Review: A 24-year-old Tom Cruise in his signature patch jacket and Aviators gave us cult cinematic moments in the 1986 original, the blockbuster that catapulted him to superstardom. Whether it’s him racing fighter jets on his superbike, playing sexy shirtless beach volleyball, or making a pretty stubborn woman fall in love with him with his notorious charm, arrogance, and reckless skills (in vol)… Cruise’s testosterone-fueled Top Gun was a heady mix of heroism, warm friendship, hot romance and rivalry.
35 years later, in a cinematic phase dominated by superheroes, 59-year-old Tom Cruise dares to bring back old-school heroism in a sequel worthy of redemption and thrills.
While it retains the punch of the original, the franchise ages gracefully as the wisdom and consequences of death challenge the reckless courage of youth. Although an inquest clears Maverick of responsibility for the death of his friend Goose, the burden of guilt hangs over him, and Rooster’s training offers Maverick a chance at redemption. Aging robs us of the privilege of making rash decisions, and it’s interesting to watch a hero in his sixties grapple with the ghosts of his past, deal with career stagnation, and face the reality of choosing to be alone.
Director Joseph Kosinski’s film sticks to the flashy, unapologetic bravado of the original while raising the emotional stakes and spectacular aerial stunts. “I am a fighter pilot. I am in naval aviation. That’s not what I do. That’s who I am.” These lines, though attributed to Maverick, resonate with Tom Cruise and his need for speed. The adrenaline junkie in him lives through his characters and Top Gun is the cherry on top. The effort to pull off each aerial stunt is remarkable, and the sound and visuals accentuate that intent.
Val Kilmer in a special appearance (as Iceman) takes you back in time. Jennifer Connelly as Maverick’s love interest Penny is interesting, but we miss Kelly McGillis and her push-pull chemistry with Cruise. Top Gun: Maverick’s theme song “Hold My Hand” (by Lady Gaga) doesn’t match the sultry love anthem of the decades – Take My Breath Away. One-man show Cruise ensures the focus is on him and him alone, the film has just the right amount of nostalgia, drama and action to make it worth seeing in theaters. Dark!
You Can Read Also