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How ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ reflects a stranger, more vulnerable political time

Political Theater, Episode 253

Tom Cruise attends the "Top Gun: Maverick" Royal Film Performance  at Leicester Square on May 19 in London.
Tom Cruise attends the "Top Gun: Maverick" Royal Film Performance at Leicester Square on May 19 in London. (Neil Mockford/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“Top Gun: Maverick,” the legacy sequel to the 1986 movie “Top Gun,” has soared at the box office since its Memorial Day weekend opening, making more than $550 million and counting. People might just be going to see Tom Cruise in action, but there might be something more going on here. The first “Top Gun” is an iconic piece of pop culture, a product of its times: a hot movie that came out at the coldest point of the Cold War. This “Top Gun?” It’s also a product of its times, a weirder, more asymmetrical one for geopolitics. With us to discuss is CQ Roll Call Editor-at-Large John T. Bennett.

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