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Tom Cruise And His Trusty Bomber Jacket Make A Triumphant Return

By Mohana Soman 27 May, 2022 2 min read
Tom Cruise And His Trusty Bomber Jacket Make A Triumphant Return

For 30 years, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) dodges promotions that would make him rise up the ranks. He’d rather be a pilot for the U.S Navy than push paper in a desk job. But he continues to pull stunts that inevitably land him in trouble. When he goes too far, he’s ordered to return to Top Gun and train an elite group of fighter pilots for a deadly mission. There, he meets the ghosts of his past in the form of his deceased friend’s son, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller). Over time, he tries to impart as much knowledge as he can to his students. In the process, he learns to let go and learns how to carve out his own future.

A fun, nostalgic ride

The film is filled with references to ‘Top Gun’. The opening scene is set to Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’, throwing fans of the film right back to 1986. Classic rock serves as the soundtrack of the film. Pete Mitchell (Cruise) is dashing and dangerous in his trusty bomber jacket and beat-up Kawasaki. And he plays the role of an estranged father to his dead friend’s son.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’, just like its predecessor, seems like an action film. However, at its core, it’s very much a drama. The sequel focuses on Mitchell’s inability to let go of his past, and the guilt he’s carried since the death of his friend, Goose.

Over time, he confronts his feelings and changes. The emotion of the film is anchored by nostalgia, sure, but this odd coming-of-age film hits all the right marks. It holds its own against the gargantuan shadow of its predecessor.

The script and dialogue are tried and tested. The humour is familiar, the introspective monologues are predictable, Mitchell’s cheek is as galling as ever. Instead of being boring however, it’s heartening. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ pays tribute to the 1986 movie by invoking the same magic to ground the plot. Yes, there’s a lot of “only Maverick can do this”, “only Maverick can pull this off”. But it’s cool guys. It’s damn cool.

The action is, of course, heart-thumping. Insane aerial manoeuvres? Check. Dogfights? Check. Impossible missions? Check. Sneaking behind enemy lines? Check. Getting saved by a guy named Hangman at the last possible moment? Check, check, check.

It’s all about teamwork

Tom Cruise is supremely charming as Mitchell. The second he dons that bomber jacket, he’s the Mitchell of old, ready to own the skies again. He also does a fantastic job of displaying this older Maverick’s limitations, particularly his emotional vulnerability.

Jennifer Connelly is too cool as Penny, Mitchell’s ex. She’s always ready to give him a talking to. Miles Teller portrays the hesitant, wary and emotional Bradshaw Jr. fantastically. His screen presence is rivalled only by Glen Powell, who takes up all the space in the room as the cocksure and arrogant Hangman. Monica Barbaro, Jon Hamm, Bashir Salahuddin and other supporting cast keep the machine running by performing their best at the right time.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is one hell of a sequel, channelling the magic and nostalgia of ‘Top Gun’ (1986), while keeping things hooked to the present. Watch ‘Top Gun’ here.

Director: Joseph Kosinsky
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, John Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Bashir Salahuddin

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Tags: #action films#Miles Teller#Tom Cruise#Top Gun#Top Gun: Maverick
Written by
Mohana Soman
Drinks chai, writes stuff. Always shorter than you thought in person.

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