This is going to be a very exciting year for movies if you’re a child of the 1980s – and by movies, we mean ‘movie.’ After years of rumors and plenty of stop-start stories about casting and production, the long-awaited sequel to Top Gun is finally upon us. Tom Cruise, still looking remarkably similar to the way he looked more than thirty years ago, has returned to arguably his most famous role in the shape of Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, and the can’t-miss blockbuster hit of the summer will soon open up to preview screenings. That leaves us with just one question – is it going to be any good?
The easiest way to answer that question would be to say ‘yes,’ and be done with it. If you’re an American – or a fan of American sports – you probably watched the Super Bowl at the start of February, and if you did, then you can’t have missed the enormously expensive-looking ‘Maverick’ trailer that aired right in the middle of it. In its short running time, it showcased everything that ‘Top Gun’ fans could conceivably want to see. There were high-octane stunts. Tom Cruise looked way cooler than a man of his age should be entitled to look. There was even a hint of who the movie’s villain might be, as Maverick butted heads with Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s now-dead wingman ‘Goose.’ If we know anything about Hollywood story-telling, though, we suspect that Maverick and Rooster will be the best of friends by the time the credits roll.
Predictability is probably something that this film is going to come with a boatload of. The original ‘Top Gun’ was as formulaic as formulaic films get, and that didn’t harm its appeal one little bit. The fact that the brand is still worth so much money after more than thirty years ago acts as evidence of that. Even notwithstanding the decision to make a new film, you can see the lure of the brand by visiting a slots site. There, you’ll find that there’s an official ‘Top Gun’ online slots game that attracts thousands of players each week. Officially-licensed online slots games are now a standard part of the launch of many modern-era films, but for a retro movie to get the online slots treatment, it must still really move the needle with fans. ‘Maverick’ could be the most predictable film of the past ten years, and we would still expect it to more than double its budget when it comes to box office takings.
Moving back to the meat and bones of the plot, we’ve had it all-but-confirmed that the increasingly-reclusive Val Kilmer has filmed scenes as ‘Iceman.’ Iceman was Maverick’s big rival in the first film, and he could also be filling the same role this time around too, but the studio has been strangely reluctant to give out any information regarding Kilmer’s involvement. Even the news that he’s involved in the movie at all had to be dragged out of them. That could mean that his role is little more than a cameo, or it could mean that he’s got a huge part to play, and Paramount Pictures are very keen to avoid spoilers reaching the press before the movie has had its premiere.
The question of when the premiere might be is something of a thorny one. Originally, we were supposed to have seen the movie by now. The first premiere date given for the movie was July 2019, but as the date approached, Paramount yanked the recording and decided that new sequences needed to be shot. They haven’t given much away to confirm what was changed or why, but it’s generally thought that a decision was made to use newer planes and flight simulators to give a better impression of flight, and presumably some better dogfight scenes. With all of that work done, the film is currently slated to premiere in the United States of America on June 26th, and then roll out to the rest of the world between one and two weeks later.
If you’re a current or former member of the armed services, there may be a way for you to jump the queue if you’re particularly keen to see ‘Maverick’ before anybody else gets toe chance to do so. As of the middle of February, it’s become widely known that the US Navy has been petitioning and negotiating to get early access to the movie to show off at its bases. The Navy was a major collaborator in the making of the movie, allowing the cast and crew access to some of its top-secret facilities and even loaning out some specialist equipment and planes, and so for Paramount to say ‘no’ to the request would be mean-spirited. We expect the Navy will get their way, and if they get their way, the favor will likely be extended to military veterans of all descriptions. Keep your ears to the ground for more news on that front if that’s of interest to you.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ probably won’t be Oscar-worthy in the conventional sense. It might be nominated for its score, its special effects, or its cinematography, but we don’t expect it to have a script that makes us all reconsider the way we’re living our lives when the movie is over, and we’re walking out of the movie theater. That isn’t what ‘Top Gun’ is for. What we want from this film is some good old fashioned escapism. We want high-octane thrills, incredible fight scenes, action that puts you on the edge of your seat, and maybe the occasional quiet scene that might provoke a few tears. Crucially, we believe that Paramount will understand that this is what the audience wants from the film, and will have taken steps to ensure that this is exactly what we get. Whether it’s at a regular cinema or a specially-arranged advance military preview screening, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is coming soon to a screen near you. If you’re 35 or over and still love the original film, it’s going to be a very special day when it arrives.