Maverick’ really is that good

Tom Cruise returns to remind us what a movie star vehicle really looks like.

Paramount Pictures

By Will DiGravio Published May 25, 2022

Let’s get straight to the point: what you’ve heard Top Gun: Maverick It is true. It lives up to expectations. tom cruise It’s back, honey.

Much has happened in the nearly four decades since the events of 1986 top gun. Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruiser) has lived up to his nickname and his famous escapades. The higher ups wonder why he is still a captain after all these years. We learn that the answer is that he just won’t stop flying (and disobeying orders).

Maverick is soon given a task he can’t refuse and returns to the famous Top Gun flight school to instruct a group of star pilots on the path to a dangerous mission. The stakes in Maverick’s return rise when he learns that his class of students includes Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (mile counter), the son of his late best friend and former cabin mate Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. The coincidence may seem a bit misleading to some, but the connection between the two men gives the film an emotional depth that the original lacks. Rooster blames Maverick for his father’s death and keeps him at an emotional distance. Maverick, for his part, must find ways to train Rooster and gain his trust. He must also ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Fortunately, Maverick has grown old with the actor who plays him. Cruise brings to the role the kind of coldness and arrogance that defined the young Maverick, even if he has yet to grow up. But he too behaves with a more measured and thoughtful demeanor, apparently developed in the decades that have passed. Maverick is a guy who’s seen some shit, reflecting on life as he slowly becomes a father-friend to the pilots he trains.

While the new film makes up for the lack of interpersonal depth in the original, Top Gun: Maverick it still brings the cheesy, explosive action that will satisfy fans of Cruise and the first film alike. Audiences should appreciate how the new film, directed by joseph kosinski (tron: legacy; Forgot), is not overly steeped in nostalgia. Viewers who have seen the original will naturally smile and cheer a bit more, but one need not have seen top gun cherish Dissident.

A cast of new and returning characters gives the film a fresh yet familiar feel. Jennifer Connelly plays Penny, the owner of a local bar who dates Maverick. jon hamm He plays Vice Admiral Cyclone Simpson, Maverick’s demanding boss who often questions his tactics. Y kilmer valley He reprises his role as “Iceman,” Maverick’s old friend from flight school, now a four-star admiral and commander of the US Pacific Fleet. Each of these characters finds ways to push and challenge Maverick. as he grows up to be the eldest statesman in Top Gun.

Readers may remember the film’s tumultuous production history. Originally slated for release in 2019, shooting delays pushed the film into 2020. The pandemic naturally led to a number of further delays. Cruise, as a star and producer, has spoken publicly about his commitment to the theatrical experience. He insisted that Dissident Do not debut via streaming. We should all be thankful that he did.

Dissident It’s a shot of adrenaline straight into the eyes and ears. Even more than the film’s immersive visuals, the sound design and music seemingly simulate the experience of flying. Wind, explosions, enemy fire and the roar of engines pour down on the viewer. Such audiovisual disorientation creates a sonic portrait of Top Gun piloting and flying when the stakes are at their highest. The sounds of the naval air base are further enriched when combined with the film’s soundtrack, which features an original theme song by Lady Gaga.

Perhaps the most admirable quality of Top Gun: Maverick is that it never pretends to be anything other than what its core audience wants it to be: a thoughtful, finely crafted action film that will amaze the audience with its sounds and sights. The film is escapism at its finest. The public that has waited years for the return of Maverick will be more than satisfied with the final result.

The nostalgia that the public can feel when watching Dissident may have less to do with top gun and more to do with Cruise, who belongs to that dying breed known as “movie stars.” To see Tom Cruise, his faults and all, is to see the living embodiment of movie history. Witness a genre hero whose style of filmmaking may never exist again.

The history of Hollywood is the history of the star vehicle and of making movies that showcase the unique skills of its greatest performers. You can’t tell the history of cinema without mentioning Tom Cruise. Getting to see the man in his element, reprising and evolving into one of his signature roles, is cinema at its finest. And it’s also a fucking pleasure just to watch.

Related Topics: Top Gun: Maverick

Will DiGravio is a Brooklyn-based critic, researcher, and video essayist who has been a contributor to Film School Rejects since 2018. Follow and/or unfollow him on Twitter @willdigravio.

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