Top Gun: Maverick
Onto the final release of the weekend and I just finished watching the new English film Top Gun Maverick which is the sequel of the original 1986 film Top Gun. And for those who have watched Top Gun would know that it isn’t a film but an emotion. Ofcourse I didn’t watch the film when it was out(I wasn’t born then😅), but years later I remembering catching the film on Star Movies. And I had absolutely adored it. It had the right mix of emotions along with stupendous action sequences for its time. So when I heard about the sequel, I was quite skeptical. Not only did it run the risk of earning a label of being a needless sequel but it also risked ruining the legacy of the original. Amidst much skepticism I managed to watch Top Gun Maverick in Imax. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Set 30 years after the original Top Gun, Top Gun Maverick follows the story of Pete ‘Maverick’ who is given the duties of training new trainees in Top Gun. This until his past comes back to haunt him. The story is a worthy sequel(and a sequel in true sense) to the original. The screenplay is taut standing at 130 minutes which ensures that the story does not linger on. In the opening sequence itself, you are treated to a brilliant action set piece which is aerial and sets the ball rolling for things to come. The film almost unfolds like a slice of life film with the conflict being introduced in the most subtle manner. The throwback elements ensure that the thread from the original is unbroken and you do get a sense of nostalgia. Some of the sideplots are engaging too but the focus does not shift from the crux of the story.
Now the question that some of you may have. Would you still be able to understand the film if you haven’t watched the original? Yes it can be although having a little context would help in understanding the characters a lot better. But a quick read on the Wikipedia page or if you have time then watching the original Top Gun should do the trick.
The proceedings are engaging and there is a feel good vibe to them. And the last 40 minutes involving an extended aerial combat sequences are the best you will ever watch! The fact that I watched this film in Imax made it an even better viewing experience. The entire sequence is nail biting and it gives you such a high at the end, a feeling of being heartfelt yet victorious. In ither words, the screenplay is brilliant and checks almost all boxes.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are amazing and they leave an instant impact. The BGM is terrific and it evokes a sense of nostalgia with its theme music. The songs nicely compliment the narrative. The cinematography is brilliant and captures some of the frames in the most beautiful manner. The attention to detail in the VFX department is just so refreshing and it keeps the story real and rooted. Director Joseph Kosinski has done a fabulous job in holding onto the core emotion of the original. And to top it, the combat sequences and action set pieces are absolutely brilliant and engaging without getting overboard with any one particular bit, summing up a good day in the office for the director.
The performances are brilliant. Jon Hamm as Cyclone is perfectly cast and he is absolutely splendid. Bashir Salahuddin as Hondo is endearing. Greg Tarzan Davis as Coyote and Jay Ellis as Payback have their moments to shine. Monica Barbaro as Phoenix has an amazing screen presence and she does a commendable job. Jennifer Connelly as Penny looks gorgeous and is a delight to watch onscreen. Miles Teller as Bradley is brilliant in a character which has a beautiful arc, yet there are moments where he needed to internalize a lot. But the show stopper is undoubtedly Tom Cruise who is fit as a fiddle even at the age of 59(he will turn 60 in July). Right from acing combat sequences to being the charmer in certain scenes or being so expressive with his eyes and emotions in scenes which required him to be vulnerable, the man does it all and and brilliantly so. And he hasn’t aged a bit! Watching him made me feel that a part of my childhood is still alive and kicking!
Top Gun Maverick is an exhilarating and nostalgic follow up to the original. Perhaps one of the best sequels ever made! Available in a theatre near you and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!