The Craziest Tom Cruise Stunts in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Ranked

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

“Mission: ImpossibleWhile appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday evening, Tom Cruise confirmed there will be a Mission: Impossible 6 and it won’t take years before filming gets underway. In the last couple of years, Tom Cruise has made a smart detective film, “Jack Reacher,” that made no money, plus a smart sci-fi film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” that made no money. “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is a sigh of defeat.

Jurassic World was, unquestionably, the smash hit of the year, and, with its box-office numbers continuing to break records, the nostalgia-heavy adventure has become the Indominus Rex of summer blockbusters.Tom Cruise — who was recently rumored to be getting engaged to his assistant Emily Thomas — has his sights set on another saucy brunette, Confidenti@l has exclusively learned.

It’s a dynamic that applies to the film as well: If the robust commercial performance of 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” made a follow-up inevitable, then luck turns out to be very much on the side of this unusually spry and satisfying fifth entry, which finds the surviving members of the Impossible Missions Force trying to neutralize an insidious global threat, while struggling to convince their skeptical overlords that there is such a threat to begin with. The “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” megastar was doing his red-carpet duties promoting the blockbuster Monday night in Times Square when he made a beeline toward a reporter who had caught his eye.

While it may seem that the stunts in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation are so outrageously impossible that it could only be created digitally, in actuality, the stunts were pulled off totally live. Neither bad enough to be a complete waste of time nor good enough to remember past next Tuesday, the film co-written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie staples together one routine action piece after another with cutesy dialogue and lots of merciless pounding away at iPad screens.

The result is an existential quandary that writer-director Christopher McQuarrie negotiates with characteristic cleverness and a sly respect for the sheer durability of genre; at once questioning and reaffirming the pleasures of cinematic espionage, this is the rare sequel that leaves its franchise feeling not exhausted but surprisingly resurgent at 19 years and counting. We’re told by our eyewitness that Cruise was working his way down the press line when he found Univision reporter Jessica Cediel — and he started flirting up a storm with her. “She’s a Sophia Vergara-Penelope Cruz type, very good-looking. The IMF (Impossible Mission Force) is in trouble with the CIA boss (Alec Baldwin) who wants to shut them down for chasing after what he believes is a fictitious international terror force dubbed the Syndicate that foments disaster worldwide: Blame them for plane crashes, civil wars and maybe even the script for “Jupiter Ascending.” To unravel the Syndicate, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames) will have to go off-grid (are they ever on-grid?) in search of, ultimately, a bank statement.

His next, even more physically demanding task, was holding his breath for several minutes at a time while carrying out an audacious heist inside the under-water Torus facility. Deadline’s Pete Hammond gushed, ‘I thought it would be hard to top Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but this franchise just keeps getting better.’ ‘The latest edition, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not just the best movie of the summer, it is the best summer movie of the summer, with its smart script and direction from Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Usual Suspects who has a long-standing relationship with star Tom Cruise having penned Valkyrie, Edge Of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher (which he also directed).’ The writer added, ‘This fifth go-around for the IMF squad doesn’t just rely on trying to top itself with one outrageous stunt after another like many of these franchises attempt.’ ‘There are plenty of mind-blowing action sequences here beginning with the James Bond-like pre-credits sequence in which Cruise hangs from a plane as it rolls down the runway and takes off. (That has been much publicized for the fact Cruise did it himself with no green-screen help.)’

This can be obtained only by diving into an underwater chamber to switch out a data card because, I guess, sensitive electronics gear works optimally under 10 billion gallons of H20 and also because diving scenes are cool. Whatever you decide about that, let’s be clear about this: When it comes to Tom Cruise and his durability as an action hero, luck has little to do with it.

And if the now 53-year-old Cruise isn’t quite limber enough to do full justice to that description, he continues to throw himself into harm’s way with energy, conviction and an astonishing disregard for life and limb. Howard’s ability to run for her life in high heels and somehow not irreparably injure herself inspired think pieces, parody videos, and, hey, even a hilarious response from Jurassic World star Chris Pratt himself. That much is clear from a set piece that has already figured heavily into Paramount’s marketing campaign, and which is wisely dispensed with in the opening scene: Bent on retrieving a cache of nerve-gas missiles from a band of Chechen separatist fighters, Ethan leaps onto a military cargo plane mid-takeoff and hangs on for dear life as terra firma recedes behind him — an astounding piece of airborne staging that Cruise, with his distaste for green-screen effects and his fondness for performing his own stunts, pulls off in typically sweat-free fashion. The sequence is at once a tasty appetizer and a total red herring, and “Rogue Nation” swiftly gets down to business by putting Ethan and his fellow operatives out of commission and into conflict with a wide-ranging shadow organization known simply as the Syndicate (the “rogue nation” of the title), which has been setting off destabilizing waves of violence, civil unrest and catastrophe across the globe, some of which — far-flung industrial accidents, jetliners vanishing into thin air — have deliberately uncomfortable real-world echoes. They chatted for about 10 minutes.” Our eagle-eyed spy, who was standing nearby, says Cruise then moved on to the other press, but quickly halted his interviews, pulled an assistant aside and instructed her to fetch Cediel’s number for him.

Ethan’s mission, which he has no choice but to accept, is to take down this sinister group, which will require him to team up with the tellingly named Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a skilled but relatively untested British intelligence agent who has succeeded in infiltrating the Syndicate. (For all the film’s rampant globe-trotting, its casting choices and frequent London stopovers give it a markedly Blighty flavor.) In classic spy-thriller fashion, it’s never entirely clear whether Ilsa is friend or femme fatale — especially after she and Ethan cross paths with a few well-positioned snipers at the Vienna State Opera, where a lavish performance of “Turandot” serves as both backdrop and modus operandi for an up-in-the-rafters assassination attempt. Let’s give kudos to a few other folks, too, starting with director-writer Christopher McQuarrie, who, like each director in the franchise, puts his own stamp on the proceedings. The curtain comes crashing violently down on that episode, but the movie’s second major action sequence is a marvel of precise execution and quietly fraught suspense, forcing Ethan to swim his way into a highly pressurized underwater cavern in order to lay hands on a weapon that could make or break the Syndicate. On Instagram Monday, she posted a pic of herself and Cruise looking flirty on the carpet, writing in Spanish: “This was Tom Cruise’s face when I showed him my commercial for Mission Impossible! Only this time, he had to start anew, honing skills that haven’t come into play before. “The way I work on ‘Mission’ movies is that I like to spend months and months and months ahead of time prepping every sequence, really breaking them down and sectioning off the proper time for the physical training,” he explains. “I go into each movie expecting to learn new things and learning new ways of doing things where I already have skills.”

McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”) does this with both a wry script that often makes fun of what’s happening, and some seriously entertaining action pieces, including a complicated assassination sequence set in Vienna’s glittering opera house during a lavish production of Puccini’s “Turandot.” (Parents: here’s a chance to get some opera into your kids’ summer — sort of like hiding the broccoli in the brownie mix.) Also invaluable is returning “MI” vet Simon Pegg as Benji, the wise-cracking (and safe-cracking) computer whiz who provides a crucial dose not only of humor but also of humanity here. While the most recent “Die Hard” and “Terminator” movies have playfully acknowledged that their once-strapping male stars are well past their physical prime, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is having none of it. Welcome newcomers include Alec Baldwin, as a pompous CIA boss with deliciously dry delivery, and Rebecca Ferguson, making the most and then some of the obligatory female role. Whatever combination of stunt work and digital trickery was involved (very little, if reports are to be believed), Cruise remains as deft a physical performer as ever, and projects nary a shred of self-consciousness or vanity; he is, no less than Ethan Hunt himself, an incorrigible daredevil and a consummate professional. In fact, it begins with the scene you’re most likely to have heard about, because it involves Cruise’s own stunt work, in which the actor actually places himself on the wing of an airborne jet, and then — why not? — lets his legs slip, hanging on by only his hands as the landscape beneath gets tinier and tinier.

BYE!” Cruise had most recently been linked to his 22-year-old assistant, who went public with a Facebook pic to say she had a boyfriend and was not with the actor. In 2012, Cruise got a number from a gorgeous manager at the Lower East Side’s Beauty & Essex restaurant, and took her dirty-dancing at club Le Baron. Lacking much character except (like everyone else here) expertise at all things, she is on hand only to check the box marked, “Strong, assertive, female.” It would make no difference within the movie if she perished at the hands of the Syndicate’s creepy chief, Lane (Sean Harris). Naming her Ilsa and having her hang out in Casablanca brings up the kinds of comparisons that can only be labeled unfortunate. “Rogue Nation,” the kind of movie where trained assassins with machine guns miss our hero from a distance of five yards, has the occasional semi-rousing moment, but it has neither the wit of the best Bond films nor the grit of any of the Bourne ones.

Early on, when Hunt was hanging off that plane, my 12-year-old companion — who’s grown up in the age of computer-generated wizardry — confidently whispered: “Ha, that’s totally a green screen.” And I was happy to be able to whisper back: What works: In addition to a clever script and solid action sequences, Tom Cruise proves once more that he’s a top-shelf action star.

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