Top Gun: Maverick – Bay Weekly


The Ultimate Dad Movie Gets A Sequel That’s More Nostalgia Than Intrigue

Tom Cruise plays Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

By Diana Beechener

After getting three victories in an aerial battle, Maverick (Tom Cruise: Mission: Impossible – Fall) is told he can write his own ticket in the US Navy. Three decades later, Maverick is still a pilot and still a thorn in the side of everyone else seemingly enlisted in the Navy. Although he’s decorated, he’s also rebellious – he hasn’t received a promotion in years because he does things like fly a prototype airplane to prove he can reach Mach 10.

Maverick is also considered a bit of a dinosaur.

Air combat – or dogfighting – is not a skill the modern navy values. The focus has become drone warfare. And while Maverick can’t think of anything better than shooting through the wild blue there, the military sees his long career as antiquated, something to be phased out now that technology has improved.

Luckily for Maverick, and to the surprise of anyone who’s never seen a movie before, he has to join one last mission. He’s brought back to Top Gun to train the next generation in a near-impossible strike into enemy territory. Who is the enemy? Certainly not one of the many markets this film hopes to profit from. They’re just infamous pilots wearing black helmets and we’ll leave it at that.

Can Maverick connect with these young upstarts? Will he finally be able to put the tragedy of his best friend’s death behind him? And can this movie feature a funnier sex scene than the one in the original movie?

There’s a certain irony in the fact that Tom Cruise built his career on being a top-notch action star, because Top Gun: Maverick is a cinematic order of nachos – there’s too much, it’s not good for you, and it’s covered in cheese.

And a bit like these nachos, Top Gun: Maverick is easily consumable if you don’t think too critically about what you consume.

Thirty-six years later Superior gun took the box office by storm Cruise is back to prove that aggressive racing and intense facial expressions are just as mesmerizing to watch as they were in the 80s. Director Joseph Kosinski (Only the brave) aims to remind millennials of all the times they watched the original with their dad by… remaking the original to a fun degree.

All the greatest hits are featured: beach sports, cocky pilots, Highway to Danger Zone, paper-thin female characters and plenty of slick action – it’s all there and in the same form you remember. Kosinski is so determined to incorporate all the beats from the original film that he uses the exact same opening text. This version of nostalgic cinema is based on the fact that the public feels a whiff of nostalgia with each recognition. It works, there was a lot of cheering and applause in the theater with each new reference.

Kosinski also captures the homoeroticism of the original ’80s movie in a rather amusing way. Think lots of sweaty men exchanging longing glances, doing poses and jostling with each other shirtless. It’s the kind of movie where men have to pat each other on the back when they kiss, because it would be weird otherwise.

But while there isn’t much new, Kosinski certainly knows how to squeeze nostalgia out of every scene. The film features a surprisingly touching tribute to Iceman, the antagonist of the first film. Played by Val Kilmer, who reprises his role, there’s a real tenderness to the way he’s portrayed, bringing Kilmer’s true medical conditions into the film so he can play again. It was moving to see Kilmer return to the screen and the care and respect given to him.

Unlike the original film, the action is enhanced. If you are a fan of dogfights and aerial acrobatics, Top Gun: Maverick has something to recommend. There’s enough flip-flops in the sky to make you want a Dramamine with your popcorn.

Probably the best part of the film, however, is the fact that it’s a tribute to Cruise as a movie star. Superior gun has no doubt why viewers buy tickets: it’s to see Cruise’s particular charisma. Kosinski spends a good chunk of the film framing Cruise in iconic poses and cutting out characters who look up to him. It’s truly a love letter to the actor’s screen presence.

If you’re a silly action fan or your knees creak when you get up from a chair, Top Gun: Maverick was written with you in mind. It’s the kind of silly summer blockbuster that’s meant to be seen in a crowd of people, all clapping and clapping. It’s a great reminder of why we all go to the movies and how big of a spectacle it can be.

Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters exclusively.

Fair Action *PG-13* 131 min.


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