Mission not impossible: How Sydney’s Bare Island enticed a Hollywood Blockbuster
Creating the perfect action sequence on Bare Island.
Getting the right locations for a film right can make it or break it and John Woo’s Mission Impossible II, starring Tom Cruise, which took $546,000,000 worldwide, created an action world of spies, biochemistry and espionage and all just a quick drive from Sydney CBD.
Mission Impossible II was filmed both on location and at Fox Studios. At the time, it was the largest location scouting exercise ever carried out in Australia. In fact, many of the film's scenes were shot around Sydney with Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House all featured.
However, it’s Botany Bay’s Bare Island takes centre stage. Its rugged coastline and ex-military base is reimagined into the villain’s heavily fortified secret lair where the island's unique structures were turned into a Biocyte Pharmaceuticals building - the laboratory in the film that Russian molecular biologist Dr. Vladimir Nekhorovich had DNA-engineered sample cultures that could destroy the human race.
The location is also where the final famous motorcycle duel plays out between Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) & Ambrose (Dougray Scott). You can see a clip of the action sequence (with colliding motorbikes, explosions and menacing helicopter) here.
During production and on shoot the film crew worked closely with the locations team to ensure that filming ran smoothly. A set of the villain's house was built at Bradley's Head, Mosman to make the most of the harbourside setting.
The island is available for film shoots and you can view a package of location images here.
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