What stuntman?

With Tom Cruise’s new film, The Mummy, set to come out this summer, we couldn’t help but think back on all of the insane stunts that the actor has performed over the years.

Cruise is truly the last of a dying breed, willing and able to perform all the insane jumps, knife fights, falls, and hold-on-for-dear-life moments from his scripts.

These are a few of our favorite stunts from the 54-year-old Hollywood icon:

The Last Samurai (2003)

When an American military advisor is captured and forced to embrace the Samurai culture, he learns even more about himself. In this instant classic, Cruise took sword fighting classes for six months, but a stuntman on a horse nearly took his head off when he missed his mark and only missed Cruise’s neck by about an inch.

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

After the first film, Mission: Impossible II changed the dynamic of the series, giving Cruise more of a James Bond-like approach. In this John Woo film, there’s a final fight scene on the beach. When the “bad guy” jumps at Cruise, the stunt team designed the knife to stop a quarter-inch from his cornea. This is after he goes rock climbing without a harness, of course…

Jack Reacher (2012)

In Lee Child’s adapted Jack Reacher origin story, Cruise stars as a homicide investigator who is trying to learn more about a trained military sniper who randomly shot five victims.

Beyond the badass fight scenes, there’s also a few car chases. Similar to Steve McQueen's Bullitt, Cruise drives and lets the car do the talking. The actor made his stuntman sit on the side while he did all the dangerous driving himself in a 1969 Chevelle SS.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

The IMF shuts down after being implicated in the Kremlin bombing, which places agent Ethan Hunt and crew on their own against an unknown organization.

In this flick, Cruise hangs off a skyscraper in Dubai known as the Burj Khalifa, which happened to be the tallest building in the world at the time. According to Matt Damon, Cruise said he fired the stunt coordinator who told him not to do this…

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Ethan and the team take on the Syndicate, who are out to destroy the IMF. In the opening scene, which has nothing to do with the plot, Tom Cruise literally hangs off the side of a plane as it takes off.

Director Christopher McQuarrie said, “I suggested to Tom, ‘What if you were on the outside of this thing when it took off?’ I meant it as sort of a half joke, but he said back to me, ‘Yeah, I could do that!’”

Honorable mention also goes to Rogue Nation when Cruise holds his breath for a three-minute, under-water stunt with no air tank.  This dude needs help.

If you enjoyed this article, get the free ebook, How Hollywood Screenwriters Annihilate Writer's Block.