingTheCliffsOfInsanity: Ethan has to climb up the outside of the Burj Khalifa using adhesive gloves, cut his way in through a window, then come back down again. And this isn't part of a mission he's had time to psych himself up for either, but an IndyPloy when something goes wrong.
* ClimbSlipHangClimb: The adhesive gloves scene.
* CombatBreakdown: happens very quickly in Ethan's final fight with the BigBad. Both of them are trained to use disablers like broken limbs, and both of them ''land'' those disablers, leading to Ethan hopping around with a useless leg for much of the fight. A tense aversion of the typical "MadeOfIron" approach to movie brawls.
* CombatStilettos: You know Sabine is about to get her ass thrashed when Jane kicks off her heels in a rare aversion of this trope.
* CouldSayItBut: When the IMF secretary is taking Ethan into custody, he says "Now I've been ordered to take you to Washington where they will hang the Kremilin bombing on you and your team. Unless you were to escape after assaulting Brandt and me."
** Later in the film, [[spoiler:an arms dealer explicitly does ''not'' tell Ethan where he can intercept the BigBad.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Brandt was established to be just an analyst and he repeatedly reminded them, even to being dumbfounded to some of Ethan's action hero ploys. But when things got rough he instantly displays combat skills to rival Ethans', [[spoiler: hinting towards some field work background]]. Even then, his prior behavior was legitimate, it takes a good deal of psyching himself up to perform a stunt Ethan would do naturally.
* DemotedToExtra: [[spoiler:Luther and Julia, allegedly due to budget constraints. Luther is essentially TheArtifact at this point]].
* DesignatedGirlFight: Jane Carter has a grudge against Sabine Moreau for killing her previous team member. As has become the norm, when they fight it is less of a scratch and slap event and a lot more brutal.
** [[spoiler:DestinationDefenestration: How said fight ends. And it should be noticed that it's a defenestration ''in the tallest building of the world!'']]
* DiabolusExMachina: Practically everything goes wrong in this film. The latex machine breaks, Ethan's climbing gloves and cutting laser malfunction, bad timing consistently forces them to think on the fly, and the villains come within a hair's breadth of succeeding.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:Moreau]]
* EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped: PlayedWith. After the Kremlin bombing, Ethan wakes up in a Russian hospital with a concussion. He focuses on a local news report, and the movie displays helpful subtitles... in Cyrillic. They gradually resolve themselves into English as Ethan's faculties return.
* [[EverybodyOwnsAFord Everybody Owns A BMW]]: Many of the vehicles the characters use are [=BMWs=]. Unusually for this trope, many of them end up getting smashed rather badly. Fortunately, the [[CoolCar i8 concept car]] used in India is not one of them.
* FamousLastWords / DyingDeclarationOfLove
-->'''Hanoway:''' You are so beautiful. [[AllLoveIsUnrequited It's something I should have told you.]]
* FireForgedFriends: Ethan's team are not very familiar with each other, Ethan and Benji know each other but Benji is pretty new at field work and Brandt is apparently very green. By the end Ethan compliments the entire group that for all of their troubles (malfunctioning equipment, lack of IMF resources and running the entire thing practically blind) they all performed at their best and you could feel the camaraderie between them.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The phone booth console near the beginning of ''Ghost Protocol'' doesn't self-destruct until Ethan applies some PercussiveMaintenance, presaging the technical problems plaguing the IMF team throughout the movie.
** In Dubai, [[spoiler:Winstrom orders someone over the phone to release a scientist's wife and kids. Except that Hendricks' organization is basically just him and Hendricks. Hendricks is his boss, so he can't order him to do anything. As it turns out, "Winstrom" is Hendricks in disguise.]]
* FreezeFrameBonus: When Ethan and Benji get through the checkpoint in the Kremlin, Cobalt has already gotten through and is standing by a door that makes it appear as he is just leaving an office. Waiting for the IMF team to arrive before making his move.
* GasLeakCoverup: Half the Kremlin blowing up is put down to gas lines exploding, and an unexploded nuclear warhead plunging down on San Francisco is a meteorite. When half the planet believes in ConspiracyTheory, why bother coming up with a plausible explanation as long as you can disavow it officially.
** Indeed, the way the civilain news reports are phrased indicates that pretty much no one believes the "accident with the gas mains" coverup.
* GeniusBruiser: Kurt Hendricks/Cobalt - he's both a nuclear strategist and a former Swedish special forces member, and although he's no longer in full fighting trim, [[spoiler:he almost keeps Ethan at bay in the climactic end fight long enough for the nuclear missile he launched to destroy San Francisco]]. Counts doubly because [[spoiler:all the stunts pulled off by his dragon Wistrom during the Dubai chase turn out to be Hendricks himself wearing a latex mask.]] [[TheDragon His dragon Wistrom]] could count also.
* GetIntoJailFree
-->'''Jane:''' This wasn't a rescue mission?
* GiantMook: Ethan finds himself face-to-face with one after opening the prison cell. Fortunately after staring Ethan down for a few seconds, he wanders off to join the more interesting fight with the guards.
* HeroAntagonist: Anatoly Sidorov, Russian intelligence agent.
* HiddenDepths: Brandt, who only reveals his training when the meeting with Sabine goes south.
* HologramProjectionImperfection: Although not actually a hologram, the projection screen used in the Moscow Kremlin mission is sophisticated enough to create a false 3d image of the corridor in front of the real corridor of one of the guarded rooms--so good that it fools the guard patrolling the area despite Ethan and Benji being right behind the other side of the screen. The machine even had recognition sensors to track the movement of the person's eyes so that the illusion of the empty hallway could be maintained even while the guard was moving and watching the screen from different visual perspectives. The illusion only gets broken when more than one of the guards occupy the area, confusing the machine into projecting the image from multiple viewpoints back and forth.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Brandt feels responsible for [[spoiler: Ethan's wife's [[NeverFoundTheBody death]]]] because it happened on his watch.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: An IMF agent shoots two mooks while falling backward off a building.
* IndyPloy:
** Lampshaded, when Brandt tries to understand just how exactly they escaped death 5 minutes ago. Also serves as deft CharacterDevelopment for [[RedOniBlueOni him and Hunt]], contrasting his intellectualism with Hunt's [[DontThinkFeel instinctiveness]].
** Debatably, Ghost Protocol runs on this. The disavowed IMF team has to work without official support. Instead of meticulous planning, the group practically thinks on its feet throughout most of the film.
* InMediasRes: ''Ghost Protocol'' has this in two folds. The tail end of a mission is seen where an agent was killed and the package he was carrying stolen away, then it shows Ethan being broken out of a Russian prison, all before the opening credits. The complete opening mission is later shown in full including the contents of the package, and the exact reason Ethan was in a prison wasn't fully explained until the end.
* InTheHood: Ethan this time around.
* InspectorJavert: Anatoly Sidorov. Verges into FriendlyEnemies when he finds Hunt contemplating a TrashLanding. His professional interest in his Eagleland counterpart's escape tactics overshadow his actual mission, and it's only after Ethan ''has'' escaped that he remembers his gun. He also shows up at the worst possible moment mid-film, [[spoiler:permitting Cobalt to escape without a glance.]]
** Unusual for this trope but not without precedent for the franchise, Sidorov casually gives up the chase once he realizes his target is innocent.
* InstantSedation: In a flashback the opening mission is shown to have an agent poking the target on the back of the hand with a tiny needle hidden in a ring. The target starts feeling groggy nearly immediately, and is out in ten seconds.
** Given how the agent covers the target's eyes with a hat, it may have been a paralytic drug rather than a sedative one.
* InvisibilityCloak: Used when breaking into the Archive Room.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Jane Carter performs an impromptu... field interrogation by knifepoint in a flashback, although the [[GoryDiscretionShot results are not shown on screen]].
* KindaBusyHere: Benji starts commiserating with Ethan about him breaking up with his wife as they're trying to sneak up on a guard in the Kremlin.
* LaserGuidedKarma: When Hendricks commits suicide in an effort to seal the success of his EvilPlan, he lives long enough to see Ethan foil it and be unable to do jack about it after hitting the ground.
* LatexPerfection: Benji whines during the Kremlin job that they're not wearing masks, but when the mask-making machine breaks down minutes before the bad guys turn up for a meeting in Dubai, the team have to go in wearing their own faces and hope both sides haven't met each other before. A nice touch after Ethan Hunt is rescued from prison is him being retinal-scanned and DNA tested by the others to make sure he really ''is'' Ethan Hunt.
* LighterAndSofter: Though the stakes are [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt higher than ever]] and though it still features roughly as much action and death as the rest of the series, the fourth film has a lot more comedy and the villain is genuinely a WellIntentionedExtremist (albeit one plotting nuclear war) rather than a ruthless, untrustworthy bastard out for himself; also while all four films feature themes of paranoia and treason, [[spoiler: in this movie only, it turns out to be nothing.]] The violence, at least compared to the rest of the franchise (especially the previous two) leans more towards BloodlessCarnage (bar one or two exceptions). While none of the films are really "gritty", this one has the least grit of all. Also, less swearing.
* {{Lzherusskie}}: Averted. Anatoly Sidorov is played by Russian actor Vladimir Mashkov.
* MakeTheBearAngryAgain: The villain blows up [[MonumentalDamage the goddamn Kremlin]] to provoke Russia in a nuclear war with the US.
* MasqueradingAsTheUnseen: Ethan and crew pretend to be arms dealers in order to stop the TerroristsWithoutACause. When the LatexPerfection machine malfunctions, the group is forced to do an IndyPloy and go in unmasked, hoping that whatever contact the terrorist and the dealer have done didn't involved meeting face-to-face. It goes okay, [[SpannerInTheWorks until the terrorist brings out an assassin that gets overtly suspicious at the wrong time]].
* MickeyMousing: Russian guards are marching to the music as the Kremlin is introduced.
* MonumentalDamage:
** [[spoiler:A significant part of the Kremlin gets blown up.]]
** Less significantly, after Ethan [[spoiler: deactivates the SLBM's warhead, the missile knocks off a small chunk from [[UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco the Transamerica Pyramid's spire]] before harmlessly plunging into San Francisco Bay]].
* MutuallyAssuredDestruction: [[spoiler: Cobalt's plan for a nuclear holocaust only requires him to launch one nuke because, as he explains, it'll be enough to 'start the ball rolling'.]]
* MyGreatestFailure: [[spoiler: Brandt retired from active field duty and became an IMF analyst after a woman he was supposed to protect was killed. Specifically, Julia, Ethan's wife]].
* MythologyGag: When Ethan gets out of the IMF van to receive the Kremlin mission at the beginning of ''Ghost Protocol'', the device doesn't self-destruct until Ethan goes back and smacks it (as opposed to the instances from the prior movies and original series, which always worked).
** At the end of the movie Ethan gets a new mission involving a new organization called "The Syndicate". In later seasons of the television series, the IMF became less involved with ColdWar missions in Eastern Bloc nations to those stateside against organized crime and a Mafia-like organization called "The Syndicate".
** "Light the fuse." Roll the opening credits.
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Brandt explains that Ethan's wife was kidnapped and that the body was found three days later or rather 'what was left of it'. Ethan's wife is actually alive and well.]]
* NothingGoodEverHappensInAParkingGarage / NoOSHACompliance: The automated multi-storey parking garage where the final fight between Ethan and Hendricks/Cobalt takes place.
* NotQuiteDead: Subverted; Kurt Hendricks is shown to be stirring next to Ethan as he tries to deactivate the nuclear missile, but his injuries are too severe to try some last minute attempt to kill Ethan.
* OddlySmallOrganization: BigBad Hendricks[=/=]Cobalt has an organization that seemingly consists solely of himself and his [[TheDragon Dragon]] ([[spoiler:and as it turns out, half the time TheDragon is simply Hendricks himself wearing a latex mask]]). He also hires an assassin and her men for one job, and kidnaps a scientist whose family he's holding hostage for another. Even counting the extended group, that's less than half a dozen people. Which makes sense, because it can be hard to find professional employees when your organization's stated goal is literally ''[[OmnicidalManiac to destroy the world]]''.
* OhCrap:
** The prison guard sees an inmate outside his cell and starts getting in his face. Then the other cell doors open behind him...
** [[spoiler:EmotionlessGirl Sabine openly panics when she realizes Carter, whose partner she killed, was running toward her with murder in her eyes.]]
** The Dubai mission is one long line of OhCrap moments.
* OmnicidalManiac: Hendricks, who believes nuclear war strengthens the human race (citing Japan's growth after Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a primary example).
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, though slightly since one of them is a disguise. The Russian general Ethan impersonates to infiltrate The Kremlin and the Russian agent trying to apprehend Ethan following its bombing are both named Anatoly.
* OperationJealousy: Ethan kisses Jane after she stuffs up trying to HoneyTrap an Indian playboy, in order to get his interest again.
* PercussiveMaintenance: Paradoxically used to make a device work that is intended to ''break something''. The iconic "this message will self-destruct" fails to actually destruct, so Ethan has to walk back and give it a thump with his fist to trigger it.
* PerspectiveMagic: Used in the Kremlin to hide Ethan and Benji as they sneak down a hallway.
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler: This could have been so averted if Ethan didn't follow his instincts and just got the Russian Cops that were sent to investigate him on board.]]
** But it's not like they'd believe him right away without proof.
* PrecisionFStrike: There are no serious swears except when [[CaptainObvious Brandt]] points out that Ethan is out of rope hanging off of a building. Ethan's response? "No ''shit''!"
** When Ethan busts out of the Russian prison, one of the guards says "yob t'voyu mat", which, literally translated, means "f*cked your mother" but is here used as a sort of generic "f*ck it" expression. A subversion - it is actually illegal (though practically never enforced) to say in Russia, but is included in the film, while the subtitles render it as [[SymbolSwearing "%@#!"]]
* PrisonRiot: One is organized in the russion prison holding Ethan so that he can be broken out.
* ProductPlacement: The team uses [=iPads, iPhone 4s, MacBooks=], driving [=BMW=]s, deals with Dell servers (complete with otherwise pointless closeup), and drink Dos Equis beer.
* PunctuatedPounding: "Jane, she's an asset! I need (hits mook) her (hits again) alive!"
* PutOnABus: Ethan and his wife split up offscreen.
** [[spoiler: BusCrash: Then it turns out she was killed, and Ethan killed those responsible.]]
** [[spoiler: FakingTheDead: ''Then'' it turns out she's alive and well, but in protection and Ethan can never see her again.]]
* {{Retirony}}: [[spoiler:The Secretary didn't help his case when he mentions that he's due to resign his post due to the Kremlin incident.]]
* RevengeBeforeReason: [[spoiler: Jane]] is accused of this when she kills a 'valuable asset', who earlier [[spoiler: had shot and killed Hanaway]].
* RogueAgent: The entire IMF is branded this under Ghost Protocol.
* RunningGag: The repeated failure of the IMF gadgetry.
* RussianReversal: The title of one of the songs on the OST: "In Russia, Phone Dials You".
* ShesGotLegs: Jane working as a HoneyTrap to Indian playboy Brij Nath.
* SequelHook: In contrast to the other installments (which usually cut off after the "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." bookend scene), ''Ghost Protocol'' ends with Ethan walking in Seattle and listening to the first part of his mission briefing, which mentions an emerging terrorist group named TheSyndicate, based (in name at least) on the recurring organized crime gangs from the television series. Whether or not this plays into future installments remains to be seen.
* SequelNonEntity: [[spoiler:Played with. At first it seems Julia and Ethan broke up off screen in a throw-away line to justify her being out of the picture, like sequels often awkwardly do to romantic leads despite having spent so much attention and development and them. It then actually gets a surprising callback gag, then it turns out Julia actually died and Brandt was partially responsible, so she hasn't been just thrown away with one line. Then it turns out she's alive and Ethan set up a whole deception so that she can be safe, as she can't be married to him. She appears at the end after all.]]
* SoundtrackDissonance: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Benji during the opening. Ethan is escaping a Russian prison filled with aggressive prisoners engaged in full-on riot mode. Benji's choice of music to play through the prison PA system during this festival of fists, feet and general anarchy? The DeanMartin jazz song, "Ain't That a Kick in the Head".
* SlapSlapKiss: Brij Nath thinks Jane is into this -- the first time she instinctively sunk her nails into his arm because she thought Brandt had been injured, and the second she twists him into an arm lock only for a servant to walk in and interrupt them.
* SpannerInTheWorks / DidntSeeThatComing: [[spoiler:Trevor's death failing the mission in the beginning of the movie, Ethan not leaving without Bogdan in the prison, Wistrom showing up at the Dubai with someone that can see through the fake launch codes, and the nuclear missile being launched sooner then expected.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: Numerous elements in the film parallel ''TheIncredibles'' - nefarious diabolical plan, in-team arguing, paralleling action and a fondness for gadgets. It's done by the same director, Creator/BradBird.
* StealthPun: After getting seven colors of ''shit'' kicked out of him in the final fight sequence of Ghost Protocol, [[spoiler:Ethan scrambles to the BigRedButton to save the day and yells "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Mission_Accomplished_speech Mission Accomplished!]]" as he hits it. '''''It doesn't work.''''' He has to hammer it for about half a minute, while his team finishes their own jobs, before it works]].
* StockShoutouts: The sequence [[{{Pixar}} A113]] shows up quite a few times.
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: [[spoiler:Revealed to have happened to Ethan's wife before the start of Ghost Protocol. But by the end of the film it turned out to be a subversion as Ethan faked her death to protect her from his enemies, and she appears alive and well in a brief cameo in the final scene.]]
* SymbologyResearchFailure: Of sorts--[[spoiler::the bombing of the Kremlin consists largely of the obliteration of the actual geography of Red Square, Spasskaya Tower, and maybe some buildings on the edge of the Moscow Kremlin, but ''not'' the Grand Kremlin Palace, Kremlin Senate, or State Kremlin Palace.]] A news broadcast in the immediate aftermath displays this.
* SymbolSwearing / FunWithSubtitles: When the Russian prison guard swears at Ethan during the prison break at the start.
* ThisPageWillSelfDestruct: Parodied (see MythologyGag). [[spoiler:Plus the IMF Secretary being shot in the head moments after he's given the briefing might well be an extreme take on this trope.]]
* TemptingFate: Benji says that there's no way their next mission will be as bad as this one...right?
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:Cobalt grabs the Russian football from Ethan's hands and makes a several-story jump. In his plans, he would fall to his death, but Ethan wouldn't be able to stop the Russian missile on time, and his plan would still go through]].
* TitleDrop:
-->'''The Secretary''': ''The president has initiated Ghost Protocol. The entire IMF has been disavowed.''
* TookALevelInBadass: Creator/SimonPegg's lab-rat character Benji from the third film returns for ''Ghost Protocol'' and has graduated to field agent, although he is nowhere as competent as the other agents away from his hacking. He does get a very {{Badass}} gunplay moment, [[spoiler: shooting TheDragon to save Brandt's life]] towards the end of the film.
* UranusIsShowing: While the team are using names of planets as code names, Brandt decides to tease Benji.
-->'''Benji''': Why do I have to be "Pluto"? It's not even a planet anymore.\\
'''Brandt''': I think "Uranus" is available.\\
'''Benji''': [[SarcasmMode Ha, ha.]] [[DontExplainTheJoke It's funny, 'cause you said "anus".]]
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans - Hendricks/Cobalt's excuse for trying to set off a nuclear war - he figures the survivors will rebuild a stronger civilization.
* WeNeedADistraction: Ethan attaches a flare to a body and floats it downriver to distract the mooks shooting at them. The success of this tactic makes no sense at all, as is lampshaded later, but the mooks were too fired up to stop and think about why someone would be swimming downriver under fire with a light source attached to them.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds / WellIntentionedExtremist: The villain of MI:GP, Cobalt, AKA Kurt Hendricks, is a "nuclear strategist" who lost his mind after twenty years on the job.
-->'''Kurt Hendricks''': ''How will the world finally end? It is my job to predict the unthinkable. To treat the deaths of billions as a game. After 20 years of this, I was numb. Until a new question crossed my mind. What happens after the end of the world? Every two or three million years, some natural catastrophe devastates all life on Earth. But life goes on. And what little remains is made stronger. Put simply, world destruction is an unpleasant but necessary part of evolution. What happens then, I wondered, when mankind faces the next end of the world. I looked to Hiroshima, Nagasaki... thriving cities rebuilt from the ashes, monuments to the unimaginable, dedicated to the concept of peace. It occurred to me here that nuclear war might have a place in the natural order. But only if it could be controlled. Only if it touched every living soul equally. May there be peace on Earth.''
** In other words, Cobalt believes that a planetwide Hiroshima would initiate a permanent NuclearWeaponsTaboo. The question of his sanity is left open-ended (Brandt just thinks he is insane), but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ccLG8JqY78 one]] DeletedScene makes him sound a lot less like a sociopath and a lot more like a man who's just broken from the stress of his job.
* WolverinePublicity: That's what Anil Kapoor has been doing at public appearances in India and abroad, for his role in this film. Those who eventually saw the film, and his role in it, will have something to tell.
* WomenInRefrigerators: Ethan Hunt was [[spoiler:in a Russian prison after he killed the Serbian nationalists who killed his wife]], and the analyst with him [[spoiler:left field duty because he felt he failed his mission. In a subversion, it turns out her death was faked to protect her from any such attempts in the future; the Serbians only kidnapped her and died when Ethan went to her rescue.]]
* WorldOfPun: Not the film itself, but its soundtrack, which has titles like "From Russia With Shove" and "Moreau Trouble Than She's Worth". Par for the course for Michael Giacchino.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Ethan is apparently a master of this, as he demonstrates a remarkable ability to set-up long term plans that pay off. Or maybe he's working off his "[[IndyPloy hunches]]". His ability to improvise probably helps explain why the Secretary of Defense considers him his best man.
** This turns into a pure IndyPloy once the the missile gets launched and everyone is racing against the clock.
* YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe: Jane's response when she discovers Ethan is climbing up the outside of the world's tallest building.
* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Subverted -- the villain keeps his word, ordering the scientist's family to be released, then immediately kills the scientist so [[YouKnowTooMuch he can't tell anyone about what they were planning]].

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