The press for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is warming up, granting me ample opportunity to watch Tom Cruise’s most excellent wirework as he tears ass down the face of the tallest building in the world. It’s truly a sight to see – there are no stuntmen, and the footage is exciting. I’ve seen it in IMAX, twice, and a few times on the television. With all the death Ethan Hunt is defying, there is one thing I can’t take my eyes off: his pants.
Sure, Tom Cruise is a handsome fellow, and I’m not staring at his pants out of lust, but rather, out of confusion. Why am I seeing his ankles? Wait, why is he wearing climbing shoes? Are those capri pants?
This is not the manly wardrobe of the world’s greatest super spy.
It’s probably sexist to say this, but spies are supposed to be manly. Quick, name a spy. You said James Bond, one of the manliest men to ever live, stylish as hell too. But I don’t think he wore capri pants when it was time for ass kicking. Ethan Hunt, on the other hand, is not afraid to show some ankle.
The Mission:Impossible movie franchise has a few tricks it likes to play, first among the masks, and second, Ethan Hunt doing some crazy climbing, flipping, wirework stuff. In the first film, Hunt dangles above a keyboard, while in the second, he goes rock climbing. In part three, he swings between Shanghai buildings and in Ghost Protocol he scales the Burj Khalifa. Clearly this super spy isn’t afraid of heights or tight pants, and he apparently keeps climbing shoes in his bag at all times just in case.
In the first and third installments, Hunt is suitably masculine, looking like a savvy spy in the first film and an ass kicking special forces operative in the third. Much like the Star Trek curse though, in the other installments he trades in his man card for comfort, looking a little bit like a daisy in the second film in his cuffed khakis, while in the newest installment he against rolls his pant legs up for maximum climbing comfort.
Look, I’ll be honest with you – I don’t know much about climbing and I guess I don’t know much about climbing fashion, but I’ll be damned if I don’t know awesome action heroes and they don’t roll their pant legs up. Is this a silly complaint? Most definitely. But it sticks out. Hunt isn’t wearing capri pants, but when I make this joke to friends, they all get it – and maybe you do too.
When the world needs saving, do you want the man who answers the call to be wearing short pants and ballet slippers, or do you want him looking like a tactical badass ready to dropkick a man out of an airplane? There is no doubt that Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is a bad mother, one that can kick ass and take NOC Lists – but does he have to look like a sissy while doing it?
The Mission: Impossible films are, for the most part, fun. The wirework is excellent and Tom Cruise does all his own stunts, which is admirable and awesome. He likes to flip through the air like a modern ninja and that’s cool with me. Hunt can run down buildings all he wants, but can he at least wear man pants while doing it? After all, he’s representing bad ass American spies everywhere. As silly as it is and as heart pounding as the scenes are, every time I see Hunt in sissy pants, I roll up on my boiling point.