Ranking all the stunts from the Mission: Impossible franchise

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Tom Cruise is well-known for doing his own stunts in the Mission: Impossible movies. With Mission: Impossible – Fallout coming out, we have decided to rank all of the insane death-defying stunts in the franchise!

It seems like with each Mission: Impossible movie Tom Cruise finds different ways to completely put himself in harm’s way by any means necessary. The new film is said to be one of the best as far as raising the bar on practical effects as well as death-defying stunts.

Considering this, we decided to rank the most dangerous stunts from Tom Cruise in the franchise to date. Bear-in-mind this list does not include any of the scenes from the film Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

So, without further ado, here all the dangerous stunts from the Mission: Impossible franchise ranked from worst to first.

#10 Shanghai Base Jumping

This scene was still a major risk for Tom Cruise but compared to the stunts later in this list, this was just a walk in the park. In the scene, Ethan Hunt is jumping off a skyscraper to get to another building close by. The actual production did not require Cruise to leap off the building so the crew took the stunt behind a blue screen. All that said, the actual jump is real and required a huge fall, so the danger was still real behind the camera.

#9 Motorcycle Leap

While this might be a cool stunt to watch on-screen, the motivation for anyone to do this does not make sense. In the sequence, Tom Cruise and Dougray Scott are charging at each other on motorcycles and just before they cross paths, both men leap off the bike and smash into each other. It’s clear the moment is intended to make the viewer flinch and imagine their pain but narratively it just seems out of character for Ethan Hunt to be so reckless. That said, the entire chase and gunfight leading up to this are absolutely thrilling.

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#8 Breaking into the Vault

This scene is an absolute classic and has inspired parodies in various films since. The main issue I have with the sequence today is that as much as it thrills the audience, most of the technology surrounding the scene feels very outdated which makes the tension not as high. That said, it still holds up as one of the most memorable stunts by Tom Cruise who did the entire sequence himself. Plus, you can’t help but hold your breath watching Tom Cruise trying to keep his sweat from hitting the floor.

#7 Bridge Explosion

Mission: Impossible 3 had tons of exciting action that put Tom Cruise’s stamina to task. Everything from hanging off the side of a moving car to climbing a wall, it was just full of so many action-packed moments. By far, one of the most memorable scenes from this sequel involved Ethan Hunt running on a bridge before dodging a missile from a fighter jet. In the production, Cruise had to literally get slammed into a car using wire. It looks painful and it’s impressive that he even agreed to do it in the first place.

#6 A Knife to the Eye

This sequence makes me flinch every time. Even just listening to how this scene was made makes every part of me feel uncomfortable. In the scene, Ethan Hunt is in a knife fight and villain Sean Ambrose, is trying to get a final blow in by stabbing him through his eye. But Ethan stops him less than an inch away from impact and the camera takes a tight shot of the distance. The scene is all real including the knife except the sharp weapon was attached to a cable so it would not go further than necessary, allowing the stuntman to actually have the appearance of struggling to force it down. If that cable broke, Tom Cruise would’ve been rocking the Nick Fury look for the rest of his career.