Tom Cruise seems to want nothing more than to encourage his thetan onto its eventual trip to Venus by endangering his body for our amusement. This is fine because, as we all know, supporting a dangerous cult in its quest to enrich itself and torture its wayward members means the afterlife is nothing to fear. It’s also fine because his death wish often results in very good action movies, like the Mission: Impossible series.
James Corden, on the other hand, may be more attached to his body and therefore not quite as eager to have himself filmed doing the kind of wild shit that stuntpeople are actually trained and paid to perform. And so, after joking to Cruise that the High Altitude, Low Open (HALO) plane jump featured in Mission: Impossible—Fallout isn’t such a big deal on a recent episode of his show, James Corden found himself challenged to try the skydiving maneuver out for himself.
Lo and behold, Corden obliged, soon finding himself 15,000 feet in the air with a frantically grinning Cruise getting ready to push him out of an airplane. Amidst the airstrip goofing around filmed before the jump, Corden admits he’s terrified, cracks jokes about everything from his tandem partner not looking like he knows what he’s doing and whether there’s a mid-air hand signal for him to use when he’s “soiled himself” to acknowledging that if they both die he’ll only warrant a footnote next to Cruise and trying to escape multiple times.
The best part, though, is the moment just before Corden and Cruise jump. As the plane gains altitude, Corden continues to play to the camera by asking why Cruise gets to wear street clothes and he has to rock a blue jumpsuit, but appears legitimately terrified once the fateful moment arrives. A few bleeped out curses later and they fall out the hatch, eventually coming to the ground in a graceful jog (Cruise) and a crumpled somersault (Corden, tangled into his partner).
Corden deserves recognition for not only going through with the bit, but also managing not to pass out or vomit all over himself just before the jump, as many of us no doubt would. Whether this makes up for his infecting YouTube video recommendations with so much Carpool Karaoke is hard to say, but one thing is impossible to argue with: Tom Cruise gleefully risking his life for public approval remains entertaining, no matter the context.
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