I have only watched the original Top Gun once (shocking, I know). It just wasn’t overly on my radar, just before my time and just became one of those films that looked like something more for adults and then I watched it as an adult and was like “oh no as a teenager I probably would’ve enjoyed this more”. So I perhaps wasn’t as excited as a lot of others were, it wasn’t until Cinema Con this year where there was a screening of this film and word got out that it was incredible, then I sat back and was like okay I’m pretty hyped now, as I should be for any Tom Cruise purely for his dedication to the art form.
Top Gun: Maverick picks up with Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) being brought back to teach at Top Gun after over 30 years of flying experience. He is the only man who can train a new batch of pilots for a near impossible mission, a batch that includes Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Goose.
While Tom Cruise was at Cannes recently he told a reporter that he disguises himself when going to the cinema, and tries to watch everything he can, we know how much he loves the industry and cares about it. It’s clear that it’s more than just a job to him, he truly gets the art form and the cinema experience especially. We know how he is willing to put his life on the line, doing as much practically as possible, picking up new skills. Flying planes is something we’ve seen him do a few times before but it’s clear the stunts are next level, the cast had to undergo their own flight training in order to prepare for this film and get to the level they needed to in order to perform them in this film, something you know the majority of the film industry doesn’t do when you can CGI it but we know how much more the audience gets out of knowing it was practically done, adding to the blockbuster feel of these sequences.
Aside from Cruise, the rest of the cast do a good job. Miles Teller has been on the downlow abit in recent years I feel, probably as part of his learning to fly and get to the incredibly high standard for the dangerous stunts in this film. He’s a very talented actor, but doesn’t have too much to do in terms of character arcs in this film.
If I was to have a gripe against this film then it would be that some of the characters are two dimensional and I would wanna spend some more time with them, and let them have an arc, Cruise does take time away from them, but this is a small thing which doesn’t take away from the film at all. Even Cruise’s character arc is smaller and simple.
I’ve seen a couple of Joseph Kosinski’s previously directed films, Oblivion (also starring Tom Cruise) and TRON: Legacy, both films I enjoyed but don’t come near to what he achieves with this film. The ability to shoot a film like this in this way with all the shots inside the cockpit and the shots of the flying in general, takes a very special skill and reliant on trust with the actors and crew to do the job to the best of their ability. It is helped when Cruise can be on set to help with this and has an input but it’s a team up that has worked very well, and I’d happily see Kosinski do more with Cruise or do whatever he wants now, a name I will be looking out for.
The story is simple as expected but they know you are here for the action sequences which are the very top tier of what the cinema industry can offer. The action, the editing, the music it is all perfectly put together and a perfect example of what summer blockbusters are all about. Similar to how Everything Everywhere All at Once is a perfect example of what great, unique storytelling can offer an audience, Top Gun: Maverick is a perfect example of a blockbuster and why you go to the cinema.
We’ve had a quite incredible few films, Top Gun: Maverick being included as one of the very best we’ve seen so far this year and I have no doubt that cinema is truly bouncing back.
What did you think of Top Gun: Maverick?
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