Mission:Imopossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway) is killed by assassin Sabine Moreau (Léa Seydoux) while in Budapest, Hungary to intercept a courier working for a nuclear extremist code-named “Cobalt”. Hanaway’s team leader, Jane Carter (Paula Patton), and newly promoted field agent, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), extract Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Hunt’s source, Bogdan (Miraj Grbic), from a prison. Hunt is recruited to lead Carter and Dunn to infiltrate secret Kremlin archives and locate files identifying Cobalt. During the mission, someone broadcasts across the IMF frequency, alerting the Russians to the presence of Hunt’s team. Although Dunn and Carter escape, a bomb destroys the Kremlin, and Russian agent Sidorov (Vladimir Mashkov) arrests Hunt, suspecting him as part of the attack.
The Russians have called the attack an undeclared act of war, and the President of the United States activates “Ghost Protocol”, a black operation contingency that disavows the IMF. Hunt and his team are to take the blame for the attack, but will be allowed to escape from government custody in order to track down Cobalt. Before Hunt can escape, the IMF’s secretary (Tom Wilkinson) is killed by Russian security forces led by Sidorov, leaving Hunt and intelligence analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) to find their own way out. The team identifies Cobalt as Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), a Swedish-born Russian nuclear strategist who plans to start a nuclear war. Hendricks bombed the Kremlin in order to acquire and use a Russian nuclear launch-control device; however, he now needs the activation codes from the Budapest courier in order to launch a nuclear missile at the U.S.
The exchange between Moreau and Hendricks’s right-hand man, Wistrom (Samuli Edelmann), is due to take place at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. There, Hunt’s team members separately convince Moreau and Wistrom that they have made the exchange with one another. However, Moreau identifies Brandt as an agent. While Hunt chases Wistrom, only to realize that Wistrom is actually Hendricks in disguise, escaping with the codes, Carter detains Moreau. Moreau attempts to kill the inexperienced Dunn, and Carter kicks her out of a window to her death. Brandt accuses Carter of compromising the mission for revenge against Moreau, but Hunt accuses Brandt of keeping secrets from them, as he has displayed fighting skills atypical for an analyst. While Hunt seeks more information from Bogdan, Brandt admits he was a field agent assigned as security detail to Hunt and his wife, Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), in Croatia. While Brandt was on patrol, Julia was killed by a Serbian hit squad, prompting Hunt to pursue and kill them before he was caught by the Russians and sent to prison. Brandt blames himself for Julia’s death and can’t bring himself to admit his true identity to Hunt.
Bogdan and his arms-dealer cousin inform Hunt that Hendricks will be in Mumbai, India. Hendricks facilitated the sale of a defunct Soviet military satellite to Indian telecommunications entrepreneur Brij Nath (Anil Kapoor). The satellite could be used to transmit the order to fire a missile. While Brandt and Dunn infiltrate the server room to deactivate the satellite, Carter gets Nath to reveal the satellite override code. But Hendricks has anticipated Hunt’s plan and turns off Nath’s servers before sending a signal from a television broadcasting tower through the satellite itself to a Russian nuclear submarine to fire at San Francisco. Hunt pursues Hendricks and the launch device while the other team-members attempt to bring the broadcast station back online. Hunt and Hendricks fight over the launch-control device before Hendricks jumps to his death with it to ensure the launch. Dunn kills Wistrom, allowing Brandt to restore power to the station and enabling Hunt to deactivate the missile, while the fatally wounded Hendricks witnesses the failure of his plan. Hunt is then confronted by Sidorov, who sees Hunt has stopped the missile, proving the IMF is innocent in the Kremlin bombing.
The team reconvenes weeks later in Seattle. Hunt introduces the team to longtime colleague Luther Stickell and then issues new assignments. Dunn and Carter accept, but Brandt refuses. Hunt reveals that Julia’s death was staged, as he knew he could not protect her, and used her death as a pretext to infiltrate the prison and get close to Bogdan, an IMF source on Hendricks. Relieved of guilt, Brandt accepts his mission while Hunt watches Julia from afar. They share a smile before he embarks on his next mission.