Tom Cruise is enjoying something of a career and personal resurgence. Which, if you think about it, says something about his celebrity icon status since he never really went away. However, the huge success of his brilliant Mission: Impossible — Fallout and the number of other celebrities who have been gushing praise of late for the movie star of movie stars have served to elevate Cruise even above the level he was at before his Oprah couch-jumping years. Now, demonstrating that he moves the cultural needle like no other, Tom Cruise has broken the internet with the surprise release of the much-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick, the long-promised sequel to the 1986 patriotic hit Top Gun.
I must admit, I was unprepared for how stirred I was as the Top Gun ’80s synth theme began playing. Coupled with the growl of the F-14 Tomcat and shots of Tom Cruise doing Tom Cruise things like riding a motorcycle, the trailer took me back to when we all wanted to be a fighter pilot doing battle against a common enemy. A time when our heroes were all-American in wholesome-ish rebellious ways that may irk the authorities—the very attitude needed to crush those who hate our way of life.
As far as the upcoming movie, as the above trailer attests, there is little reason to believe that Top Gun: Maverick will not be a fitting and moving sequel. It appears to have all the elements that made the first Top Gun so successful—a not-quite-anti-hero continuing to be a thorn in the side of his authority figures until, of course, they need him. There is also the introduction of Goose’s son, played by Miles Teller, and we see lots and lots of fighter jets screaming through the air.
As Tom Cruise loves to say, the Top Gun franchise is a love letter to Navy fighter pilots, true American heroes. I suspect that come June 26, 2020, the movie’s release date, we’ll all be donning aviator shades and leather bomber jackets while dreaming about roaring through the sky in an F-14 Tomcat.