Based on the early reviews, it looks as though Top Gun: Maverick is destined to go down as not just one of the year’s best blockbusters, but one of Tom Cruise’s best-ever movies. That’s no mean feat based on his stellar career, never mind a sequel that arrives 36 years after the original. You could argue that the actor already made a spiritual successor of sorts, though, with 1990’s Days of Thunder dismissed at the time as “Top Gun with racing cars”.
While that may have been viewed as dismissive at the time, it wasn’t too far off the mark in reality. Cruise plays a hot-headed rookie who clashes with his peers and assorted veterans, before ultimately forming a close bond with his one-time rival that sees them put their differences to one side by the time the third act rolls around, and there’s also a love interest found along the way.
Then there’s the presence of Tony Scott behind the camera, just as he was on Top Gun, so the comparisons pretty much invited themselves. Days of Thunder was a decent-sized box office hit after earning $158 million on a $60 million budget, but critics and audiences weren’t left too impressed.
That being said, with Top Gun: Maverick on its way to theaters in a couple of weeks, fans have opted to dig back into the Cruise back catalogue. As per FlixPatrol, Days of Thunder has become a Top 10 hit on iTunes in the United Kingdom, even though you’d have thought his first outing as Pete Mitchell would be the one to revisit.