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The director of Collateral has praised Tom Cruise’s approach to fight scenes, having compared it to similar sequences in the John Wick franchise, which he claims are ‘not real’.
Cruise starred in the 2004 neo-noir action thriller as a contract killer who offers an unsuspecting cab driver a particularly high fee for transporting him to several locations.
According to the director, Michael Mann, Cruise was a 'dream' to work with, saying he went through 'a lot of training' for the movie's impressive fight scenes.
He spoke to Deadline as part of a new article tying in with the release of Top Gun: Maverick, where a group of directors, producers and actors look back on their experience working with Cruise on previous projects.
When reporter Mike Fleming Jr mentioned the ‘memorable shootout scene in the nightclub’ – saying Cruise’s proficiency with weaponry was ‘reminiscent of the acumen shown by Keanu Reeves in the John Wick films’ – Mann was ‘quick to correct the record’.
“John Wick’s are not real techniques,” the director said.
“What Tom did, those are real techniques and there was a lot of training with my friend Mick Gould, who was the head of close-quarter combat training for the British SAS.
“The scene in the alley, there’s no cut in that scene… It came down to doing the work. There was nothing he was doing that wasn’t established close-quarter combat moves that came from months of training. That included blending in.
“Obviously, people know Tom, but I wanted him to feel what it would be like to blend in, to mix with people and have conversations. He went to Central Market and trained to be a FedEx delivery guy.
“He said to me, ‘They’re gonna know it’s me.’ I said, ‘No, they’ll see the sign that says FedEx, and you’ll wear sunglasses and a cap and carry that portable computer that drivers used to have when they made deliveries.’
“Tom went in and delivered something to a liquor stand and sat down and struck up a conversation with a couple people and insinuated himself into the lives of others. There was a lot of psychological training he did."
Mann added: “Tom is a dream. He sees the adventure in what we do, just the way I do, and I imagine other directors do. He just goes for it.”
And judging from the slew of positive reviews for Cruise's latest flick, the actor is still nailing it after all this time – with UNILAD's Cameron Frew saying Top Gun: Maverick features 'some of the most impressive, dynamic action the big screen has ever seen'.
Top Gun: Maverick hits UK cinemas on 25 May, and in the US on 27 May.