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Sitting still for over two hours is a relatively long time, isn’t it? But not when you are watching Tom Cruise’s latest flick, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. It’s a film where closing your eyes for just a second might make you miss some of the wall-to-wall non-stop action. Action, done by Cruise, 53, himself.
In one scene, for example, IMF field agent Ethan Hunt played by Cruise jumps across the wing of a taxiing Airbus A400M, a huge cargo airplane. It’s really him hanging in the air 5,000 feet off the ground.
“We did eight takes,” Cruise said on The Tonight Show, in an interview by Jimmy Fallon.
In reality cruise is strapped on the side of the plane, struggling and being hit by jet fuel.
“I am hanging there and going ‘Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. It’s too late now. I can’t tell everyone, I’ve got the whole crew on the plane.’,” he said laughing.
“I just didn’t want to get hit by a bird or any particle. That would be bad. But I got hit by a little stone and we are going so fast and luckily it hit my rib. I thought it broke my rib. I was just thinking, thank god it didn’t hit my face, he said and continued, “I do it because it’s entertaining to you all. I want to entertain you.”
And he succeeds. Cruise is really a rare breed these days where CGI is as common as smartphones but at the same time widens the gap between humans and reality and the viewers and the action hero.
The latest Mission: Impossible is the fifth instalment of the franchise based on the 1988-1990 TV series about elite covert operations unit indulged in highly sensitive missions executed in the rhythm of a distinct theme song.
Time runs fast as Ethan Hunt, as the first Mission: Impossible was directed by the legendary Scarface (1983) and Carlito’s Way (1993) director Brian De Palma, in 1996, 19 years ago. Since then, its siblings have followed by every four to six years with a different director involved, but all produced by Mr. Cruise.
The whole franchise involves largely budgeted films ranging from the first, put together with 80 million dollars to the latest, involving 150 million. Needless to say, they have been hugely profitable for Cruise, who has earned the cumulative 290 million dollars from the four last ones, making him the highest earning actor of a single part in the history of Hollywood.
In Rogue Nation, Ethan and the rest of the IMF take on a real mission impossible, trying to eradicate the Syndicate an international rogue organisation as skilled as Cruise and his team. It becomes a clash of the opposing forces as the Syndicate is as committed to destroying the IMF.
The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who has worked with Cruise’s few past films: Jack Reacher (2012) and the Edge of Tomorrow (2014) – both fast-paced, well-received action and sci-fi flicks.
In Rogue Nation, Ethan’s British high-kicking counterpart is Ilsa Faust, played by a Swedish-born actress Rebecca Ferguson. She executes her martial arts moves moves elegantly with a training that endured for a month, six hours a day, five or six days a week.
Like Cruise, she is also into playing her own stunts. Some of the scariest stuff she did, according to an interview by the Vogue, was to jump off a tall Vienna rooftop with her legs strapped around Tom Cruise.
“She is an incredibly powerful actress, incredibly charismatic, exudes an elegance and intelligence, she is an amazing athlete,” Cruise said in an interview for Aftonbladet.
There are other great performances, too. Benji Dunn, for example, played by Simon Pegg, an English actor and comedian, brings the humour into the film like he did in the previous instalment.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens at cinemas today, ready to take you to another reality for 131 minutes.
The question is: Are you ready?
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens at cinemas on July 31.