If you were to look at Tom Cruise’s movie choices over the last decade, it’s pretty obvious that he’s trying incredibly hard to hold onto what’s left of his youth. How else could you explain the crazy stunts and action scenes he keeps trying to do in all those Mission: Impossible movies, not to mention that stupid “you are a younger man” line spoken by Russell Crowe in The Mummy?
But based on the new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, it seems like Tom Cruise is finally accepting the fact that he’s a middle-aged man who is closer to 60 (he’s 57) than he is 30.
In just two minutes, we’re shown that Maverick is unashamedly a Top Gun sequel. There’s a bar singing scene, impossibly ripped dudes playing volleyball, someone who looks like Goose, someone who looks like a young Val Kilmer, and of course, heaps of crazy aerial combat scenes that defy the laws of physics.
But perhaps the most unrealistic thing in the Top Gun: Maverick trailer – and almost certainly the entire movie – is Tom Cruise’s age-appropriate love interest.
If we go by the ages of Tom’s leading ladies in the last 10 movies he has produced and starred in, the average age gap is about 16.5 years. But for Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise’s love interest is played by the exceedingly talented Jennifer Connelly, who is “only’ eight years younger than he is.
By all quantifiable metrics and measures, that’s a big improvement for ol’ mate compared to his usual younger leading lady standards. It was actually quite nice to see scenes of Tom and Jennifer riding on a motorbike as opposed to Tom and some young actress who is decades younger than he is.
While it’s nice that Tom is finally acting alongside women who is of appropriate age, this isn’t anything to really celebrate about given how original Top Gun leading lady, Kelly McGillis, wasn’t asked back for Maverick because she thinks it’s because she’s too “old.”
Then there’s the whole sexist, double-standard thing about older leading ladies in Hollywood where studio suits would rather cast an older dude alongside a young starlet over casting an older woman alongside a young chap. But that’s another story for another time.
For now, if Tom Cruise is able to come to terms with his age (well, onscreen anyway), perhaps there’s hope for Leonardo DiCaprio yet.
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