Tom CrusieTop Gun

Top Gun 2’s Original Movie Differences Show How Tom Cruise Has Changed

Although Top Gun 2 centers around Maverick, it looks to be a completely different movie to the original Top Gun, indicative of a change in Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise’s career has spanned many decades, and Top Gun 2 displays how he has changed as an actor since the original movie. Since the release of Top Gun 2’s official trailer, audiences have had plenty of time to speculate on how the long-awaited sequel will compare to the first installment. While parts of the storyline are closely intertwined, some key differences between the movies show how Tom Cruise himself has changed as an actor.

Upon its release in 1986, Top Gun became a huge hit with audiences. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it garnered commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. The movie followed Pete Mitchell (“Maverick”), a young pilot training with the United States Navy. Played by Tom Cruise, Maverick faces rivalry and danger during training, as well as finding romance in the form of Charlie, the school’s astrophysics instructor. Cruise will return to play Maverick, who, in Top Gun 2, after over 30 years of service, is a well-respected pilot who continues to be one of the best aviators in the Navy. When plans for Top Gun 2 were announced, audiences wondered how the sequel would compare and whether the gap between the two movies would affect how Cruise would choose to play his former character.

Since his performance in Top Gun, Cruise has been involved in numerous productions, and there is a noticeable change between his earlier work and more recent endeavors. The differences between Top Gun and Top Gun 2 highlight this. The original Top Gun movie, while it did deal with some traumatic themes, was generally a high-spirited and cheerful story. In comparison, the trailer for Top Gun 2 points to a more impassioned, high-octane affair. Although both movies center around the same character and have similar themes, the tone with which they are portrayed has changed, becoming more serious.

The difference in tone between the two movies points to a change in Cruise’s acting preferences. While his earlier movies, such as Cocktail and Risky Business, were light-hearted and often had elements of humor, his recent work emphasizes the seriousness of his high-intensity stunt sequences. Just as each Mission Impossible movie has become increasingly daring, Top Gun 2 looks to be upping the stakes even further, focusing on thrilling action scenes. In fact, Cruise insisted that his fellow actors underwent flight training so that real footage could be used in place of CGI to make the movie even more gripping. Whereas the first Top Gun was playful and charming, Top Gun 2 is set to be an intense, suspenseful watch, and this mirrors the general shift in Cruise’s work as a whole.

As well as the change in style and tone between the two movies, audiences can expect the return of characters such as Iceman, and an introduction to Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller). Reflecting both the change in times and the change in Cruise as an actor, many are excited to see how Top Gun 2 will stand up against the original movie. To sum it up, Jon Hamm stated in an interview (Via Today) it will be “everything you hope it’s going to be.”


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