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Paramount Pictures has been teasing Tom Cruise fans with the anticipated sequel TOP GUN: MAVERICK for years. Literally. The blockbuster has been delayed since 2020, when it was first scheduled to roar into theatres. And the reason the studio kept pushing it back is because they knew Cruise and his collaborator, director Joseph Kosinski, designed this thrill ride for the big screen, and seeing it in any other format would cheapen the experience.
As TOP GUN: MAVERICK prepares to take flight, we wanted to single out the scenes that proved how necessary it is to see this on the big screen. And if it suits you, upgrade your experience and get tickets to see it in IMAX at AMC or in Dolby Cinema at AMC, because Kosinski fine-tuned his presentation to shake your seats and rattle you to your souls. Here are the scenes from TOP GUN: MAVERICK that will have you talking in the car on the way home.
Maverick Goes Mach 10
What has Pete “Maverick” Mitchell been up to since last we saw him in 1986? You might assume that he has climbed the ranks to reach the highest positions in the Navy, or possibly even parlayed his years of military service into a cushy political role. Well, no. Not Maverick. He’s still flying as many planes as he can possibly get his hands on, and the opening sequence of TOP GUN: MAVERICK has him taking an elite jet on one last exercise run before the military shuts his program down and strips them of their funding.
In order to stave off the program’s elimination, Maverick needs to show the crusty superior (played to perfection by Ed Harris) that the plane they want to switch to “an unmanned pilot” can reach the speed of Mach 10. Yes, that’s about as difficult as it sounds, and you are going to want to see exactly how Maverick does it while you’re sitting in a Dolby Cinema at AMC seat.
The New Recruits Try To ‘Tag’ Maverick In Training
There’s a terrific line delivered by hotshot pilot Phoenix (Monica Barbaro) that’s in the TOP GUN: MAVERICK trailer that sums up the hook of this legacy sequel. “Everyone here is the best there is,” she points out as the pilots gather in a San Diego bar. “Who the hell are they going to get to teach us?” These pilots have been told their entire careers that they are the elite. Maverick needs to let his trainees know that there is still a lot they have to figure out.
He does that by engaging his students in actual dogfight exercises. The challenge is simple. Once up in the air, pairs of pilots working together as a team need to lock Maverick in the sight of their guns before he locks them in his. He’s pretending to be an enemy. Can they outlast his onslaught? It’s one of the first major aerial sequences in TOP GUN: MAVERICK, and it will drag you to the edge of your seat.
The Beach Football Scene
This has become a staple of the TOP GUN movies. The pilots enlisted in the Top Gun program are abnormal physical specimens, and the actors hired to play them go to great lengths to look incredible on screen. In the original movie, there was a beach volleyball scene set to Kenny Loggins’ catchy “Playing With the Boys” that worked so well, it’s still talked about to this day. In TOP GUN: MAVERICK, Tom Cruise’s character uses beach football as a means of establishing a team atmosphere… and allowing his beautiful young cast to show off a little on screen.
“I almost feel like Glen (Powell) is almost better to talk it out because for the actors, this was the Super Bowl of, you know, shirtless scenes,” director Joseph Kosinski told crowds at CinemaCon 2022 in Las Vegas. “The amount of hard work you had to put in ahead of time. And when the day came, you know just as an aside, I originally conceived it as shirts vs. skins. So when we got to the beach that day I was kind of dividing it up, and very quickly found out that no one (was) looking to keep their shirt on. They were like, ‘No way, I worked too hard.’”
Maverick Runs The Training Course
This one we need to dance around a bit, because to reveal the context of it all would be to give away some key details about the mission that Maverick needs his pilots to train for. Too much of that is important to the plot of TOP GUN: MAVERICK, and we want you to experience all of that when you see the movie. Just know that there is a lengthy and harrowing sequence in this sequel where Maverick needs to run a specific training course to demonstrate to his students that it’s possible. Even after seeing TOP GUN: MAVERICK, you will leave the theatre trying to figure out how Kosinski filmed this scene. It’s jaw-dropping. It not only shows how talented Maverick is, it shows how dedicated Tom Cruise is to entertaining the masses.
Beyond the training course run, the entire third act of TOP GUN: MAVERICK consists of aerial action set pieces involving Cruise and his young co-stars, and all of them belong on the biggest screen possible. The way that MAVERICK is filmed, it will make you feel like you are sitting in the cockpit of these F-18 fighter jets alongside these characters. It’s a visceral thrill, and will have you thinking about returning to theatres immediately after your first screening to experience the roller coaster again.
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