Note: The following gives an account of some of the stunt work in the latest film Mission Impossible: Fallout.  Any spoilers are kept to what is seen in the trailer of the film. For a review of the film, here is ZekeFilm’s co-founder, Jim Tudor’s take.

Following our advance screening of Tom Cruise’s latest adventure as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, at the all new Alamo DraftHouse Theater at La Centerra in Katy, Texas, we were given a short video chronicling the “making of” the film, and specifically the amazing action set pieces that have become a staple in the series.  As many people have heard over the years, Tom Cruise has reportedly trained and performed these various stunts at the behest of the insurance agencies responsible for covering these films, and more specifically their mega-star.

Some of the more recent Mission: Impossible films featured the famed stunt work on the world’s tallest building in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa in the M:I film, Ghost Protocol, as well as the two big stunt pieces in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, where he held his breath for a reported 4-6 minutes for a massive underwater scene, as well as hanging off the side of a cargo plane as it took off.  While doing many of the stunt scenes in the first four films, it was Rogue Nation where it was reported that he took over doing all of his own stunt work.  As an actor who is now 56, this is quite impressive.  This is especially true when you see the stunts that he performs in the latest film, Mission Impossible: Fallout.

As we watched this behind-the-scenes look, it was remarkable to see that the various stunts you can see in the Fallout trailer are in fact Cruise.  From the motorcycle scenes that include Cruise driving against traffic around Paris’ famed roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe (not to mention the many other daredevil moves on a bike), the much reported “halo jump” from 25,000 feet, it is all Cruise.

Cruise is also running and jumping from building to building, and this special look at the stunt work even shows us the raw footage of one such leap that resulted in Cruise trying to soften his blow of hitting a building by putting his foot up only to break his ankle.  We watch the bone snap, yet Cruise still pulls himself up onto the building and runs off, albeit with a slight limp.  When the director yells, “Cut”, production was shut down for several months for Cruise to recover. The lengths to which Cruise devotes himself to his craft, and for our entertainment, is astounding.

One of the more impressive stunts involves Cruise flying a helicopter into a 360-degree dive.  For the stunt, Cruise not only learned to fly helicopters, but engages in this risky maneuver after months of training.  He also performs a free-fall from the bottom of a helicopter to a dangling payload below.  As Tom Cruise continues to age, he shows no signs of slowing down.  His dedication to providing his audiences with a top-rate experience are second to none.  Mission Impossible: Fallout is one of the best films of the 6-film series, and certainly not one of the last as both Cruise and his IMF team seem eager to come back for more, including director Christopher McQuarrie, who is the first director to direct 2 of the films in the series.

So, as you head out to the theaters to see what is arguably the best action film of the summer, keep in mind that everything you see Cruise do, he did.  That in itself seems like an impossible mission, but thankfully we have one of the last true Hollywood stars who is dedicated to giving you everything he has.