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Feel like pleading for your life?
~ Sean Ambrose's most famous line.

Sean Patrick Ambrose is the main antagonist of the 2000 film Mission: Impossible II. He is a rogue IMF agent who became a terrorist bent on releasing a virus and selling the cure for profit.

He was portrayed by Dougray Scott, who also played Niles York in Death Race 3: Inferno and Stuart St. John in Taken 3.

Biography

Early life

Sean Patrick Ambrose was presumably born in the United Kingdom (as stated by his nationality) circa 1966. Later in his life, he joined the Impossible Mission Force as a computer specialist and a field agent. During his IMF career, Swanbeck replaced Ethan Hunt with Ambrose to face-double Hunt on missions when the latter could not be found. This led Ambrose to use an Ethan Hunt latex mask as his main disguise in 1999. According to Hunt, he and Ambrose held reservations with each other during their career.

Early plot

On March 24th, 1999, Ambrose became interested with Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich's synthetic virus, Chimera, and he wanted to sell its cure, Bellerophon, to the highest bidder. Eventually, he began to form his own group, with Hugh Stamp as his right-hand man, while still in the IMF.

Ambrose was in a prior relationship with a highly capable professional thief, Nyah Nordoff-Hall, and it became close and sexual. The relationship ended, as Hugh stated that she "didn't gag for it" six months ago. Swanbeck also notes that Ambrose has missed her, been wanting her back ever since.

Chimera Mission and Demise

Ambrose disguised himself as Ethan Hunt to board the plane as "Dmitri" (Hunt's alias with Nekhorivch when he saved his life) with the doctor. In the middle of the flight to Atlanta, he revealed to the doctor that he is not Dmitri and killed him by breaking his neck. Ambrose took his bag and escaped to "Checkpoint Charlie" with three of his men; Hugh, Ulrich and Wallis, just as the plane crashed in the Rockies.

Returning to Sydney, he helped Nyah to be released from prison (a ruse planned by Hunt and his team to get information on Ambrose) and returned her to his residence. After having a hour with Hall, Hugh became wary of her returning, so Ambrose used his cigar cutter to cut Hugh's little finger. At a horse race event, Ambrose had a business meeting with CEO John C. McCloy, where Hunt and his team collected information on a pharmaceutical company named Biocyte.

Questioning the events, he disguised himself as Hunt again and spoke with Nyah, who revealed herself to be Hunt's lover and told her to listen to whatever Ambrose said. As she left, Ambrose removed his mask in a silent anger and Hugh told him that Hunt interrogated McCloy while disguising as the doctor. Knowing he would go into Biocyte, he and his men waited for Hunt to collect the virus and attacked him there with Nyah as their hostage.

Telling Hunt he had her hostage, he ordered her to get the last Chimera sample, but she injected herself with it. Knowing that he won't kill her for the money, Hunt saved Nyah and fought back, but left her alive and escaped from the building. Ambrose made Nyah go off in Sydney to die and instigate a virus outbreak as he went to the Biocyte island complex with his men.

Meanwhile, Hunt infiltrated the complex and he used a latex mask to disguise himself as Hugh after the latter was knocked out by Hunt's grenade explosion during their confrontation. Then, "Hugh" took "Hunt" to Ambrose, whom he promptly tortured and killed in enjoyment. Seeing the patched-up finger on the corpse, he screamed in horror when unmasking Hugh.

Ambrose, Wallis, Ulrich and their men engaged in pursuit that resulted in a prolonged motorcycle chase between Hunt and Ambrose. They fought each other, with Hunt gaining the upper hand on Ambrose. Then, he grabbed a Beretta 92FS and cackled towards Hunt, telling him that he should have killed before the latter grabbed a H&K USP Compact to kill Ambrose.

Personality

Sean Ambrose was a man who determined to become rich by selling the Chimera virus. Though he thinks he is caring, he is quick to aggression and showed himself to be possessive and arrogant. Examples are when he refused to listen to Hugh's warning of Nyah's return or pointing his gun at McCloy when he questioned him while torturing the disguised Hugh.

As a former IMF agent, Ambrose was very perceptive to every IMF's tactics as noted when he grabbed Hugh who had implied that Nyah's sudden return was alluding to Hugh himself of possibly a mole in his group sent by IMF to spy on them, particularly his former colleague, Ethan Hunt, since he was previously ordered to disguise as him during missions when Hunt was needed but unavailable to answer.

In fact, it was possible that doubling for Hunt on various missions had caused Ambrose to develop a resentment towards his former employer and colleague because he almost never allowed to show his real face for most of the time in his IMF career. When they met, Ambrose showed his contempt for Ethan, saying the hardest part of dubbing him was "grinning like an idiot every fifteen minutes".

One of Ambrose's defining traits was his explosive temper. He could switch from calm and composed to violently enraged within seconds and even the moments when he was more composed have an underlying threat to them, a sense that Ambrose's politeness was just a way of covering his violent streak even his own men and allies are not immune to such treatment as shown when he was lashing out at Hugh.

Despite his flaws, Ambrose was extremely intelligent and calculating, planning a plane assault with his men, and gaining Nyah's information while disguising as Hunt. He was also suave and somewhat caring for his own allies, notably Nyah. When she returned, he showed himself to be happy and joyful with her at the horse race. Despite his care for her, he implied his usage of sex to Hugh before while using the cigar cutter. When he killed Hugh, he appeared to be horrified by his actions, showing he cared for him somewhat.

That being said, he could turn on others, showing ruthlessness if needed. Notably when Nyah injected herself with Chimera, he called her "bitch" in frustration, but did not kill her because she had thirty-seven million pounds worth in her. When McCloy became disturbed by his violent act of torturing the masked Hugh, he pointed his gun at the latter. And when Hugh questioned him on Nyah's return, he use his cigar cutter on him.

Ambrose was defined by his ruthlessness, in sharp contrast to Ethan. He had no issue in killing dozens of people to accomplish his goals and expressed a dismal view of Ethan's preference for avoiding casualties with Ethan saying he "doesn't feel he's done his job unless he leaves a lot of hats on the ground". He was completely indifferent to the millions who would die if his plan to release the virus succeeded.

Ambrose was also a man of enjoyment and riches, wearing expensive clothing and gambling at the horse racing event. He strongly enjoyed Cuban cigars.

Powers and Abilities

  • High Intellect: Ambrose was highly intelligent. He was a trained spy and skilled planner who was able to come up with complicated plans and execute them perfectly and his overall scheme would have been successful had it not been for Ethan.
  • Master Tactician: Ambrose was a highly skilled tactician due to his years as an IMF agent and used his knowledge of Ethan against him. He was able to figure out exactly what Ethan would do and set a trap for him.
  • Marksmanship: Ambrose was highly trained in the use of firearms and used multiple throughout the film.
  • Master of Disguise: Ambrose was skilled at impersonating others. He was able to impersonate Ethan skillfully enough to fool a scientist who had been in contact with him for months and later to fool Nyah in a conversation.
  • Peak Physical Condition: As an IMF agent, Ambrose was in peak physical condition. His strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability were all in top condition for a man in his age, height and weight. He was strong enough to grab hold of and twist Stamp's wrist and caused intense pain and able to recover quickly from a motorcycle crash and fought Ethan on an even level. He was also strong enough to knock out Vladimir Nekhorvich with a single blow to the throat and broke his neck with little effort.
  • Expert Driver: Ambrose was a very skilled motorcyclist. This was shown when he and his men were pursuing Ethan throughout the streets of Australia.
  • Hand to Hand Combat: Ambrose was highly skilled in hand to hand combat and was able to fight Ethan on an even level. His fighting style consisted mostly of Jujitsu, Aikido, Hapkido and Karate style moves.

Quotes

You know, that was the hardest part about having to portray you, grinning like an idiot every fifteen minutes.
~ Sean Ambrose to Ethan Hunt.
Hunt's target will be the Chimera, stored and manufactured at Biocyte on the forty-second floor.
~ Sean Ambrose briefing his men about Hunt's mission.
Shh. Listen to me. There's no time to talk. It is critical, absolutely critical that you do whatever Ambrose asks. Do you understand me?
~ Sean Ambrose, disguising as Ethan Hunt, talks to his lover Nyah.

Gallery

Trivia

  • John O'Hare was considered for the role of Sean Ambrose before Dougray Scott was cast.
  • The scene where Ethan Hunt "peels off his face" to reveal Sean Ambrose was achieved in one shot by shooting both actors against a greenscreen. Cruise, not wearing a mask, was simply told to place his hand in a pre-arranged position under his chin then pull his hand across his face. Scott wore a plain mask with sensors that could provide a computer with a three-dimensional view of his face. He then peeled off this mask to finish the scene.

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Mission: Impossible: Jim Phelps | Franz Krieger | Max Mitsopolis | Claire Phelps | Matthias
Mission: Impossible II: Sean Ambrose | Hugh Stamp | John C. McCloy | Wallis | Ulrich | Michael | Simon
Mission: Impossible III: Owen Davian | John Musgrave | Brownway | Kimbrough | Translator
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol: Kurt Hendricks | Marius Wistrom | Sabine Moreau | Brij Nath
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation: The Syndicate (Solomon Lane, Janik Vinter, Kagan, Saif, Richter & Atlee)
Mission: Impossible - Fallout: The Apostles (Solomon Lane, August Walker, White Widow, Zola Mitsopolis & Nils Debruuk)

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