‘Ghost Protocol’ director names favorite ‘Mission: Impossible’ action scene

mission impossible ghost protocol
Image via Paramount Pictures Studios

Up until Christopher McQuarrie came along to seize the reins for four consecutive installments, the Mission: Impossible franchise was famed for bringing in a fresh director each time Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt was called into action to save the world, giving every new adventure a distinctly different visual and stylistic flavor.

Brian De Palma leaned more into subterfuge and old school thrills than spectacle in the 1996 original, while Mission: Impossible 2 delivered exactly what you’d expect were you to hand John Woo $125 million and tell him to go and make a Tom Cruise action blockbuster.

J.J. Abrams’ threequel was the definition of solid, before Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol took things to an entirely new level. A complete reinvention of the series, the fourth film kick-started the renewed popularity of the property, before Rogue Nation and Fallout established Mission: Impossible as one of cinema’s top-tier IPs in terms of critical acclaim.

In a recent interview with The Radio Times to commemorate ten years since Ghost Protocol, Bird reflected on the past, present and future of Mission: Impossible, and named one of his favorite set pieces from the entire series.

“And I think that one of my very favourites has been the bathroom sequence in the last film, the most recent one. I think that was just one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. And what was great was that the fight itself is pretty logical, what’s happening and the fact that they use this case as a weapon and suddenly they need the case to function and they just trash it – it’s just exactly the kind of humor that I love. Tom and Henry Cavill were physically amazing in that scene – and it was shot beautifully.”

Henry Cavill reloading his own arms may have spawned a thousand memes, but the bruising scrap was the perfect way to showcase that Mission: Impossible isn’t all about massive sequences featuring insane Cruise stunts; an old-fashioned smackdown can be just as gripping.