Impossible stunts, ranked from worst to best
After “Mission: Impossible III” achieved the lowest box office take of any movie in the franchise, a fourth “Mission” was anything but guaranteed. When – or if – the series returns, Hunt would have to prove himself to moviegoers once again. The first trailer for “Ghost Protocol” highlighted the action and ended with a 2,722-foot exclamation mark: Tom Cruise swinging around the tallest building in the world like an army man in plastic on a lace. There’s not just a close-up to guarantee it’s him, but a frustrated retort to Jeremy Renner – “You’re not helping.”
When Brad Bird started filming, âGhost Protocolâ was a passing baton. Ethan Hunt’s return was supposed to be his retirement from fieldwork, replacing the assassinated secretary (Tom Wilkinson) as head of the IMF. Renner’s character, William Brandt, was going to be the new face of the franchise. Then, 10 weeks of productionCruise brought in his trusted collaborator Christopher McQuarrie for a rewrite. Changing only the spinning parts, including the inner half of the Burj Khalifa climb, McQuarrie revised the the whole second half of the movie. There would be no office work for Ethan Hunt.
Brad Bird’s keen sense of action, honed over decades in animation, reinvigorated the franchise and challenged it to a game of one-upmanship that audiences are still winning 10 years later. Even if McQuarrie hadn’t gotten behind the wheel, the Burj Khalifa stunt speaks for itself and would have made the Hunt promotion even stranger. It’s clearly the dawn of Tom Cruise, stuntman, not the twilight.