The first “Mission: Impossible” movie was sort of groundbreaking for me because it was, I believe, my first foray into my fascination with spy-thrillers. The 1996 Tom Cruise-starrer was appealing to me because, at a young age, the blindsides and the fight scenes were novel.
As I continued to watch film after film in the franchise, I came to realize several things. One, that Tom Cruise could very well be his generation’s James Bond. Another is that, to my knowledge, there are only two actors who have enough guts to really commit to their roles: Jackie Chan and Tom Cruise.
Now, with the 6th (hopefully not last) installment in the “Mission: Impossible” series, I’ve come up with six more.
6 Not-So-Impossible Realizations After Watching “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
6. Tom Cruise is Benjamin Button-ing.
The first “Mission: Impossible” film was released in 1996. More than 20 years later, he still runs, jumps out of airplanes, scales buildings, rock climbs stonewalls, and engages in close-proximity fights as if they’re nothing.
He’s visibly older, but he still engages in some really serious stunts. He jumps out of a real plane, falls on roofs, collides with cars, and even crashes while inside a helicopter.
He’s like Jackie Chan. He does all these stunts people half his age would have second thoughts doing. And he does them in such a way that audiences will love him for.
And if you think that he would have problems keeping up with the chase scenes because he’s 50+, you’re wrong.
In “Fallout”, there’s a sequence where he is running after CIA Agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) while jumping from one roof to another, one building to another. There’s also a quick moment ala-Skyscraper where he jumps onto the next building and falls short. Images of Dwayne Johnson come to mind.
When all the action is done, you start to wonder: does he even age?
5. Marvel and DC universes can co-exist well (to a point).
Marvel or DC. Which team are you on? Just how far is the scope of this rivalry?
Well, in “Mission: Impossible-Fallout”, the two worlds came together. “Black Panther’s” Queen Ramonda and “Justice League’s” Superman play CIA Agents Erika Sloane (Angela Basett) and August Walker (Henry Cavill) who are not entirely trusting of Ethan and the IMF.
4. Henry Cavill is every bit of a villain here.
As a Superman fan, watching “Mission: Impossible-Fallout” became all the more exciting because of Cavill. I wanted to see how he’d fare against Cruise in the action scenes.
It’s interesting (a good thing, actually) that he doesn’t possess any semblance of Clark Kent here. He is ominous, foreboding, and you may doubt him here. What you will not doubt, though, is the fact that he can put up an awesome fight with his opponents in the movie.
3. There are no impossible stunts for this crew.
Stunts are the lifeline of action movies. Much to our delight, there’s no shortage of death-defying sequences here.
True to the franchise’s legacy, Cruise pulls off dangerous stunts that include a High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) insertion, a very dangerous technique the military uses to land undetected in enemy territory.
In the movie, Hunt and Walker jump out of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and Hunt struggles to get both of them safely on the grounds of Paris.
It’s quite impossible to shoot this sequence for several reasons:
1. Cruise recently broke his ankle after shooting one of the rooftop chase scenes.
2. The dangerous stunt requires intensive training and a minimum of 100 jumps before Cruise can be allowed to make the jump.
3. Logistical issues make it really difficult to shoot the scenes.
Still, with the help of veteran aerial photographer Craig O’ Brien, they were able to shoot the sequence successfully. Of course, it didn’t come easy. Cruise had to make rehearsal jumps everyday (between four and six). Imagine jumping that many times at 25,000 feet everyday for several days.
Don’t mind the fact that it’s physically exhausting, too. It’s also dangerous because of the risk of suffering from hypoxia or oxygen starvation.
Another very dangerous stunt involved a rope-dangling scene. Then there was the sequence where Cruise had to fly a chopper and race another one and eventually end up into another heart-attack-inducing action sequence situated on top of a rocky plateau.
What’s impressive about all of this is that they shot the stunts on location and NOT in a studio. That is actually Tom Cruise flying the helicopter and doing the insane maneuvers. Talk about dedication.
2. You can shoot a film without a concrete script.
Traditional film production processes require directors to have a concrete and final script (as far as my knowledge goes). In this case, however, McQuarrie changed things up during filming.
It’s an interesting way to do things, but one that the actors enjoyed. “Chris keeps the script alive,” says Henry Cavill. Rebecca Ferguson, who played M16 agent Ilsa said that it’s definitely a new way of filming, but that she enjoyed it because it kept them on their toes.
1. Scenic stunts add more appeal to movies.
We’re used to seeing adrenaline-pumping stunts. Fight scenes that involve masterful choreography always delight viewers. And for many years, we’ve focused on this.
What jumped at me after watching “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is that the stunt sequences had very beautiful backdrops. These scenic action sequences looked and felt more authentic and were more impressive because of their impeccable composition.
You’ll notice this more in the final act. The best one for me was when Cruise scaled the rock wall and the camera was hovering over him. It looked like a beautiful moving photograph.
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is now showing in local cinemas.