After six films and a combined USD$3.57 billion at the box office, you’d be forgiven for dialling in a performance, but that just wouldn’t be Tom Cruise. The ageless wonder continues to only pump out thrilling hit after hit, somehow transcending the very sphere of film itself. For Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, however, the action star took things to a ‘terrifying’ new level.
In the blockbuster seventh instalment of the long-running action franchise, Cruise performed his most dangerous stunt yet. The penultimate climax of the film sees Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in a race against time to, get this, catch a train. What sounds like a standard Monday morning commute for us ordinary folk does reach dizzying new levels, however, when you consider Hunt is trying to do it from a few thousand feet in the air.
The impossible stunt saw Cruise launch a motorcycle off a carefully constructed cliff edge, freefall for what felt like an eternity before crash landing onto the speeding target. Perhaps most remarkable of all, the entire ordeal was performed without camera trickery. As co-stars, Simon Pegg and Pom Klementieff revealed, Cruise really did take things to the edge.
Speaking with Man of Many ahead of the Australian premiere for Dead Reckoning Part One, Pegg detailed the terrifying moment that he saw his good friend risk life and limb for that one perfect shot.
“The motorcycle off the cliff, for me, it was such an incredible thing to behold,” Pegg told us. “I’ve been there for quite a few of his big stunts over the years but, this one…It was incredible – terrifying, for us as well as him.”
“It’s hard to put into words,” Pegg explained. “We were there watching it and he’d go off the end and disappear and there would just be silence for maybe five seconds and we’d just be waiting to hear whether or not his parachute had opened. Not that that was the end of the danger, because he could still get pulled into the mountain at that point but when we got the good canopy, it was ‘oh thank god’.
Cruise reportedly performed more than 500 skydives and 13,000 motocross jumps to get one action sequence just right. The result, as co-star Klementieff explained, was awe-inspiring.
“In the movie, it’s shot in a way that you just hold your breath; the music, and you’re like ‘what’s going to happen?’ and you can feel the air on your skin almost,” the Paris actor said
Of course, it’s not the first time fans have seen Tom Cruise push the boundaries of modern stunt work. In Rogue Nation, we watched as the all-American action hero clung to the side of a plane as it took to the sky, a feat only matched by the Burj Khalifa climbing scene from Ghost Protocol. This time around, however, the scene didn’t stop at simply surviving.
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As Pegg reveals, once Cruise had taken off and was in free fall, the script dictated that he was to keep the momentum rolling.
“He delivers a line in freefall,” Pegg said. “The way that they shot that, obviously, he was falling with another accomplished base jumper and the fact that he delivers, not only a line but quite a funny line whilst in freefall, who else does that? Nobody.”
‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ stars Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, and Cary Elwes. The blockbuster action flick hits Australian cinemas on 8 July 2023.