Paris: Legendary Locations in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Hellish pace, non-stop stunts and a world threat: Ethan Hunt makes Paris his playing field for a breathtaking feature movie. No need for a mission order to follow in his footsteps.

Avenue de Saxe

During a high-speed chase with the police, Ethan (Tom Cruise) hits a gray Peugeot 406 at this intersection and takes a bad spill from his motorcycle. As we mention in our guide Paris of 1000 cult movies, series, musics, comics and novels locations, the sequence takes broad liberties with Parisian geography because after driving against traffic in the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, Tom Cruise ends up on the rue de Téhéran, 1.5 km from there, where, contrary to the movie, the famous monument is not in line with the view. Then, he goes down the avenue de Saxe… located 3 km away! After the accident, he takes off running and by jumping into a big hole ends up on a boat where his accomplices are waiting for him. Even if the actor does his stunts himself, this one required a minimum of safety equipment including a crane to carry out the famous glide through the air.

Palais-Royal Gardens

After a little solve-the-mystery game, Ethan warns Isla Faust (Rebecca Fergusson) and begs her to abandon her mission. The scene takes place in these gardens where every Wednesday at noon, an artillery man fires the “petit canon” (little cannon). Originally this tradition was introduced from May to October by a clockmaker so that everyone could check the exact time on their watch, according to the sun’s position. To do that, a small canon was invented that was triggered by the sun: the rays were amplified through a magnifying glass in order to light the wick, thus setting off the detonation. The original cannon, installed in 1786, was stolen in 1998 and was replaced by a replica. Since 2011, it is no longer fired by the sun’s rays but by an artillery man.

Parvis des droits de l'homme – Human Rights Esplanade

At dawn, when the esplanade is deserted, August Walker (Henri Cavill) confides in the CIA director (Angela Bassett) that he suspects Ethan Hunt to be John Lark. The Human Rights Esplanade offers an extraordinary view of the Eiffel Tower. Created in the 1930s, it was baptized as such in 1985 because it was at the Chaillot Palace, just beside, that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on December 10th, 1948. The United Nations General Assembly held their fifth session right here. Article 1, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” is engraved on a paving stone on the esplanade.

Grand Palais

During festivities staged for a charity organization at the Grand Palais, Ethan and August mingle with the guests in order to intercept the sale of plutonium that the white Widow (Vanessa Kirby) wants to conclude with John Lark. But Ethan pretends to be Lark and nothing happens as planned. The arrival of killers compels them to escape together to the Soubise Hotel where the young woman is staying.

BMW Garage

During the wild chase to get away from the police, the Mission Impossible team goes into this garage to get into a green BMW. But when they open the doors to the garage, they come face to face with a police woman who has them at gunpoint. Some men from the White Widow arrive at the same time to arrest them, and threaten to kill the police agent. Ethan barely manages to save her. The garage is located just under the Bir-Hakeim bridge, also seen in Inception and Peur sur la Ville.

Rue François-Miron

The BMW driven by Ethan does a rather tight U-turn on the stairs at the corner of rue François-Miron and rue des Barres. Tom Cruise has a reputation for doing his stunts himself and some of them are much more impressive than others. For example, when he finds himself hanging from a helicopter by a rope and lets himself fall a dozen meters down. This scene was shot with no green in the background in order to insert computer imagery, the actor thinking that the scene would not have had the same effect. Originally, these stairs were not supposed to be, because the Butte Montmartre was artificially constructed to allow for residence buildings number 2 to 14.

Economy and finance Ministry

The well-escorted arrival of prisoner Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) is carried out by helicopter on the roof of the Economy Ministry. The shooting of this scene almost didn’t take place due to the bees! As a matter of fact, the heliport hasn’t been in service for several years, but instead it is used to house beehives. The hives were moved to permit the cameras to set up.

Rue de Valois

At the wheel of his green BMW, Ethan knocks down Isla Faust who was chasing him on a motorcycle. The cameras had to take up position in an alley in Rue Valois to shoot a part of the scene. The high-speed chase pays homage, as wished by the director, to Claude Lelouch and mainly to his short film C'était un rendez-vous. This film unveils a high-speed journey across the capital that lasts eight minutes. Set up at number 3, the Culture Ministry is often nicknamed “rue de Valois” due to its location.

Austerlitz Quay

During an ambush, Ethan and August runs the armored truck carrying Solomon Lane into the Seine river by using an HGV. This action takes place by The Docks - Cité de la mode and du design (fashion and design village). Easily identifiable with its fluorescent green outside structure, the Fashion and Design Cité has occupied this site since 2008. The Musée Art Ludique (Entertainemnt Arts museum) comprises 1,200 m2 of the site and in fact housed an exposition on DC comic heroes and Superman played by Henri Cavill. 

Arc de triomphe

Chased by French police, Ethan passes in front of the Arc de Triomphe in a rather unusual manner. Tom Cruise does something unique, and of course, forbidden, by driving against traffic around the famous Etoile traffic circle. The area was privatized for a period of two hours on a Sunday morning, very early for the film crew. A total of 70 vehicles, driven by professional stunt men were used to film this sequence. Just to make it a little more complex, it had to be done with no bumps or dents as the main actor wasn’t wearing any protection while driving at 180 km/h!

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