Maverick’ is awesome. Here’s your guide to the summer sequel.

Create the hype. Rules of “Top Gun: Maverick”.

The long-delayed sequel, which was filmed in 2018 and has been on a holding pattern ever since, finally hit preview audiences this week, and it’s an exciting, fast-paced, old-school blockbuster experience, one more That- worthy follow-up to the 1986 classic.

tom cruise on "Top Gun: Maverick."

(That 36-year gap puts it at the top of the list of longest elapsed time between a movie and its sequel, along with the 35 years between “Blade Runner” and “Blade Runner 2049,” but not as much as the 54 years. years between “Mary Poppins” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” And that’s not counting the 64 years between “Bambi” and “Bambi II,” because who remembers “Bambi II,” straight on video?)

Fans, who may have been concerned at the mere notion of a “Top Gun” sequel, can rest easy. “Maverick’s” got the goods, and then some.

Instead of a proper review, coming the week of May 23, ahead of the movie’s release on May 27, here’s a quick guide to what to expect from the year’s most anticipated sequel*.

*most anticipated if you’re Gen X or early millennials and have long felt a need, a need for speed.

Wait, is he okay?

So good. Don’t doubt Tom Cruise: he produced the movie and he took care of this thing like it was his baby, which in many ways it is. It’s him revisiting his most iconic character (sorry, Ethan Hunt), the cocky pilot who does things his way even to the detriment of his career. Cruise, who turns 60 this summer, looks gorgeous and still carries himself like the 24-year-old who lit up the screen in the first “Top Gun.” and he hasn’t done it yet lost that feeling of love.

tom cruise on "Top Gun: Maverick."

Are there callbacks to the original?

Too many to count. You will hear the theme “Top Gun” by Harold Faltermeyer. You will hear “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. You will get the on-screen text introduction explaining what Top Gun is. And that’s just in the first three minutes. “Top Gun: Maverick” is a lot of references to the original, not in a tongue-in-cheek or post-modern way, just in a way that good friends like to have a beer and talk about old times. “Top Gun” embraces the old days in a fresh and fun way.

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