Something terrible is happening to Tom Cruise

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

I KNEW the world was in a bad place.

I just didn’t think it could get this bad.

Sure we have the leader of the free world up late tweeting conspiracy theories.

There’s plastic in the ocean – the fish are up to their ears in it.

Top Gun: Maverick ticks all the nostalgia boxes

The climate’s changing.

The UK Prime Minister calls himself Boris.

But I didn’t realise quite how bad things were going to get until I saw a YouTube clip on Tuesday night:

Brace yourself…

So long, Pete Mitchell…

Tom Cruise is starting to look old.

We’d just finished watching the original Top Gun, marvelling at the blackness of that hair contrasted with the whiteness of that shirt, wondering about that off-kilter front tooth.

As he sat swaying to Otis Redding in Kelly McGillis’s backyard chair, after being denied a shower, one couldn’t help but be struck by the thought: that’s a good-looking man.

I thought I’d dial up the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick on YouTube as my better half hadn’t seen it.

And, in the way it does, YouTube rolled right into another clip, one that would shake us to our core, leave us pawing our own faces for outward signs of decay.

It was Tom, being interviewed by Conan O’Brien, in the standard promotional fluff, discussing how Top Gun: Maverick is, in effect, a “love letter to aviation”.

And I stared at Tom and thought: “Wait a minute – something’s up here.”

There he was, dug in between Conan and Andy Richter, looking … wisened.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I could see Tom, 10 or 15 years from now, hunched and white-haired, but that flashbulb grin undimmed as he discussed his latest project, Mission Impossible: Lifestyle Village.

He’s not quite there yet. At 57, the facade is just beginning to crack.

But it’s coming people, and it won’t be long before Tom’s an old man.

Who’ll save us then?

Also by Greig Johnston:

Why we’d all be better off on bikes

How long until gambling ads go up in smoke? 

Why you can’t unhear Michael Jackson’s HBO allegations

Get in touch:

greig.johnston@communitynews.com.au