James Corden feels the need — the need for a speedy landing.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime getaway that Corden wasn't necessarily excited about. In a package of the high-flying experience, he played as an unwilling participant in Cruise's plan — admitting, "When Tom Cruise calls, you sort of have to say yes."
Cruise, for his part, was thrilled to be palling around with Corden again, as the 59-year-old actor previously jumped out of an airplane with Corden while promoting 2018's Mission: Impossible — Fallout.
"I'm very excited that James is doing this," Cruise said, before piloting Corden in both planes. "Was he the first late night show that I asked? Hell no. He was just the first one, the only one, to say yes."
To kick things off, Cruise took Corden for a ride in a 1944 fighter airplane, Corden quickly putting up a sign in the window that said "Help Me."
Things got serious when a dueling plane popped up to challenge them. "We're in a dog fight," Cruise said, as Corden screamed, "I don't give a s---."
"You did good," Cruise assured Corden after they landed, the comedian teasing, "The fact that this is your idea of a fun day out tells me how different we are as human beings."
Just when Corden thought he'd survived, Cruise informed him the two would be going up again, this time in a jet fit for modern aerial warfare.
Amid Corden's "I don't want to do it" objections, Cruise told the host, "You are my Goose," a reference to his Top Gun character's best friend in the original 1986 movie.
"When you said I'm your Goose it makes me feel excited and then I realize that Goose dies in the film," Corden explained in response. "You're the first half of the film Goose," Cruise insisted. "That 'You've Lost that Loving Feeling' Goose."
"That's the Goose I want to be," Corden quipped. "I want to be in a bar, singing..."
From there, Cruise and Corden followed through with some additional Top Gun experiences (like a game of volleyball and a camping getaway) before heading up in their flight.
"You look like a fighter pilot, I look like a hamster," Corden said, as they suited up for the flight.
Corden loosened up for his second flight, even channeling his "Carpool Karaoke" segment by singing Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's "Old Time Rock and Roll" — two tunes famously featured in Cruise's movies.
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But when Cruise started stunting, even flipping the plane upside down, Corden got scared. "Oh my God," he screamed. "This is absolutely ludicrous. This is the craziest thing... this is the stupidest thing I have ever done."
"You absolute bastard," he told Cruise. "I've got an idea, why don't we fly straight for a bit?"
"Okay, we'll fly straight," Cruise said, before flipping them over again.
Back on the ground, Cruise praised Corden for how he handled it all. "You can be my wingman anytime," he said.
"You know what, I think I'm good," joked Corden.
Top Gun: Maverick opens in theaters on Friday. The long-awaited sequel sees Cruise making his triumphant return as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, this time returning as an instructor for the elite fliers three decades after his graduation from the TOPGUN Naval aviation program.
Among his young charges is Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Goose (Anthony Edwards in the first movie). Miles Teller, who plays Rooster, is among the actors cast as new class of pilots. Also joining are Glen Powell, Greg Tarzan Davis and Lewis Pullman.
Aside from the hands-on skills required for the film, Cruise still had more to share with his costars, when the training was over and the cameras turned off.
"There were times after we were wrapped for the day, we would spend an hour circled around him, listening to the stories that he's been through," Davis, 28, told PEOPLE in a new all-Top Gun special edition.
Added Pullman, 29, "Every one of the pilots has a story of him talking about what he thinks is great about them, what they can do with that quality. He teaches you, basically, how Tom Cruise became Tom Cruise."
The Late Late Show with James Corden airs weeknights (12:30 p.m. ET) on CBS.