The said “the sequels were never good” It has long since ceased to be valid in the cinema, but if it were decided to update, at least, it should be included in the phrase “except if Tom Cruise does them”. The actor has become strong in the franchises and in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ he uses the same principle that he applies in the ‘Mission Impossible’ saga: more intense, more spectacular, even more difficult. Y gets it. At a time when cinema is hanging by a thread.
One of the prevailing themes of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is the confrontation of technology against the human being, a classic that has been coloring the returns of old action movie stars from ‘The Jungle 4’ to ‘The Expendables’ , the confrontation of the analog heroes in the digital age, and in the new sequel it becomes something more crepuscular, accepting a certain fateful fate of the old school, but going out to fly for one last dance.
The return of the man-cinema
At one point in the first section, the character of Ed Harris warns Pete Mitchell that drones will end up taking the role of human pilots at some point and Cruise replies that that time has not come, almost like a look at the viewer, in a moment in which the cinema as we knew it lives on the precipice, reassuring those who still love to live emotions in front of a big screen in a dark roomsaying that after a period of two years of uncertainty, the last guarantee of old-fashioned cinema is back, at least while he lives.
And how. Accustomed to movies composed on hard drives and software, with ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ certifying a success at the box office for superheroes, color rays and CGI designs almost like those of an animated film, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is a shock of immersive cinematographic virtuosity, a combination of traditional technology and modern visual resources that seek absolute aerial recreation. Get on a plane again.
Tony Scott already did it impeccably in his undeniable modern classic ‘Top Gun’ (1986), a film that managed to be the greatest expression of the tacky 80s and the commercialized American flavor of the Reagan era and at the same time apply a modernity to its image that makes it absolutely timeless and perfectly valid today . This detail is not alien to Cruise producer and director Joseph Kosinski, who recreate the credits scene of the first with the same textures in a way that revalidates the visionary power of Scott, to whom the film is dedicated at the end.
An impressionistic blockbuster for a delineated era
As if starting with Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone wasn’t enough, the color scheme and photography blend amazingly until we’re introduced to Maverick in an equally timeless hangar, transitioning into a ‘Picked for Glory’ sequence. , with the intention of connecting the dots between the two stories and achieving a ‘Top Gun’ universe in which everything is epic and brilliant, where the fumes from the engines blur the image and the smell of fuel comes off the screen. In the navy it seems that the years do not pass, and for two hours we attend what is the perfect complement to the previous film.
Because although ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ perfectly fits the definition of “recuela” which now serves us to call undercover reboots with the original cast acting as facilitators of a new generation —something that applies here 100%— this is more of a pure continuation, whose protagonist is the same and who is at the controls, but it also continues the theme of the duel for Goose and explores its consequences when we have the son of that one turned into a pilot with several accumulated resentments towards Mitchell.
If the first film had a latent homosexual subtext, here it transforms into a more traditional friendship that now places Iceman as a key figure in Maverick’s career. recovering Val Kilmer in an exciting scene that crosses the screen again mixing reality and fiction. The inevitable theme of frustrated fatherhood is the glue that binds the emotional aspect of the film, which takes shape until a third act where it is resolved in an amazing way, with a Milles Teller fully in tune with Cruise.
And that cement between the characters is what works perfectly with the action scenes, an update of the almost documentary visual approaches of the first, but with a combination of techniques that amplify, improve and take the possibilities of the camera in the air to the limit, causing true vertigo from the seat. A practice trip that takes Maverick’s personality to the skies, using the sly humor of the impossible bet as a handle to keep from falling.
When the final mission arrives, the film absorbs octane and level up to capture a show rarely seen on the screenan equivalent of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ in the aerial combat cinema, with an impossible mission that raises the heart rate and allows itself to pay homage to the climax of ‘Star Wars’ (Star Wars, 1977) with the difference is that here the strength does not come from the midi-chlorians but from self-confidence in absolutely extreme conditions.
The script does one last pirouette in the air and offers a fourth act taken from the top hat that raises the altitude by breaking the barometer, using the human factor as the key to the most refined emotion to give a formidable conclusion to an essential blockbuster. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is everything you can ask for in a sequel, which works as a true mirror image of the first, but also as a contained story about second chances and redemption to complete a cycle that has been very, very worthwhile. expect.