‘MI6’ star Tom Cruise shows off stunt skills

Tom Cruise regaled CinemaCon Wednesday with a demonstration of his renowned stuntman skills, as Paramount Pictures led the showcase of its upcoming movies with a preview of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”

Appearing on stage with Christopher McQuarrie, who returned to direct the sixth movie in the long-running spy franchise, Cruise took up the last half- hour to explain the movie’s marquee stunt.

The scene — replayed from several angles for the CinemaCon crowd in Las Vegas involved a 220 mile-an-hour (340 kph) “halo” (“high altitude, low open”) skydive during which he grabs Henry Cavill’s character in mid-air.

Cruise, a 55-year-old veteran of more than 50 movies, simulates going into a spin when he is hit by lightning almost immediately after leaping out of his plane at around 30,000 feet (9,000 meters).

“This movie, it is without a doubt the most epic ‘Mission’ that we’ve made and it’s a film that is adventurous, it’s emotional, and it’s really cutting- edge,” Cruise told AFP backstage at Caesar’s Palace.

Cruise, who is admired for performing his own increasingly ambitious stunts, said it took 106 jumps to get the three takes required, filmed partly by a cameraman falling backward out of the plane so he could keep the star’s face in the shot, no more than a few inches away.

Cruise and McQuarrie treated the crowd of convention-goers at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas — mostly theater operators — to a 15-minute action sequence which many entertainment writers agreed was the best footage they’d seen this year at CinemaCon.

This included an eye watering chase through the narrow streets of Paris involving a prison truck which plunges into the Seine, a further pursuit on motorbikes and a speedboat escape.

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