by Valentin, August 15 2021, in movies

On the tracks of Mission Impossible: Fallout

Two years ago, I recreated the opening sequence of Midnight in Paris (some 60 sixty shots in various Paris spots). This year I went again on some movie tracking with Mission Impossible: Fallout, which features a big action segment in Paris. Since Tom Cruise (I'll call him Tom) was busy making the new Mission Impossible, I couldn't get him to work with me on a full recreation, so I settled on chosing about 30 shots from the segment, which I went to photograph myself.

As in many other such movies, the scene involves a fair amount of teleportation accross Paris, but it does feature some local consistency; most importantly, it uses actual urban elements to serve the action. They did their homework! In this article, I focus on a few segments of the action scene which are locally consistent in Paris. I present comparisons of my own photographs (left) with shots from the movie (right). You can click on the pictures to see a higher-resolution version.

An overall description of the scene: French forces of order (apparently the police and the RAID) go fetch a terrorist to transport him somewhere. Tom Cruise has been commissioned by some shady organization to steal the terrorist from the police and bring him to them. Tom being Tom, he agrees to the deal, but secretely intends to keep the terrorist for himself and his own virtuous counter-terrorist organization. Meanwhile some other secret agent follows everyone on motorbike and intends to dealt with the terrorist by herself.

1. Ambush, Bercy.

Everything starts when the police goes fetch the terrorist at the French Ministère des Finances, in the district of Bercy. The terrorist is then transported in a truck on the Pont de Bercy.

Once on the Left Bank of the Seine, a setup road accident makes the police take an alternative itinerary, which consists in taking a covered pass at the Quai d'Austerlitz.

In this pass, Tom ambushes the convoy, by bulldozering the truck containing the terrorist into the Seine, with his own truck, and then flees the scene.

Since the terrorist organization notices that Tom is going out of plan, a bunch of their henchmen embark in their cars to try to follow him. This happens at the Viaduc d'Austerlitz, not far away from the ambush.

Some more pics

From left to right: 3 more pics of the Quai d'Austerlitz, and another pic from the Viaduc d'Austerlitz. The pass from the Quai d'Austerlitz is covered with graffiti, which I guess were removed (digitally?) for the movie.

2. Truck pursuit, Rue de Nevers

While Tom's friends are retrieving the terrorist underwater, Tom is being chased by the police in his truck. He teleports to the Pont Neuf, which bridges the Île de la Cité and the Left Bank.

In the continuity of the Pont Neuf is the Rue de Nevers. This is a very narrow street, with a scottish pub (The Highlander) at the begining.

Tom and his buddy eventually crash the truck into the narrowest part of the street, but it was all a plan from the beginning, because their bikes await them here!

They photoshopped the end of the street to make it look like it leads to some other street, even though it's actually a cul-de-sac. It's still technically a Rue ("street") though, because before the end you can turn left and end up in another narrow street (Rue de Nesle); it can hardly be seen in my picture.

3. Bike pursuit (1/2), Saint-Louis

Once on his bike, Tom teleports to the Pont de Saint-Louis, which bridges the Île de la Cité with the Île Saint-Louis. He bikes his way through Saint-Louis before taking the Pont Louis Philippe which bridges the Île Saint-Louis with the Right Bank.

They photoshopped a bit of Eiffel Tower at the top right, just to make sure we knew this was still happening in Paris (and to create chaos in my attempt to identify where it was 😠). In reality there is no Eiffel Tower behind those building, but rather Notre-Dame de Paris. In my picture, you can see the crane that is used to repair Notre-Dame after its fire.
Les Invalides in the background is real this time.

One more pic

Notre-Dame being fixed just behind the building of the first shot.

3. Bike pursuit (2/2), Opera

Tom then teleports to Rue des Pyramides.

The biggest lie Hollywood spreads about Paris is the idea that the city is not under constant work. Everywhere.

Because police is everywhere, he needs to take an underpass at some point in the street; which is a true underpass!

Yeah I didn't even try this one. Don't wanna get ran over by Tom Cruise.

Emerging from the underpass, Tom turns left on the Avenue de l'Opera, passing by the Royal Opera restaurant, and finally biking like hell towards the Opera itself.

The third part of the bike pursuit is completely insane (teleporting to the Arc de Triomphe, taking the roundabout there the wrong way, teleporting to Montparnasse, getting wrecked by the car, escaping in the Paris sewers, teleporting to the canal Saint-Martin), so I didn't even try to cover it.

At this point, Tom meets with his friends who have the terrorist, and they quietly go away in a car.

4. Car interception, Rue du Rocher

While Tom and his friends are quietly driving with the terrorist, Tom's competitor intercepts them at the Rue du Rocher.

The Rue du Rocher is a street with an overpass above another street (Rue de Madrid). This is taken just at the overpass. Those streets are near the Gare Saint-Lazare, at a point where there is a lot of elevation gain, so it makes sense some streets can overpass some others.

Some more pics

5. Car pursuit, Saint-Gervais

Game is on! The competitor is in pursuit of Tom's old BMW. They teleport to the Eglise Saint-Gervais, around which Tom drifts like a boss.

They then turn to the Rue des Barres, which starts with a restaurant.

At the end of Rue des Barres, Tom literally drift down some stairs!

The pursuit then goes on in Rue François Miron.

More pics

From left to right: the Saint-Gervais chuch; Rue de l'Hotel de Ville, which makes the junction between the church and Rue des Barres ; another shot from Rue des Barres.

6. Wrap-up (1/2), Quai Saint-Michel

Once everything is over and Tom has the terrorist, he goes for a bit of chatting with the organization he was dealing with. They chat at the Quai Saint-Michel, where we can see Notre-Dame.

7. Wrap-up (2/2), Jardins du Palais Royal

He also goes smooth the rough edges with his spy competitor, who is kind of his friend anyway. They go chat at the Jardin du Palais Royal, which I hope could be as deserted and quiet as it is in the movie.

One more pic

Another spot at the Jardins du Palais Royal