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Calgary audience gets surprise screening of Top Gun: Maverick two weeks before its release

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Moviegoers at Scotiabank Theatre Chinook were told they would be seeing the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun as part of the Paramount-proclaimed Top Gun day on Friday.

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But after seeing the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, the long-awaited sequel, audiences got a short, pre-recorded message from star Tom Cruise, who flashed a toothy grin and said “Unfortunately, you will not be seeing the original Top Gun.”

Audiences were then treated to a supposedly secret screening of the new film, which is not due in theatres until May 27.

“We made this for you,” Cruise said before signing off.

Judging from the chatter in the lineup prior to the movie and the complete lack of a surprise reaction from the audience, it was perhaps not the best-kept secret. Nevertheless, Calgary became one of only four cities in North America and the only Canadian market to get a sneak peek of the action film.

Directed by Joseph Kosinkski, the storyline revolves around Cruise’s Pete (Maverick) Mitchell and a new batch of “top guns”. Thirty-six years after the action of the first film, he has a seemingly stalled career in the Navy despite being a top aviator who is highly decorated for his bravery. He is ordered to train a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a new mission, including one Lt. Bradley (Rooster) Bradshaw. Played by Miles Teller, Rooster is the son of Cruise’s late partner Lt. Nick (Goose) Bradshaw.

The folks at Paramount have requested we hold back on two detailed a review since the film isn’t due in theatres for another couple of weeks. But it’s safe to say that the new film checks a lot of the boxes from the first: There’s an impossible mission, a little romance, lots macho military talk, some bro-bonding, a flash of cheesy 80s music, amazing action sequences, plenty of daring stunts from Maverick and a new batch of humourless and puzzlingly hostile authority figures for him to annoy.

Top Gun: Maverick is in Calgary theatres on May 27.

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