Letting go is hard. It’s something that if it’s not properly channeled it can consume your very soul. That’s the deep rooted thematic premise in the new entry in the Top Gun franchise, 𝑻𝒐𝒑 𝑮𝒖𝒏: 𝑴𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒌, directed by Joseph Kosinski.
The movie is technically very well made. The action set pieces are majestic and demand a theatrical experience to be able to absorb all the aerial acrobatics. The dog fights are exciting, visually visceral and very engaging. The sound design is booming and very powerful.
When it comes to the story structure, it plays it like most modern Hollywood blockbusters sequels where it acts as a reboot but also a continuation of the narrative. It both homages the original with Easter eggs, visual references and callbacks. But it also takes the opportunity to develop the trauma Maverick has during the story. So it atleast justifies, within reason, its existence. The story is simple, but it has purpose and it has a reason to exist. I won’t deny however that it felt for me like I’m watching The Force Awakens, but Top Gun edition, which could just be indicative of a bigger systematic issue regarding the state of how Hollywood blockbusters are made nowadays.
Tom Cruise’s arc can be compelling at times, as a man who can’t go off what happened and can’t forgive himself for the tragedy he endured. He’s tested to his limits, pun intended, both physically and emotionally as he tries to navigate dealing with the ghost of his friend through Goose’s son.
All that being said, you know what you’re gonna get yourself into. It’s going to be a little cheesy, a little 80s and pretty nostalgic. It’s very respectful of what came before it and how important Top Gun was for the pop culture zeitgeist.
It’s just a good tribute to practical effects, great action set pieces and slick blockbuster-y cinematography. If you wanna see more quasi-original blockbusters, or more blockbusters that seem to have effort put into it, run to the theaters.