In previous “Mission: Impossible” movies, action often came first, and story second.
It’s almost ironic then that when writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise decided to focus on character for the sixth movie, “Fallout,” they’d end up with the most exciting “Mission” ever — wall-to-wall with stunning set pieces in helicopters, trucks, motorcycles. Even a three-man fight in a public restroom is a standout sequence that rivals the very real danger Cruise put himself in (106 times) to do a parachute jump from 25,000 feet in the skies above Abu Dhabi.
McQuarrie, 50, a Hollywood journeyman who won an Oscar 22 years ago for writing “The Usual Suspects,” has been one of Cruise’s go-to guys for a decade, directing “Jack Reacher” and 2015’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.”
“We did not set out to make you know the biggest, giant-est, craziest, most outrageous ‘Mission’ ever. I said to Tom I want to make a more emotional movie, a more character-driven movie that’s more about Ethan,” he recently told the Associated Press.
“The things I’m most proud of are the emotional moments. Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) following Ethan is the definition of what we call shoe leather. That survived four test screenings. The fact that I cut two giant stunts out that were in the first trailer, and yet that scene stayed? That’s something I’m immensely proud of.”
Despite the emotional side of the film, adrenaline junkies will not be disappointed.
“We come up with big crazy ideas in the middle of the movie, so people are forced to scramble to put them together and it’s always a race against the clock.”
However, with high-octane stunts come the risk of injury and the crew were forced to confront that reality when Cruise broke his ankle on set.
“Tom went right into physical therapy. And I went into the editing room and started to assemble the movie. I was able to make the discoveries I normally wouldn’t have made until well after the film was finished.”