Tom Cruise is the action star the world needs right now. Over 20 years, the Mission Impossible franchise has wowed audiences all over the world as the action star jumps, runs, kicks, punches, and swims his way to save the world from the bad guys.
At 53, Tom Cruise shows no signs of slowing down! Over the years, the franchise has become self-aware and has realized that fans of the superstar love to see how far he will push himself to get that perfect shot, making hearts race in the amazing action films.
The sixth installment, Mission Impossible: Fallout, was met with amazing reviews praising the story, performances, and set-pieces. We break down some of the best stunts performed by Tom Cruise over the years, highlighting just what an amazing actor and athlete he is!
MI:2: Knife To The Eye
Arguably one of the weaker films in the franchise, this John Woo-directed outing features a scene which gets our blood pumping. In a tense fight between Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and the villain, Sean Ambrose (played by Dougray Scott), a knife is a key for who will win. Amazingly, this is a real knife connected to a wire, with the actor’s full force being pressed towards Cruise’s eye – making him just centimeters from potentially a deadly accident.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Burj Khalifa Jump
If Tom Cruise wants to jump off the tallest building in the world, then that’s exactly what Tom Cruise will do! In this fourth outing directed by Brad Bird, Hunt, and the team travel to Dubai where he is faced with jumping off, and climbing around, the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. According to interviews, some of the film crew couldn’t even be in the room as the glass was taken out of the window. This stunt isn’t for the queasy.
Mission Impossible – The Famous Wire
This stunt from the first film is probably one of the most iconic shots in film history. The scene from the 1996 film shows us exactly what kind of franchise this will be. Need to break into a vault? Is it heat-sensitive and voice-activated? Does it require a retina scan and cracking a six-digit code? No problem for this team, as we learn no mission is impossible for Tom Cruise.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Water Scene
By the time the fifth film came around, we had already seen Cruise’s character break into enough vaults. Whether he was hanging, climbing, or fighting, there wasn’t much of a way he could up the ante – until he went under water! For some reason, Hunt needed to swap the cards of a vault that was being stored underwater, so down he went. Tom Cruise actually learned how to hold his breath for six minutes in preparation for this scene. It paid off, as the entire sequence is thrilling and takes our breath away.
Mission Impossible: Fallout – The Helicopter Chase
It’s moments like this one that reminds us how far Cruise is willing to go to thrill his audiences. In this climax in the most recent outing, Hunt must climb up a rope attached to a helicopter, hijack it, and chase the villain who contains the detonator to three bombs. Because obviously. Filmed in beautiful IMAX, we can see the whole scope of what Tom Cruise can handle, as he flies through the air and lifts himself up to the top – that is some impressive upper body strength!
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Side of the Plane
Perhaps one of the most talked about scenes before the film was even released, Tom Cruise decides that one day he wants to connect himself to a plane as it takes off. Considering its context in the film, there isn’t much of a reason why this needed to take place. It’s just an amazing moment that kicks off the film at a thrilling pace – making sure we know what we’re in for.
MI:3 – Jumping off Shanghai Building
This JJ Abrams outing helped re-energize the franchise after the misstep of MI:2, and for good reason. Ethan Hunt takes to the international stage of this action adventure by jumping off and falling down buildings in Shanghai. We can see how excited Cruise is to be acting out what was obviously a dream of his as he shoots the bad guys while scaling down a glass ceiling.
Mission Impossible: Fallout – Plane Jump
This freefalling scene is absolutely wild. Here, Tom Cruise is filmed jumping out of a plane while trying to save someone in mid-fall. Created by stitching together three separate jumps, this sequence is thrilling and feels like you’re falling with him. the total scene happens in real-time, meaning to travel with Cruise from plane to the ground. This is fantastic filmmaking and a great moment from the new film.