Chases through the streets of Italy, incidentally, seem to be in vogue in 2023. Not only was there Cruise’s and Atwell’s high-stakes jaunt, but there was a similar chase in the first act of Louis Leterrier’s ultra high-octane mega-sequel “Fast X” earlier in the year. Additionally, Denzel Washington brought some mayhem to a small Italian seaside village in “The Equalizer 3.” Something about the old-world architecture seems to attract American action productions.
McQuarrie shared that the quaint building and colorful setting came with its issues, causing headaches for his film’s stunt drivers. He said:
“We came to Rome to shoot a chase scene. Something with more ambition and more unpredictability that we haven’t had in previous chases. Rome is a famously tricky city to shoot in. The cobblestone streets make all of the driving unpredictable. Every time you think you’re going one direction, the streets say ‘No you’re not, you’re going this way.'”
Anyone who has driven in Rome can likely confirm McQuarrie’s statements; they are notoriously difficult to traverse.
One of the creative mandates of the “Mission: Impossible” movies seems to be to make the stunts as practical as possible. If a car is whirling around a corner, it’s likely that a real stunt driver did that with a real car, perhaps only with minimal CGI assistance. The Rome/Fiat chase seems raggedy and difficult, but as it turns out that was because it was raggedy and difficult. And that was merely one sequence in a massively long action spectacular that featured Cruise actually driving off a cliff, a sequence with a dangling train, and many fight sequences in narrow alleyways. By the end your eyes — and your teeth — will have exited your skull.