There’s a very real chance that the best thing about Top Gun: Maverick will be its trailers. The newest one is the greatest example of shameless nostalgia fueling a movie rather than, say, substance or innovation. Nothing about Top Gun: Maverick makes it look like a good movie, but somehow, the movie also looks awesome.
Like the first trailer, the new, slightly longer preview reminds us that Tom Cruise’s titular Maverick is someone with a reputation for being a “controversial” flight instructor, which is code for: he’s getting too old for this shit, but he’s not getting too old for this shit at all. A new generation of fighter pilots thinks they know what is what, but, hold on; grandpa Cruise is here to teach these kids how to really fly! Cue the classic soundtrack, intercut with various scenes from the new movie which just like scenes from the old movie which means: pilots singing in a bar, folks playing volleyball on the beach, Cruise getting snuggled on a motorcycle. Plus, seeing Miles Teller as the decedent of Goose will really make you think they’re borrowing Martin Scorsese’s Irishman CGI-de-aging tech to make an ’80s Anthony Edwards saunter onto the screen. Val Kilmer is here too, looking just as ageless as Tom Cruise, which could posit that on some level this movie is just a sci-fi thing where Tom Cruise flies his F-16 through a time portal and actually goes back to the ’80s.
In any case, if one is being fair, the trailers for Top Gun: Maverick prove that sometimes pop culture nostalgia is fine, as long as we don’t think about it too hard. The original Top Gun wasn’t some edgy film that needs to be remixed or altered to make it relevant. One could argue it was barely relevant in 1986. But it was undeniably cool, and even though there’s almost nothing original in the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, it also looks cool. Some things are just cool, and that’s fine. Whether this is a good movie or not is unclear, but right now, there’s plenty of reason to hope for the best.
Top Gun: Maverick is out everywhere on June 25, 2020.