When it comes to shooting big budget action blockbusters, the overwhelming majority of actors are more than happy to let a stunt double, green screen or visual effects team shoulder most of the burden, but Tom Cruise isn’t most actors.
The diminutive action icon has built his entire reputation and screen persona on putting himself through the wringer in the name of our entertainment, and never was that more obvious than in the case of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. After all, a lot of movies with extensive skydiving sequences are content to strap their stars into a wire rig and composite them onto the aerial footage, but Cruise performed over 100 HALO jumps to get the shots required.
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A foot chase, meanwhile, is relatively straightforward, but the leading man took it to the rooftops, leapt between several buildings and wound up shattering his ankle in the process, which was obviously the take used in the final cut. Furthermore, though helicopters are a regular feature of explosive set pieces, and it’s often a case of having the star sit in a cockpit replica from the safety of a soundstage before using a combination of wide shots and CGI to fill in the gaps, Tom Cruise decided to spend sixteen hours a day for six weeks learning to pilot the craft himself, which included performing incredibly dangerous spirals. And that’s when he wasn’t hanging off the side of it.
Those are just several of the reasons why Mission: Impossible – Fallout is one of the greatest action movies of the modern era, and it’s been slowly creeping up the Netflix most-watched list as fans revisit the high-octane franchise, with the pic currently sitting in 20th place on the global chart.