July 16, 2015

The Insane Stunts of 'Mission Impossible': Watch Tom Cruise Hang on to a Flying Airplane

In a few weeks, the latest installment of Mission Impossible will hit theaters. In order to drum up some anticipation, the studio is showing off one of the insane stunts that went into making this action flick as believable and immersive as possible. What makes this particular stunt even cooler is that stunt men were not part of the equation. In fact, it was done solely by Tom Cruise himself, and it involves holding on to the outside of a plane as it takes off. Literally. 

Here's the trailer for the film, which lands in theaters on July 31st.

If there's anything useful or educational to be gleaned from all of this, it's that audiences dig practical effects and stunts. Of course, having not seen the movie yet, it's impossible to say how enjoyable it will truly be. However, it's absolutely guaranteed to be jam packed with action, explosions, and Tom Cruise literally holding on to an airplane as it takes off. As far as I see it, just knowing that this was done practically (as opposed to Cruise being composited in by a team of VFX artists), will make the experience more enjoyable. The same was true of the crazy stunts and practical effects in the latest Mad Max film.

Last but not least, it's worth mentioning that Tom Cruise is in his mid 50s. That shit is just crazy.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

I love practical effects. They just have something intangible that's extremely hard to re-create digitally. This is coming from someone who for 20 years has made their living doing digital VFX.

July 16, 2015 at 6:02PM

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David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker
339

But your work is necessary for that shot to come off. You have to wipe out the safety wires that art attaching him to the plane. Otherwise the shot doesn't work. We need Digital VFX to enhance practical stunts and effects.

For me its when a live action movie suddenly becomes a digital animation, either for a shot or a whole sequence, that's when things are off the rails. For me.

July 16, 2015 at 11:19PM, Edited July 16, 11:19PM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
1027

I totally agree. You can only do so much practically, so when you start with something practical you're at least rooted in the reality of what is physically possible with actors and sets and cameras. Enhancing with digital animation/vfx can be great but having that practical basis in reality first is really important for believability I think.

July 17, 2015 at 1:54AM

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David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker
339

I've been involved with this stunt -- a part of a huge army of hardworking people that made it happen. Just some background -- a lot of people at Paramount and their parent Viacom were working 24/7 for about a month coordinating efforts with their counterparts at Airbus and the Crown's airbase.

The stunt's risk assessment was highly detailed -- pages describing activities, risks, and loss control.

For the rest of the NFS'ers such as myself I can only recommend on working on the composing skills because getting a Crown's airbase to agree to film at could be... um challenging :))))

July 16, 2015 at 11:33PM, Edited July 17, 12:31AM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4032

So impressed with this kind of work and the fact that Tom Cruise is always willing to dedicate himself THAT much to these films. I was a little on the fence about seeing this latest MISSION - I'll admit, this whole series is one of my guilty pleasures - but after seeing this, I think it's pushed me over the fence a bit. Thanks for sharing Robert.

July 17, 2015 at 11:09AM

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Bryan Tosh
Director of Photography
481

what did they suction cup to his eyeball?

July 19, 2015 at 2:50AM

0
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special contact lenses to protect the eyes from the dangerous kerosine exhaust fumes.

in fact, nobody was thinking about it but cruise himself just a few seconds before the stunt. he could have gone blind - so could have a stunt double who might not have come up with this bright idea.

so things like that are most times more reckless and stupid than cool and brave.

July 19, 2015 at 5:43PM

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SL
filmmaker
104

Do you have a source? Cause eyes are just as sensitive as the the alveolus in lungs. And I don't see an aqualung to protect the lungs. The inboard port engine was going at a reduced throttle. I trust the purpose of those eye caps is TBD.

July 19, 2015 at 9:41PM, Edited July 19, 9:41PM

2
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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4032