Could anyone have predicted that "Top Gun" would still be top of mind for military members and fans more than three decades after its 1986 release? What was supposed to be one summer's big action movie has become one of the most iconic military films of all time and now comes with a highly anticipated sequel.
Pete "Maverick" Mitchell finally returned to the screen with the 2022 release of "Top Gun: Maverick," a sequel that manages to both expand the story and stay true to original movie.
"Top Gun" was most definitely a return to military movies in which Americans are the unvarnished and untarnished heroes. After a generation of downbeat films that dissected the Vietnam War, here was a movie that celebrated America's mission as the world's beacon of democracy.
Thirty-six years later, "Top Gun: Maverick" picked up the story of Capt. Pete Mitchell, who's become a test pilot so he could stay in the Navy long after most men would have retired.
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Tom Cruise may have played Maverick as a rebel, but he's a rebel who really knows the absolute limits and uses that nonconformist streak to advance the ultimate mission. Cruise became a Hollywood icon, and his performance as Maverick has kept him in the game over a long career filled with some spectacular ups and downs.
The summer of 2022 brought us the long-awaited sequel. "Top Gun: Maverick" features state-of-the-art special effects and a curiously old Navy captain called Maverick.