Mission Impossible turns 25: The 5 best death-defying stunts performed by Tom Cruise

One of the reasons the Mission: Impossible 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 of those.

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.

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