Astronaut Praises Top Gun: Maverick And Explains Why Tom Cruise Deserves Major ‘Kudos’


One of the primary praises in reviews of Top Gun: Maverick was in regards to the practically filmed aerial action. Real Navy pilots have called the movie the real deal, and the film paid to use actual fighter jets for the movie. The level of commitment to authentically filming these intense situations is one of the reasons Tom Cruise’s legacy sequel is so breathtaking. Now, an astronaut has spoken up about the movie and its accuracy, praising it left and right while giving the crew and its star major “kudos.” 

Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, is an astronaut, pilot and engineer. He’s flown fighter jets, was a test pilot, and was he part of three missions to space. With that said, he’s very qualified to talk about the accuracy of the flight scenes in Top Gun: Maverick, and he did during an interview with Vanity Fair. Gushing about the smash hit 2022 movie, he said: 

I love this movie. I do not know of a better pilot-flying movie that has ever been made. Kudos to the people who made this film, and especially to Tom Cruise.

Hadfield said Tom Cruise flies a P-51 Mustang at the end of the movie. He also noted how impressed he was that not only was the actor flying the aircraft, but he owned it too. Saying the actor is “a real pilot,” the astronaut then went into detail about a minor moment in the film that he really loved because of how accurate it was. He said:

There’s a delightful little touch that Tom Cruise stuck in here. As he is taxiing out to take off he says ‘I have information Alpha.’ What that means is he’s listened to the recording that tells what the weather is and what runway is active so the tower doesn’t have to repeat it to him. It didn’t need to be in the movie, but it’s real, and I just love that it’s in there.

He also spoke about the first scene we see in Top Gun: Maverick where Cruise’s character is working as a test pilot. The astronaut pointed out that Maverick’s attitude when he’s flying and trying to get the test plane up to Mach 10 is accurate. He recalled his own experience as a test pilot, saying when he was flying an F-18, he found himself pushing the regulated elevation to see how far he could push the plane. Connecting this mentality to Top Gun, Hadfield said:

It’s sort of in the nature of a test pilot, but it’s tempered by ‘OK, how far can I push this?’ And you can see Tom doing that. If I made it to Mach 10, then 10.1, it’s such a little change, it’ll be alright. In reality, that wouldn’t have wrecked the vehicle – a few more tenths of Mach, the vehicle wouldn’t know.

Along with giving his thoughts on the entire opening sequence of Maverick, Hadfield also talked about the odds of Cruise’s pilot surviving the crash. While some folks think Maverick died, and the rest of the movie is a dream, the astronaut explained that he must have had an escape pod in the plane to have survived such a deadly crash. 

Clearly, Chris Hadfield has a lot of respect and love for Top Gun: Maverick and Tom Cruise. The thrill he seems to get from the movie is one many of us also experienced when we saw the jaw-dropping aerial action in theaters. If you want to go back and watch the legacy sequel and pick out the moments the astronaut pointed out, you can stream Top Gun: Maverick with a Paramount+ subscription

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