Star Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell, and ensemble.
Director: Joseph Kosinski
What’s Bad: The women in this universe are strong but don’t get enough to do. They support the men and that cannot be the only thing they get to do.
Loo Break: Please no, Tom Cruise is returning after decades and you cannot really miss even a single scene. Plus it’s in theatres, there will be intermission in India at least.
Watch or Not?: Miles Teller in an interview told me there is almost no green screen involved, if you won’t acknowledge this effort, who will?
Available On: In Theatres Near You!
Runtime: 137 Minutes
Pete Mitchell aka Maverick (Tom) has been in the service for 30 long years. One mistake and he is called at the Top Gun facility back as a punishment. Can the Top Gun facility ever be a punishment for Maverick? Certainly not. He takes up a task and gets on to it. But this time around it is not just the personal bonds but even the conflicts that have been born out of them between the aim and Pete. What does Pete do in the movie?
This is exactly what Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was supposed to be but went wrong with. It’s Top Gun: ‘MAVERICK’ and thank God it is about Pete and not everything else. All these years the missions of the Top Gun have been above anyone on the team. Cruise was in service and the script looked at him as a backdrop to the mission and not the main conflict itself.
Now that he returns to service after 3 decades and the events that led to the death of his closest mate (guys you have all the time to watch the last film, don’t you dare call this a spoiler), he comes in with a baggage. In the story based on Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr’s characters and written by Peter Craig with Justin Marks, the world of Top Gun now revolves around Maverick and his life. Because we all know the last epic batch of the recruits gave us Maverick and there is no one better than him. We aren’t told that all over again through any kind of flashback, rather an aged but still smoking hot Pete enters the screen doing what he knows best. Making love to an airplane.
He can fly his jet even from between two closely stuck poles. What the screenplay written by Christopher McQuarrie, Eric Warren Singer, and Ehren Kruger, excels in is acknowledging the fact that thirty years have passed, technology has advanced and there are more skilled people on the planet. Which means there are more who can fly their jets through the worse conditions (at least basic worse). So what makes Maverick The Maverick who can rule them all? His experience and the baggage.
The writers now write Maverick as once a Casanova now a lonely man who lives to test limits, defy the rules of speed, nature and his bosses, and make sure no one else is hurt because of him. He is alone because maybe attachments make him vulnerable, maybe them going away breaks him into tiny pieces. There is regret that he couldn’t save his man and guilt that he walked away. And how this all culminates into a beautiful story is commendable.
What isn’t commendable is the script treating the new generation with the level of suspense that even a fresher can tell they are hiding them to make more movies about them. Also the women. Why on Earth would you restrict Jennifer ‘I can win hearts with a gaze’ Connelly and Monica ‘I am one of the most bada** person’ Barbaro to the men around them. Giving them their identity apart from being in service to the male characters would have given them a beautiful edge.
Tom Cruise and his inevitable charm are in their natural habitat. The man can fly planes for real and all I could imagine was if he makes me his wingman someday and takes me on a tour! Playing a character with an emotional baggage after a very long time, he does that brilliantly. Maybe the fact that he has aged with the franchise for real has helped the most, but there are efforts put in and you have to appreciate that.
Miles Teller gets to be Bradley Bradshaw the son of the deceased mate, and he plays the part with conviction. There is some emotional handling in his kitty and you can see him do it well. It isn’t a cakewalk to play a character parallel to that of Cruise and his mass appeal. Miles does it well.
Jennifer Connelly is beautiful, sassy, and full of confidence. She is never a damsel in distress. I love how the world around her has changed and even her daughter is empowered to school Maverick, because we all know he was at fault in this department.
Val Kilmer makes a return and is as good as he can be. Glen Powell and his arrogance are actually attractive, he did impress me with it. Monica Barbaro in an uniform beams power and beauty. I would love to see how the makers deal with her character in the future.
Joseph Kosinski as planned makes this about Tom Cruise’s Maverick. Thankfully the direction doesn’t look confused about what it wants to focus on. It’s a victory in a screenplay like this. The movie is heavily technical and still managing the name the emotions come out of it is a task, which he does nicely.
Claudio Miranda’s cinematography is thrilling. She knows how to capture the thrills and fear when the jet flies to its maximum limit. The zoom-ins into the frame when a crucial scene is playing out to make you as uncomfortable as the character works well in this one. The music in Top Gun: Maverick blends well with the visual translation and that I suppose is also a victory. Also, can we give our queen Lady Gaga all the awards already?
Tom Cruise is back at what he does best and with some more this time. It might bother some as there is not human enemy against them, but surrender yourself and you will enjoy. Run to the theatres near you.
Top Gun: Maverick releases on 27th May, 2022.
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