From ‘The Burj Khalifa Climb’ stunt in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to ‘The Plane Hang’ stunt in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the Mission: Impossible franchise has no shortage of incredible jaw-dropping stunts and with the Home Entertainment release of Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One we thought we would take a look at seven of the very best of Tom Cruise’s self-performed crazy stunts as Ethan Hunt with Mission Impossible’s best stunts. Let’s (sky)dive in (see what we did there?) starting with….
The Motorbike Cliff Jump – Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Tom Cruise’s death-defying motorbike stunt in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has easily become one of the most highly-anticipated moments in cinematic history. In an adrenaline-fueled scene, Ethan Hunt drives his motorbike off a cliff, abandons it mid-air, and plunges towards the ground before parachuting to safety. Captured on location in the stunning Helsetkopen, Norway, this stunt was executed on the very first day of filming, partly to see if Cruise would be able to star in the film. In a true testament to his commitment to his craft, the actor risked his life to make cinema history, all for the sake of his beloved audience.
The Train Escape – Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
In another heart-pumping scene from Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan confronts his nemesis, Gabriel (Esai Morales), in a knife duel atop a train hurtling at 60 miles per hour. The perilous showdown climaxes when the train nosedives off a destroyed bridge. Ethan and Grace (Hayley Atwell) desperately cling on for their lives and scramble from one carriage to the next to escape crashing into the depths below. The production team had to build working replicas of the Orient Express, only to demolish them. This boundary-pushing portrayal of practical filmmaking was a challenge, with the film crew facing only one chance to capture the tense action on camera.
The Burj Khalifa Climb – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Faint-hearted acrophobics, look away! The Mission: Impossible movies have delivered many memorable action moments over the years, but none have been as stomach-churning as when Ethan Hunt leans out the window of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. In a stunt so dangerous he was initially forbidden from doing, Tom Cruise undertakes the vertigo-inducing task of scaling the side of the Burj Khalifa, armed with only a pair of cutting-edge suction gloves. Adding to the heart-pounding tension, the harness that Cruise wore cut off his circulation, forcing the crew to execute the scene as quickly and efficiently as possible and was undoubtedly one of Mission Impossible’s best stunts
The Plane Hang – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
In the opening scene of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise executes one of his most risky and impressive stunts. With immense precision and bravery, Cruise hangs off the side of an Airbus A400M Atlas during takeoff to intercept a shipment of nerve gas. This awe-inspiring stunt was filmed at RAF Wittering, where the team faced a tight timeframe of only 48 hours to capture the perfect shot. Remarkably, Cruise remained attached to the aircraft during eight takeoffs and at times, was suspended 5,000 feet above the ground and added to the growing canon of Mission Impossible’s best stunts
Cliff Climbing – Mission: Impossible II
Mission Impossible II marks a pivotal moment in Tom Cruise’s acting career as an action hero. Setting the stage for a long stint of death-defying stunts is the film’s opening scene which sees Ethan Hunt free climbing in Utah’s picturesque Dead Horse Point State Park. In the thrilling scene, Cruise fearlessly ascends without a safety net, relying solely on a harness for security. In a heart-stopping twist, he skids down a treacherous overhang, left dangling on the precipice of danger. Despite Director John Woo’s concerns about Cruise doing the scene himself, the actor insisted, escaping death more than once, with nothing worse than a torn shoulder.
Underwater Vault Heist – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Ethan Hunt faces the daunting challenge of recovering a computer chip from an underwater safe. Filmed in one continuous take, this tense sequence demanded the utmost physical preparation from Tom Cruise. With the guidance of diving specialist Kirk Krack, he underwent a rigorous military-grade breath-hold training program. Cruise’s commitment to authenticity is nothing short of extraordinary, as he performed the entire dive without an oxygen tank, and at one point held his breath for an astonishing six minutes.
Halo Jump – Mission: Impossible – Fallout
In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tom Cruise performed a dangerous stunt – a HALO (high altitude low opening) skydive from 25,000 feet. Despite the high risk of mid-air collision, hypoxia, and decompression sickness, Cruise insisted on doing the stunt himself (obviously) and became the first actor to complete a HALO jump in a film. After over 100 jumps and with only three minutes of shooting time per day at sunset, the entire sequence was captured in one take. To handle the physical demands of the stunt, Cruise and the production team developed a special helmet that served as both a prop and a lifesaving device.
related feature: Story behind the Shot – Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
related feature: Those Mission Impossible films rated….
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One is now available to Download & Keep, you can purchase on 4K UHD™ + Blu-ray™ SteelBooks®, 4K UHD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and VOD available from the 6th of November