The latest installation of the Mission Impossible franchise features a car chase in Rome, a city known for its unpredictable traffic, narrow streets, and cobblestones. These elements add a level of tension and unpredictability to any car chase, more so if you're driving one-handed.
The new movie is called Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning and stars Tom Cruise, back as Ethan Hunt, and Hailey Atwell as Grace. Handcuffed together, they try to evade bad guys and the police, all while Cruise threads the Roman traffic using only his right hand to pilot a BMW 5 Series.
According to stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood, Cruise does all his driving one-handed, even while sliding the BMW around corners. Usually, this would be easy to fake, except the BMW Cruise is driving is missing all its doors. At one point, Ethan and Grace ditch the BMW, hoping to escape unnoticed in another car. A gray Ferrari sits on a quiet side street. But while Ethan has his sights on the Ferrari, an old yellow Fiat 500 appears, ready for the second part of the chase.
At first, the Fiat looks like an homage to the Citroen 2CV Roger Moore piloted in the "For Your Eyes Only" Bond film. But the Fiat 500's looks are deceiving. It sounds electric, a lot like Ken Block's Audi Hoonitron, and performs several drifts and burnouts. At one point, Christopher McQuarrie, the director of Dead Reckoning, mentions that the Fiat was extremely unpredictable, seemingly with a mind of its own, and that he couldn't have made a more difficult sequence to shoot.
For Cruise, the chase comes down to one thing, how do they involve the audience? "I just want to give them that thrill," he says. For that reason, the chase was filmed on location in Rome, Italy, using real cars, trucks, and motorcycles in all of the sequences.
This summer has already featured several blockbuster movies with cars playing a major role in the action. In addition to "Dead Reckoning," there is "Fast X" which was released last month and is presumably the last installment of the franchise to feature the original cast. It was followed by Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, which premiered last week.