What does it feel like to ride the outside of a military transport plane while it’s taking off the ground? You’d better ask Tom Cruise as he already knows the answer. The mind-blowing stunt of the latest instalment of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was performed at the end of October 2014 in the UK. One of the highest paid actors inHollywood was actually strapped to the outside of an Airbus A400M while it took off. Not only that, he went through this insanity eight times before the scene was completed.
As you can probably guess, there are hundreds of things that might go wrong during a stunt on that scale. From particles on the runway and bird strikes to inhaling the lethal poisonous fumes from the engines of the plane and everything in between. It’s still hard to believe that it’s possible a human being to perform such a stunt and get successfully through it without any fatal injuries.
Here is one of the rough takes straight out of the camera mounted on the plane during the shooting.
Many tend to agree that the running around the windows of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper hundred floors above the ground during a chase scene in the previous movie of the franchise was a bit over the top. As expected, Tom Cruise wanted to do something even more spectacular and decided to perform his stunts in the latest film again entirely on his own.
The ludicrous performance on the outside of the plane, however, was far more dangerous and risky and way beyond one’s imagination. The star wore special lenses that covered his entire eyeballs as he needed to keep his eyes open during each of the takes while the plane was up in the air. Additionally, the film crew designed a special camera rig mounted securely to ensure that it wouldn’t break off and injure the actor during the flight.
The other serious concern for the team coordinating the stunt was the low air temperature above the ground. Generally, it gets colder every thousand feet. On top of that Tom Cruise wasn’t able to wear a protective thermal suit as in the scene he needs to be dressed in a business suit instead.
This is another example where the team behind one of the biggest Hollywood franchises decided to go with practical shooting instead of capturing computer generated imagery. This is a constantly rising trend in the past years in filmmaking regardless of the production’s budget as more and more directors prefer to shoot their films this way.
And there is a serious reason to utilise this technique as it’s still the best way to create an extremely immersive and believable experience for the audience in front of the big screen. Undoubtedly, this is going to be the most exciting stunt I have ever seen so far. Just for the record, it’s the most dangerous aerobatics Tom Cruise or any other actor has ever performed to date.