Run, Ethan, Run: All The Iconic ‘Mission: Impossible’ Tom Cruise Sprints Ranked
We’re really hoping 59-year-old Tom’s knees are alright; he’s been doing this for nearly 40 years now
Sure, Tom Cruise is a pretty damn successful actor but can anyone run like him? Hell no!
In almost every movie he’s ever been in, the actor has run like his goddamn life depended on it—and quite literally when it’s Mission: Impossible. Ethan Hunt always finds himself in situations where he’s had to escape attack choppers, bombings, do rooftop jumps, brave sandstorms… you name it.
This week, the all-new trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One came out, and we were treated to yet another one of those spectacular runs.
We’re really hoping 59-year-old Tom’s knees are alright; he’s been doing this for nearly 40 years now. That said, we thought it would be fun to rank every single time he’s attempted to break the land speed records while playing Ethan Hunt. So here we go!
7. Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
Yeah….No! I’m not a big fan of John Woo—the absolute overload of slow-mo in his films ruins the pacing for me. There’s a simple recipe for a classic Tom Cruise run: film it in real time, track the camera along with his movement, and go easy on the editing.
Despite the presence of an attack helicopter and even a shot where Tom takes a moment to put on his sunglasses while getting blasted by enemies… this one sucks. At least the follow-up chase scene is good.
6. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
I’ll admit, this film is easily in my top three. There’s a good balance between the humor and action, the throwbacks to classic spy thrillers is very much noticed, and Tom literally dangles from an airplane in order to entertain us.
Unfortunately, this film also has a weak running scene. Shot in some very murky-looking European streets with low lighting and plenty of cuts, this could have been a lot better. It doesn’t help that Rebecca Ferguson also runs alongside Tom; I’m of the opinion that his best running scenes are 100 percent solo efforts. Next!
5. Mission: Impossible (1996)
Granted, this one is really short but it actually isn’t too bad for the first M:I film. Shattered aquariums, Tom sprinting right off his feet after getting swept away by gallons of water, it’s a solid place to begin.
4. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Here’s when things finally get good. After skipping down a series of Shanghai rooftops, Tom gives Usain Bolt a run for his money while charging down a busy canalside walkway, screaming in Shanghainese to get people out of his way, while he attempts to source help from his buddy Benji. Awesome!
3. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
Sure, we only get to see a tiny glimpse of Tom’s running in this trailer but it’s by far one of the most unique settings we’ve seen yet. Once the big text telling us that the film has Tom Cruise in it (go figure), we see the actor dash through some kind of temple sanctum, flanked by a mysterious row of candles in contrast to all the big outdoor runs we’ve seen so far. Can’t wait to see the whole scene!
2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
Not only does this film have one awesome running scene, it even has an extra one thrown in, just for fun! While the smaller scene comes earlier in, while Tom hauls ass as the Kremlin explodes behind him, the second shows our hero run right from the Burj Khalifa onto Dubai’s streets—right in the midst of a massive sandstorm. Serious props to director Brad Bird for going real hard on this one!
1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Sure, it’s one thing to hold an incredible run scene with Tom Cruise and it’s entirely another to make it five minutes long, beautifully shot, perfectly funny and intense, and drop a huge plot bombshell via Henry Cavill.
This scene is so goddamn good that I have no doubt it’s the magnum opus of Tom Cruise’s running career— a slick, masterfully shot sequence that will be studied by filmmakers for years to come and maybe referenced as well, if they find someone who can run like Tom does, that is.
(Featured Image Credits: Paramount Pictures)