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Kurt Hendricks

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May there be peace on Earth...
~ Kurt Hendricks' most famous quote

Kurt Hendricks, also known as Cobalt, is a Swedish-born Russian nuclear strategist and the main antagonist in the 2011 film Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

He was portrayed by actor Michael Nyqvist.

Overview

Hendricks' aim was to cause a nuclear conflict between Russia and the US. In order to facilitate this, Hendricks arranged for the destruction of the Kremlin in Russia, ultimately putting the blame for the attack on the IMF, as well stealing a Russian nuclear launch-control device. Hendricks also later acquires the launch codes for the missile from Sabine Moreau, whilst posing as his right-hand man Marius Wistrom. His strategy was for this conflict to ignite a global nuclear exchange and thus eliminate most of the world's population. With most of the world's people wiped out (and presumably their old conflicts and hatreds along with them) a new era of "peace" could be ushered in. Hendricks used the alias of "Cobalt" to prevent his true identity from surfacing. After officially being disavowed because of the attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt and his team consisting of agents Jane Carter, Benji Dunn and IMF analyst William Brandt, are tasked with stopping "Cobalt" and bringing his conspiracy to light, or be hunted down as the terrorists responsible for the attack. Extremely resourceful, Kurt Hendricks made use of latex masks to fool Ethan Hunt and his team into believing that they were dealing with his second-in-command, eventually making off with the case containing Russian nuclear launch codes.

History

Kurt Hendricks served in the Swedish Special Forces during his youth. Hendricks became the Professor of Physics at Stockholm University where he specialised in the minutiae of the nuclear endgame theory. He was regarded as a genius, with an IQ of 190. Despite this, he was forced by the university to resign due to his outlandish theories and claims of insanity. Following this, Kurt Hendricks was affiliated with Russian central command during the Cold War, wherein his job was to "predict the unthinkable". After twenty years in his role as, Hendricks came up with the concept of nuclear war in the place of natural order after following the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hendricks then worked in the Kremlin as a chief strategist, wherein he formulated a plan to steal a briefcase with nuclear launch codes to facilitate his concept of world destruction.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Kurt Hendricks first appears at the Kremlin where he is passing through the security checkpoints just ahead of Ethan Hunt and Benji Dunn, who are infiltrating the Russian stronghold. After Hunt attempts to search the archives for evidence of Cobalt's existence, Hendricks hijacks the team's frequency, alerting the Russian guards to the IMF's presence in the Kremlin. As Hunt orders the mission to be aborted, he briefly passes Hendricks in the corridor, who nods in compliance.

When Hunt meets with the IMF's Secretary and his analyst William Brandt, Brandt confirms that the individual whom Hunt met at the Kremlin was indeed Kurt Hendricks. He explains that Kurt Hendricks is an intelligent, but deranged nuclear physicist and that he bombed the Kremlin in order to make off with a nuclear launch code machine from the Russians undetected. Upon viewing archival footage of Hendricks during the Cold War, they realize that his plan is to start a nuclear war so as to usher in the next phase of human evolution. When Leonid Lisenker, a nuclear code expert, attempts to leave Russia in the wake of the Kremlin bombing, Kurt Hendricks and his right-hand man Wistrom kidnap his family, forcing him to grudgingly work alongside him.

Kurt Hendricks (disguised as his right-hand man Wistrom) and Lisenker proceed to travel to Dubai to rendezvous with assassin Sabine Moreau, who stole the nuclear launch codes from IMF Agent Trevor Hanaway. Ethan Hunt and his team mislead both parties into believing that they exchanged a meeting with one another, as Hendricks escapes with the launch codes, killing Lisenker after fulfilling his usefulness. Hunt chases Hendricks out onto the street, just as an enormous sandstorm envelops the area, decreasing visibility to a minimal level. Although Hunt manages to destroy Hendricks' getaway car, he manages to escape after Hunt is injured in the process.

After acquiring the launch codes for the missile from Hunt and his team after a botched operation, Hendricks and his right hand man Wistrom head to a Russian television broadcasting center where he shuts down the satellite that Hunt and his team had thought he would use to launch the missile. Having anticipated Hunt's shutting down of the satelite, Hendricks instead uses the broadcast center to launch the missile from a Russian submarine, sending it hurtling towards San Francisco. Hunt and his team show up at the broadcasting center just as Hendricks and Wistrom are exiting, a chase then ensues where Hunt pursues Hendricks, who has the launch-control device which could stop the missile in mid flight.

Hendricks' death

Hendricks after leaping to his death from the top of a car factory.

Wistrom runs back into the broadcast center to take it off line, with Brandt, Jane and Dunn in pursuit. Hunt follows Hendricks into a vehicle assembly factory where they brutally fight over the device and after being beaten by Hunt, Hendricks jumps from the top floor of the factory with the device in his arms, in an attempt to bring it outside Ethan´s range and ensure the detonation of the missile, mortally wounding himself in the process. However, Hunt rides a car down to the bottom floor and retrieves the device, and after Dunn kills Wistrom, Brandt brings the broadcast station back online enabling Hunt to use the launch control device to disable the missile letting it crash harmlessly into the San Francisco bay. Hendricks witnesses Hunt disabling the missile before succumbing to his injuries.

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