Things To Watch: Top Gun: Maverick

Title: Top Gun: Maverick

Describe this movie in one lethal weapon Date:

ROGER MURTAUGH: I’m getting too old for this shit.

Brief plot synopsis: Aged aviator collects aces, takes aim at atomic area.

Rating using random objects relevant to the movie: 3.5 Jerry Hathaway out of 5.

click to enlarge TRISTAR'S PHOTOS

Motto: “Feel the need.”

Best motto: “It’s a small thermal exhaust port, just below the main port.”

Not-So-Brief Plot Synopsis: Maverick is back, honey. Still a lieutenant and test pilot despite more than 30 years in the Navy, Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is offered one last chance to stay in the air after taking a prototype scramjet for a spin: return to ” Top Gun” and train a new group of outstanding airmen for an urgent and possibly suicidal mission. One problem: Said flyers include a “Rooster” (Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s old reel Goose, who died while flying with him.

“Critical analysis: In the opening scenes of Top Gun: Maverick, USN Admiral “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris, patriarchal in an unfriendly Tom Skerritt sort of way) frames his orders in terms our protagonist can understand: The future is coming, and Maverick isn’t in it. The thing is, that statement could be as much about Cruise and the movie itself as it is about the Navy’s upcoming drone/remote pilot reality.

Famous for avoiding broadcast pitches and CGI flight scenes, and insisting on doing his own stunts (although he wasn’t allowed to fly an actual F/A-18E/F, contrary to reports), Cruise is possibly the last 80s action man standing. in that sense. Admire him for his resolve or mock him for his zeal, the guy’s insistence on giving audiences that widescreen experience enhances our enjoyment of his action shows.

Director Joseph Kosinski (who previously worked with Cruise on Forgot) mimics the great beats of the original top gun quite capable. Our young leads, including “Hangman” (a cloying Glen Powell), “Phoenix” (Monica Barbaro), “Payback” (Jay Ellis), and “Coyote” (Greg Tarzan Davis), learn teamwork; there’s another terrible mustache (Rooster’s), another heartwarming death, and another mostly shirtless sports game.

click to enlarge Oh, don't act surprised.  - PARAMOUNT IMAGES

However, unlike the original, the final mission is actually the catalyst for the training, not the other way around. Maverick is brought in to teach this new batch of pilots how to complete death star race an attack on a uranium enrichment facility in… some country. The target nation is unnamed except for being a “mountain rogue state” and having fifth-generation fighter jets and F-14s.

Iran? Iran.

Another difference is the lack of Maverick’s original love interest, Charlie. Kelly McGillis was not asked to return, probably because of the crime of aging like a normal human being. Replacing her as Maverick’s love interest is Jennifer Connelly as “Penny”. The two share a rich history that we know nothing about (is she the “admiral’s daughter” Goose alluded to in the first movie?) but is nonetheless explainable considering it’s been 36 years since we’ve been together. in this world.

Dissident is, in almost every metric*, superior to the original, thanks in no small part to the footage from the flight. Cruise and company had to learn to operate IMAX cameras in the cockpit, with Kosinski shooting more than 800 hours of film. The result is some of the most exciting flight scenes ever filmed. A royal theme goal doesn’t hurt either, and Cruise even gets a chance to run.

Of course, that happens during the most ridiculous sequence in the movie.

Dissident is empirically better than top gun, but maybe that’s because of its star, who seems to have more and more of an actual cinematic death wish on screen (a possible selling point). Like his predecessor, he taps into the military fetishism, jerk energy, and suspension of belief usually reserved for Liam Neeson’s latter-day fight scenes. Top Gun: Maverick it is loud, jingoistic and silly, just like the country whose army is celebrating.

* “Take My Breath Away” is a better song than “Hold My Hand”.

Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters today.

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