Even its leading man, Tom Cruise, got on the plane never to get off again. Today he is a professional pilot, he has a commercial flight license for jets and various types of aircraft, and he even does things like getting to his premieres driving his own helicopter.
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For ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to become a reality, Tom Cruise designed a special training program so that the actors could withstand the conditions in which the filming was planned. But, in addition, he had to make several postponements: the first, in 2019, to make some improvements in aerial shots and, the second, the longest of all, from 2020 to 2022, so that the pandemic and its consequences allow him to release in theaters. He did not conceive that a story like the one he was preparing would not be seen on the big screen.
Tom Cruise’s training for the cast was not easy: for three months they carried out a military preparation that included an exercise that almost sounds like the title of an action film: ‘The Dunker’. For this training, actors were blindfolded and entered a device shaped like the cockpit of an airplane, strapped to their seats, submerged to the bottom of a pool, and turned around in the machine. The goal: to unbuckle, open the door and swim to the surface, simulating what they would have to do if they needed to evacuate their planes at sea. The reason? In this film, computer generated images (CGI) would not be used to recreate scenarios, since they were going to be filmed in the air.
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For Monica Barbaro, who is the first woman to join the ‘Top Gun’ team, the training devised by Cruise forever changed the way she views her work as an actress. “Tom really took us to another level, one that we didn’t even know was possible. He taught us a lot about how movies are made, he taught us how to study them and he also taught us how to fly. He has this quality of seeing your potential and taking it out of you in a way that generates very positive growth, ”the actress told us in a connection via Zoom.
In addition to characters like the one from ‘Barbaro’, the action sequences of ‘Top Gun’ are superior to the original. If you see it on the big screen, like the author of this note, you will feel all the vertigo of flying and the surround sound of the machines that make the body paralyze during risky maneuvers, such as the Mach 10 scene, in which the veteran ‘Maverick’ decides to take the speed of his plane to the extreme, or the one in which, disobeying Admiral ‘Cyclone’, his new superior, he decides to show that he can do very easily what costs young pilots sweat and tears.
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“Tom is the first on set and the last to leave, he works harder than anyone and that work ethic carries over from top to bottom, from cast to crew and to everyone; everyone wants to do the best job they can because they know how important it is to this guy and nobody wants to let down a leader like him,” Hamm reflected on that commitment that is felt in the final edition. It is not often that in the sequels there is no taste of weariness or that novelty is offered without betraying the essence, but ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ puts up a fight and proves Tom is still the mission-impossible guy.