Over a decade in development, and its production and release stalled by the death of the original director, Tony Scott, and COVID 19, the long-awaited sequel to 1986’s box office hit movie and pop culture cult classic, Top Gun, finally opened two years behind its original release date.
Rarely does a cult classic and box office hit movie get bested by its sequel. But Top Gun: Maverick does just that taking your breath away as it does, and leaving you feeling the need, the need for speed.
Whether grounded on terra firma or strapped in and manoeuvring aerial high jinks, Maverick immerses you in heart-pounding emotions till you almost blackout from Mach 10 delirium.
So, how did they pull off this epochal cinematic event over three decades after the original movie achieved pop culture iconic status?
The answer appears to be: Keep it simple but pump it full of adrenalin to thrust you beyond Mach 10 till you almost blackout!
A simple story uncluttered by any distracting complexity and thankfully devoid of Hollywood’s penchant for socially conscious and politically correct agenda.
The Love Story:
A G-rated love affair rekindled between former on-and-off lovers that warms the heart. Jennifer Connelly’s naval bartender, Penny, gives sexy MILF vibes that re-echo similar vibes from Juliette Binoche’s Gypsy chocolatier, Vianne, in Chocolat and Diane Lane’s Island MILF, Constance, in Serenity.
The Nostalgic Cameo:
Val Kilmer’s cameo as cancer-stricken former Top Gun turned Four-Star Admiral, Iceman, creates an emotional poignancy especially given his real-life battle with throat cancer.
The Adrenaline Rush:
This came in avalanche sizes throughout the movie’s runtime. The thrill of supersonic jet rides is at the heart of the Top Gun franchise, and it doesn’t matter that the audience is not sitting in the cockpit. The vicarious thrill you feel seeing the execution of aerial ballet during training or combat dogfights takes your breath away literally and literarily.
The Last Action Hero:
Speed, the need for speed may be at the heart of the Top Gun movie franchise but its soul is the dedicated and impressive career of Tom Cruise as Hollywood’s true last action hero.
Very few actors have built a universally acclaimed career majorly on the back of an impressive body of action movies defined by an abiding dedication to spectacular but punishing self-performed stunts.
In a time when it seems movie stars have given way to Movie studios taking top billing in movie releases, Tom Cruise’s name appearing atop the movie name on its theatrical release posters is a fitting and well-deserved recognition of his status as the Last Action Hero. 8.5/10