Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Watch Tom Cruise almost kill himself to entertain you in the new Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt for the upcoming Mission Impossible: Fallout, and, if the trailers are to be believed, it’s a miracle he didn’t also shatter his entire torso before exploding into a flaming hail of bruised flesh. But it wasn’t leaping between buildings or all this helicopter-related tomfoolery that posed Cruise his greatest challenge, but rather a skydive sequence that, in the trailer at least, looks like another day at the office for the star. Not so, it turns out.


The above making-of clip for Fallout chronicles the stunt, a “high-altitude, low-open” (HALO) dive that requires the jumper to leap from over 25,000 feet and open their chute under 2,000 feet. This is how people sneak into countries without being detected, and, now, it’s what it takes to entertain an increasingly numbed audience.

The logistics of this thing are insane. Not only did the crew need to build a special helmet (so Cruise wouldn’t die) and construct “one of the world’s largest wind tunnels” to rehearse in, but, while falling at 200 miles per hour, Cruise and the cameraman had to position themselves in such a way that they landed three feet away from each other without careening into each other while falling. Oh, and they only had three minutes a day to capture the shot.

You can see a bit of the final footage in the below trailer.

Also, Tom Cruise is 55 years old. Hail Xenu?

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.