Every week in September gets you a new Mission: Impossible listicle. Why? Why not.
6. Airplane Ride – Rogue Nation
This stunt is an objectively cool thing that Tom Cruise did. It did however have two flaws. It being the cold open kind of made it feel disposable. Secondly, they could not really get a great angle on the shot so it did not really cary the same effect of some of the other things Cruise has done over the years.
5. Hanging from the Ceiling – Mission: Impossible
In some ways, this is obviously the best scene of anything mentioned here. Obviously. Almost everything else is just cool shit that they managed to find a way to justify in the film for some reason. And while yes, the tension here is incredible in every way, it’s frankly just not as cool as the other cool shit we would later see in these films.
4. Mountain Climb – MI:2
In some ways, this was the most self-indulgent because it truly was done just for the sake of doing it in the film. But that is in part what makes it cool. If the later films would make the stunts and then try to fit a story around them, here they really just had Tom Cruise hang off the side of a mountain for no reason. It also really felt true to where his character was in the broad arc of Ethan Hunt. It also made me sweat from secondhand anxiety two decades later. Good shit!
3. Helicopter Chase – Fallout
Tom Cruise chasing Henry Cavill in a helicopter and actually flying the helicopter somehow feels kind of even more insane than the HALO jump? Like surely more could go wrong in a helicopter CHASE than a mere skydiving scene? Right??
2. HALO Jump – Fallout
A key part of appreciating this scene is just how much of a non-factor it was in the film in so many ways. Tom Cruise was just truly determined to jump out of an airplane in a movie and that is what he did. Hats off to him. It ruled.
1. Building Climb – Ghost Protocol
When I saw this in the theaters in 2011 on New Years Eve, sweat was dripping from hands. When I saw it again a decade later, the sweat was pouring from me again. While some other stuff could arguably be described as cooler but nothing makes me fear for my own personal safety more than this one.