Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Ethan Hunt

When I think of Mission: Impossible, I think of the old sixties series with Mr. Phelps, played by Peter Graves, as an aging leader to a crack team of secret agents given the missions no one else can accomplish. I also think of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. And although Hunt works best alone, he would give his life for any member of his team.

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt

For today’s Wednesday Warriors, I’d like to have a look at Ethan Hunt: his strengths, his weaknesses and why he always makes the Mission: Impossible franchise a treat to watch.

A long time ago, I once saw Tom Cruise on Oprah—no, not the couch-jumping episode. In this episode, he described Mission: Impossible as one of his most successful movies he had made. Many folks have their opinions about Tom Cruise the man, but I have my opinion of Tom Cruise the actor. Say what you will, the man can act. I use Magnolia as one of the best films he had ever starred. No one can convince me that after watching the quietly-judging-you scene he didn’t deserve an Oscar for that performance.

Yet, as much as I admire his dramatic roles, his action roles, including his role in the film Edge of Tomorrow, is where Cruise really shines as a big audience draw.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue NationEnter Ethan Hunt, the Impossible Missions Force‘s (IMF) top agent and leader. His expertise lies in virtually everything. He has an extensive background in explosives, weaponry and stealth. He can get in and out of a target’s home and before anyone knows what is happening, the target will have met its fate.

Ethan is also a master of disguise. One time he posed as an elderly man taking his enemy by surprise, disarming and capturing him. He also has a good command of languages, useful for when he needs to get himself out of a jam.

Martial arts? Ethan knows that, too. Whenever an adversary presses Ethan for a fight to the death, it isn’t difficult to know who will win.

But the best thing I enjoy about Ethan Hunt is not so much his mastery of disguise, command of languages, or him being a martial arts expert. No. What I like about Ethan is his ability to get out of one jam after another while showing his humanity along the way. Whether he’s fighting for his life on a speeding train, racing down a highway on a motorcycle at 140 MPH, or latching his fingers on the belly of an aircraft with the intention of securing its cargo, Ethan Hunt does the impossible. He will take the shots, in not only opportunities but also punches to the face, and fight the bad guy until the end.

Lastly, Ethan Hunt possesses a will never to surrender. In every mission he picks himself up, dusts the dirt from his clothes and continues his fight against the enemy, whoever that enemy is.

If I can say anything more about Ethan Hunt, it’s that he will do his best in whatever assignment he has going at the time. To me, such a character is a great lesson for any of us facing challenges greater than ourselves.

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Have you seen any of the Mission: Impossible movies? What are your thoughts on Ethan Hunt?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Ethan Hunt

No matter how many iterations Mission: Impossible will go through, versions, remakes, reboots—I will always be a fan. And no matter how many heroes/anti-heroes the series gives birth to, I will always be a fan.

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt

What makes Mission: Impossible such a great TV/movie series to follow is not only the awesome music—does anyone not know the Mission: Impossible theme?—but also the premise to the franchise. The premise is simple, spies try to outwit each other in a game of cat and mouse until there’s a winner. There’s more to it than that, but as a general rule, that’s what Mission: Impossible is all about.

In the Sixties, the coolest part of the series is the self-destructive tape recorder Mr. Phelps (Peter Graves) has five seconds from which to escape. The other part is the pull-away masks. These two items is the meat and potatoes of the Mission: Impossible series that carries over remake after remake. No matter how many versions I’ve seen of the series, how many times have I seen an MI agent remove a face and trick us all into believing the agent was someone else?

As a leader and a very smart individual, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is one of those agents. He has the cool gadgets. He has the masks to boot. However, nothing in his box of magic does he pull off the greatest spy capers without the help of his loyal team.

The current incarnation makes Ethan into an action hero. He can do anything. He can hop out of planes, drive fast cars, blow away enemy agents with his dead-accurate aim, and he can wow a woman simply by his charm. If I didn’t know better, he was a superhero.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Ethan’s big thrill is to catch an enemy agent in the act. If that means he has to scale a castle wall, knock out four guards, dive through a corridor booby-trapped by lasers, then that’s what Ethan will do. He will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

The cool gadgets are a bonus. From pen lasers to invisible ink, Ethan has it all. The best gadget however, is the one he uses against another agent during a dinner meeting. Green light, red light is how Ethan puts it. He bends a piece of chewing gum in half and tosses the piece on the face of an aquarium. It is one of the most thrilling scenes in the series. I believe it’s the same scene where he says, “Upset? You haven’t seen me upset.”

Lastly, what would Ethan Hunt be without his team? He needs the help of other agents to accomplish his missions. His team consists of experts in the field of technology, physics and the human condition. They follow his lead in everything. The tougher the mission, the more his team provides their loyalty to him.

What else can one say about Wednesday Warriors‘ Ethan Hunt? He’s a secret agent. Knowing that, he might as well be a superhero.


Have you watched any of the Mission: Impossible shows or movies? What do you like about it?