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Car Chases, Explosions, and The Prom
"I'm particularly proud of the car sequence in this film, mostly because we did it for real in the center of Paris which is very hard to achieve." -McG

Daring escapes from a hotel hallway, a fist fight in the Paris Subway System, and a climactic cat and mouse nail biter at the Prom all allow for McG to put together heart pounding action sequences. Instead of relying on computer generated sequences, McG utilizes in-camera stunt work that grounds even the most exciting of scenes in a reality the audience can understand. "I think people have become numb with computer generated effects. I really like in-camera, physically correct action scenes. I think they have a grit and an energy that computers can't replicate," said McG.

McG's hands-on approach begins well before any of the stunts begin filming. To prepare for the car chase, McG used Hot Wheels, a lot of carpet space, model work, and storyboarder Adolfo Martinez PĂ©rez. "Adolpho Martinez, who I have been with ever since my very first movie, helped me design these sequences shot for shot."

When Ethan isn't crashing a car into the Seine, he is giving and taking punches in exciting and intense fight scenes. In the past, McG has worked with Chinese fight teams and done wire work for his films. By pushing the envelope, McG created a grittier, more physical challenge for his team. "I'm very hands on with the fight choreographers. I interview extensively the stunt guys to make sure they can take a punch. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the stunt people and I have a high demand. I really expect excellence and they need to be able to subject themselves to a great deal of physicality."

The most intricate sequence in the movie is a multi-car chase inspired by both Claude Lelouch's 1976 film Rendezvous and John Frankheimer's Ronin. Filmed on the actual Paris streets seen in the film, the result is a thrilling, high speed chase that the audience feels they are witnessing firsthand. This experience was something Costner was looking to have as he initially insisted on being behind the wheel of the car for the sequence, despite the fact that there was a good chance that the stunt car would end up in the Seine. McG eventually convinced Costner that, given the dangers involved, it was best if he not do it.

Costner's dedication to the stunt mirrors Ethan's commitment to his job and his attempts at being a good father. The Prom in particular provided the ultimate backdrop for both of Ethan's missions to come to a head: supporting his teenage daughter on the most exciting night of her life while completing his last agency assignment with explosive consequences.


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