By Nick Maylor
When someone says, “Tom Cruise”, an endless array of images can come to mind. Some think of Oprah’s couch or Scientology, others think of Tropic Thunder (2008), Jerry Maguire (1996) or A Few Good Men (1992). Regardless of how someone chooses to categorize this remarkable human being, five minutes into any of his movies, chances are good that you’re invested and strapped in for the ride.
Mission Impossible: Fallout comes out this year and I couldn’t be more excited. Along with Cruise, the film stars Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin and Henry Cavill’s moustache. Christopher McQuarrie, the director of the 5th installment: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) will return to direct the 6th entry in the franchise. This marks the first time that any director has done more than one MI film. Brian De Palma, John Woo and Brad Bird each sat at the helm for one film; the rotating talent behind the camera being a sort-of trademark for the series. However, the signature element of the Mission Impossible series is without a doubt, Tom Cruise and the crazy stunts he does for each film. Tom Cruise is a stickler for doing things “in camera” and has scaled the tallest building in the world, held his breath underwater for five minutes and strapped himself to the side of an airplane; all in the pursuit of entertaining you and feeding his extreme addiction to trying everything possible to be a real-life superhero.
The trailer for Mission Impossible: Fallout is awesome. It shows that there is every indication the film will be just as entertaining as the previous ones. What’s the plot? Who cares? Some of you reading this may be aware that while filming a stunt for the new MI film, Cruise broke his ankle. Here’s a photo:
That looks like it hurts; a lot. For those who were paying close attention, the footage of the botched stunt is included in the trailer. Chances are we will see it in the film. Break your ankle? Use it! That’s the Tom Cruise philosophy. When discussing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), Brad Bird was exploring the idea of building a replica of the Burj Khalifa’s top section for Cruise to film on; later using green screen and CGI to complete the effect. Cruise was having none of it. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world; and Cruise couldn’t wait to get up there. They had a stunt man on set, but his only job was to test the wires before Cruise did all the stunts himself. In Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015), Cruise strapped himself to the side of a plane to shoot the film’s opening sequence. Naturally, no CGI or tricks were used. Cruise got rigged up on that plane and proceeded to do 8 flights to get it just right. Cruise lives clean. He probably never drinks alcohol. He has defied the aging proceed. The dude is high on adrenaline; having a thirst for thrills that seems unquenchable. Maybe we’ll see him go over Niagara Falls without a barrel in a future installment. Maybe he’ll go in to space. Who knows?
Cruise (all by himself) is the greatest living example of why the Oscars need an award for Best Stunt. Why shouldn’t this be a category? The amount of prep and execution is remarkable each year for several films. Make it happen, Academy!
Tom Cruise is possibly the greatest “movie star” working today. He might be completely out of his mind but hey, it works.
Mission Impossible: Fallout comes out on July 27, 2018. It was filmed using real 3D cameras and is the first installment of the franchise to be shown in 3D. While this technology is usually something I could take or leave, 3D seems like a fitting addition to this action franchise. Strap in.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor