Forget Iron Man; forget James Bond. Fictional wimps, the lot. The real movie heroes are the fearless men and women who perform death-defying practical stunts, so that when Vin Diesel jumps a car through a wall of fire at 200 mph, it looks real to you. Because it is. Everything except for Vin Diesel, of course.
From A-list actors who insist on doing their own stunts to veteran stunt performers who critically injure themselves so audiences don't have to suffer through too much CGI, here are 25 of the craziest practical stunts in action movies. Don't forget to vote your favorites up!
While Tom Cruise's ascent up the outside of the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol would certainly qualify for a position here, Cruise managed to top himself in the sequel, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. How? By strapping himself to the side of an Airbus and riding it into the sky.
Say what you will about Tom Cruise's eccentricities; there's no denying the dude has brass cojones.1,503212Is this stunt crazy?
In one of the most thrilling scenes in Christopher Nolan's masterpiece The Dark Knight, Joker, driving a full-size big rig, is chasing an armored police truck through the streets of Gotham. Batman cuts in front of the Joker, releasing a steel tension wire in the truck's path, which causes the rig to flip trailer over cab and land upside down.
What you might not know is that stuntman Jim Wilkey remained in the rig's cab the entire time.939136Is this stunt crazy?
Pierce Brosnan's turn as 007 started with a bang - the opening sequence of GoldenEye features Bond bungee jumping off the Contra Dam, a 720-foot-tall structure in Switzerland. The stunt ends with Bond using a grappling gun to anchor himself to the ground below.
Stuntman Wayne Michaels performed the jump, and experienced such high g-force that he briefly lost consciousness. Michaels came to in time to bust out the grappling gun and complete the take.844116Is this stunt crazy?
The meaning behind Death Proof's title becomes clear in a scene in which Kurt Russell's character, Stuntman Mike, explains that his muscle car is reinforced to keep the driver alive through any and all crashes, and is, therefore, "death-proof."
It's somewhat ironic then, that real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell, a fixture of Quentin Tarantino's movies, took an acting role in the film, only to eliminate the option of using a death-proof car for the chase scene, since she spent the entirety of it riding on the car's hood.71893Is this stunt crazy?