“Top Gun: Maverick”: Tom Cruise, it’s still floating for him

Thirty-six years after the publication of top guna film by Tony Scott that blends aviation and romance and has gained cult status over time is here Top Gun: Maverick. Namely a sequel that was two years in the making but there was no question for its producers, its director Joseph Kosinski and its star Tom Cruise selling it by airing it on one platform. The American actor took the opportunity to present the film out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival a week before its international release and took the opportunity during a public talk to signal his love for the space. actually discover Top Gun: Maverick on a big screen makes sense as the aerial sequences are stunning and the sound powerful enough to make the armchairs vibrate.

Nevertheless, the question arises: That’s what the fifties do, about the generation that cheered itself top gun Actually waited for this sequel in 1986? Likewise, one might wonder if the young audiences that make every Marvel production a success would want to discover a movie that isn’t set in a multiverse with lots of digital special effects, but in a long footage that is labeled “old-fashioned.” could become. fashioned” since most of what it features was shot without the green screens that have become the norm in Hollywood.

Satisfy the nostalgic fiber

In any case, Tom Cruise is convinced that this excursion is an event. And to underline this, he demanded that the Patrouille de France fly over the Palais des Festivals at the very moment when the Patrouille de France was climbing the steps during the film’s presentation in Cannes last Wednesday. Apparently, his arrival was even conditioned to this flight event. The actor had already been made an offer Top gun 2 when the original film was released. But he had refused, realizing that new experiences were preferable at that time for the development of his career. In fact, he will continue with The color of money (Martin Scorsese) rainman (Barry Levinson) and Born on July 4th (Oliver Stone).

As if it were necessary to satisfy the audience’s nostalgic fiber first, Top Gun: Maverick begins like Tony Scott’s film earlier, with that notable difference from the introductory text introducing the aeronautical training program based in the San Diego area, nicknamed “Top Gun” (“the best triggers”) because we’re there find the elite of fighter pilots , it is specified that this elite consists of men and women. In the 1980s, the concept of the pilot was still unknown. Incidentally, we find ourselves back on an aircraft carrier as F/A-18s take off to music by Harold Faltermeyer before Kenny Loggins sings danger area.

Muscular bodies under the California sun

We are then in the middle of the Mojave Desert, where Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (aka Tom Cruise) tinkers with an old zinc before donning a jacket and sunglasses for a motorcycle ride – another inseparable motif developed from the adjacent imagery of kitsch top gun. And Maverick is always prone to not doing what he’s told: while his superiors forbid him to perform a test he was supposed to perform to see if a plane could withstand speeds of Mach 9, he decides to do the following to attempt a flight at Mach 10… It will inevitably have the gift of annoying the senior officers, but its heroism in battle will nonetheless earn it a return to Top Gun, where it will have to train a group of young pilots to defeat a dangerous Objective to achieve Mission: to venture into enemy territory – and indefinitely – by flying under the radar, soon to destroy a factory to practice nuclear fission.

Also read: Tom Cruise, cinema linked to the body

After Kelly McGillis in 1986, this time it’s Jennifer Connelly who’s flirting with Tom Cruise, because it inevitably takes a touch of romance to balance the influx of testosterone. The actress plays a bartender who Maverick had a history with. To another friend, another music: the slow one take my breath away of the Berlin group is replaced by hold my hand, a song by Lady Gaga. On the other side we find them Big Fire Balls by Jerry Lee Lewis, which Maverick and his friend Goose sang three and a half decades ago, and whose death still haunts him. Hence a strained relationship with his son, who is one of the young pilots he has to train. Iceman, meanwhile, will make a cameo appearance in a touching sequence as he openly alludes to the throat cancer his interpreter Val Kilmer has been battling for years. Finally we’ll see muscular bodies sweating under the California sun again, but this time playing American football instead of volleyball.

Onboard cameras in the cockpit

Aside from having the mythology of a generational film in place, it leaves one wondering what this sequel is really worth. In terms of action, it’s clear that despite a base scenario (training vs. mission) and ground sequences that are still weak (but less kitsch, without the blue lights and backlighting Tony Scott so loved), everything that goes through the air is impressive. Tom Cruise’s partners have also gone through the same training as him to be filmed in flight for added realism. The star was filmed from the tail of an F/A-18 by six small cameras he controlled himself for a sequence in which he must prove that it is possible to complete a mission in record time, the progress of which is similar to a video game .

The result is stunning, just as the combat sequences – as inevitably every mission has its enemies – are admirably choreographed, the planes literally dancing with each other. There is something intoxicating about the feeling that we are not in a special effects debauchery, but in some way drawn to reality, the American Air Force also worked with Joseph Kosinski. In the absence of a great movie, Top Gun: Maverick is indeed a film cut for the big screen, respecting its specifications and what audiences had a right to expect. Basically we didn’t expect more.

Top Gun: Maverick, by Joseph Kosinski (USA, 2022), with Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Monia Barbaro, Glen Powell, Ed Harris, 2h11.

In our archive: criticism of the first top gun, Lausanne newspaper20-21 Sep 1986.

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