In the first four Mission Impossible movies, Tom Cruise made it a priority to perform the majority of his own stunts. In MI1, he hung suspended from the ceiling, performing all types of acrobatics. In MI2, using only a harness, he climbed up the side of a cliff at Dead Horse Point, Utah. The catch: he neglected to use a safety net and he tore his labrum on one of the stunts. In MI3, he jumped off a skyscraper, and in MI4, he hung off of the world’s tallest building—the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
However, MI: Rogue Nation, which debuts July 31, is different. In this movie, Cruise will perform all of the stunts. As a result, when you’re watching the movie, you will know that when you see Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt, the man playing him will always be Cruise. This is particularly remarkable because, in this film, the stunts only got more difficult and at 53, Cruise isn’t any younger than he was in the first four films.
Here, we bring you the top three stunts that Cruise performs in MI: Rogue Nation. It’s spoiler-free, so read on without fear if you plan to catch it tonight or this weekend.
#3: Motorcycle chase
Bullets, sideswiping, and even an emergency break—This chase has it all. The best part: it was all Cruise. Swerving in and out of lanes, Cruise managed to take control of the motorcycle and execute a great chase scene.
#2: Hanging off an airplane
Yes, he actually hung off of an airplane. The plane takes off with Cruise clinging to the side, trying his best not to fall off.
#1: Holding his breath for 6 minutes:
Hanging off of the side of an airplane may seem like the coolest stunt, but it probably wasn’t the most physically taxing. In fact, months before shooting this scene, Cruise went through extensive training with a professional diver. During this time, Cruise increased his ability to breathe under water tremendously. As a reference point, the average human can hold their breath 30 to 40 seconds—Cruise held his for roughly 12 times that! Not to mention, he was moving around the whole time—which only makes it more difficult.