Mission Impossible’s Mistake: Too Much Comic Relief

Posted on January 24, 2012

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One comic too many

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to consider how the latest Mission Impossible movie illustrates the importance of having well-defined roles for each member of a team show.

You see, something has been bugging me ever since I finally got around to seeing “Mission Impossible: Ghost Recon.”

It wasn’t the convenient sandstorm that cropped up, the gloves you can use to climb glass walls or the ridiculous look on Tom Cruise’s face every time he was running. It wasn’t even how the one character looked exactly like Mancow Muller.

No, what bugged me is that the script wasn’t well-balanced; there was too much comic relief.

Early in the movie, when our hero Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is working with Jane Carter and Benji Dunn, played by Paula Patton and Simon Pegg, the team is balanced. Cruise is the leader, Patton’s character is tough and focused while Pegg provides the comic relief.

Then comes William Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner) and suddenly the team is off kilter. Not from a fictional field skills perspective necessarily but from a too much comic relief perspective.

Brandt is halfway between competent Carter and dense Dunn and while he steps on the toes of both it’s the extra comedy that really gets annoying. It starts to come up too much and too often disrupting the flow of the movie.

That’s a great reminder for anyone involved with a team show that having good balance in the cast and being sure each person has a distinct role really makes a difference to the audience.

This blog entry will self-destruct in 15 second. Good luck Mr. Hunt.

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