‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Looks Like It Will Be A Meditation On Tom Cruise’s Career

Senior Entertainment Writer
07.19.19

Paramount

On Thursday, the Top Gun: Maverick trailer was released to the world and, honestly, it looks pretty good! The first Top Gun is not a good movie, but it is highly entertaining. If this sequel can at least be that, well then I’m in.

Look, this movie doesn’t come out for another 11 months, so who knows, but I do think there’s something else at play here. I think there’s going to be a subtext to Top Gun: Maverick that this trailer kind of lays out for us: I get the feeling Top Gun: Maverick is a movie about Tom Cruise’s career.

Remember when Tom Cruise used to get nominated for Academy Awards? He’s got three nominations, but none since 1999, a supporting nomination for playing Frank T.J. Mackey in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. Since Magnolia, Cruise has eschewed meaty, Oscar type roles (save for a supporting role in Lions For Lambs, which did not get nominated, but it does qualify as “meaty”), instead opting to go the blockbuster route and, eventually, get to a point where he has now become known for doing all his own crazy stunts. Cruise, today, is closer to being the next Evel Knievel than he is to getting another Oscar nomination. (That’s not a dig, his recent output has been exhilarating.) And now, here he is, starring in another Top Gun movie 34 years after the original.

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