Free Solo subject breaks down climbing scenes from M:I 2, Cliffhanger & more

The recent MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies have featured tons of death-defying, jaw-dropping stunts with Tom Cruise proving, again and again, he is unkillable. But even so far back as the first movies, he was pulling off some crazy stuff, and that includes his sick free solo climb up Utah’s Dead Horse Point at the start of John Woo’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. While it’s easy to think this is all just movie magic, rock climber and the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary FREE SOLO, Alex Honnold, breaks it down – along with other climbing scenes in movies – and gushed about its general awesomeness and authenticity.

Speaking with GQ, Honnold sat down to talk about several famous climbing scenes throughout movie history, starting with M: I 2. Cruise was on wires during the climb, which were digitally erased, but Honnold speaks to Cruise’s authentic form while climbing, while also praising how “over-the-top” the whole scene is, making for his favorite climbing scene in all movie history.

But not all climbing scenes are as good. Honnold continues, having nice things to say about the climbing scene in the 2015 POINT BREAK remake, all before getting to movies like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, VERTICAL LIMIT and Sylvester Stallone’s CLIFFHANGER. LIMIT, in particular, gets some heat, mostly for its unrealistic portrayal of a moment of life or death, while Stallone’s movie gets some flak for the utter unbelievability of free soloing on ice. Still awesome, though. 

As for Honnold, the documentary about him preparing to free solo El Capitan in Yosemite Park from directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin has received rave reviews, many hailing it as the best documentary of the year. It has some tough competition at the Oscars this Sunday (RBG, MINDING THE GAP) but it’s the heavy favorite to win. Maybe Cruise should try to top him for the next MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie.

Source: GQ



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