The Mission: Impossible franchise turns 25 today. The first film in the series released on May 22 in 1996. The Tom Cruise-led action spy film series has been super-successful, both critically and commercially.
One of the reasons the franchise is so popular is the elaborate action sequences that involve actual, honest-to-god stunt work. Almost every film is promoted with an awesome, death-defying stunt that Cruise performs himself.
Here are the best stunts of the series with their videos:
1. Mission: Impossible 2’s cliff climb
In Mission: Impossible 2, Cruise makes an improbable climb to the top of a cliff right in the intro.
2. Mission: Impossible 3’s jump
This scene in Mission: Impossible 3, which was JJ Abrams’ feature film directorial debut, was likely shot against a green screen but Cruise performed the jump in the studio himself and one can easily see how physically demanding this stunt must have been.
3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’s Burj Khalifa stunt
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol had this scene that is still the chef-d’oeuvre in how it was constructed, shot and performed. The world’s tallest building, the Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, and Tom Cruise scales it without any stunt double.
4. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’s aircraft stunt
In the fifth film of the series, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Cruise clung to an aeroplane as it took off.
5. Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s HALO jump
In a Mission: Impossible – Fallout scene, Cruise and Henry Cavill made a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jump. This technique is used in the military where the parachute is opened at low altitude after the jumper has been free-falling for a while. This is in contrast to HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) in which the person opens their parachute within a few seconds of the jump.