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TOP GUN: MAVERICK 🤩

Uncomplicated , simple, and awesome.

PREMISE

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

THE GOOD STUFF

TOM MOTHERF****** CRUISE- For the longest time now, I’ve made the argument that the role of lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was the signature role of Tom Cruise. I never believed that the character he plays in The mission impossible films (Ethan Hunt) should ever be given that distinction. More than anything he’s played before, Maverick is the role that plays to all of Tom Cruise’s movie star strengths. He’s not a badass throwing people across the room, and he’s not the guy taking off his shirt and having your wife drool over him either. He is simply the best at what he does, and he’s the coolest guy in the room. And I believe that is Tom Cruise in his everyday life. I think he lives life more like Pete “Maverick” Mitchell than he does literally any character that he’s ever embodied.

It is so much fun to watch Cruise have so much chemistry with all of the young actors in this cast. It’s fun to watch him have chemistry with (one of my teenage crushes) Jennifer Connelly. It’s fun to watch him and Jon Hamm go back and forth as Maverick thumbs his nose against authority. He is so much fun. And I don’t know if Tom Cruise has been fun that often. His films often are, but rarely have I seen him on screen being all joyful movie star guy and being like…

Cruise embodies movie stardom. He is quite possibly the greatest movie star (not actor, movie star… there is a difference) that there has ever been, and if you ask why that is, you should note his performance as this character.

THE ICEMAN SCENE- Now, I’m not going to get all spoiler-y here and tell you exactly what they do with Val Kilmer in this film, but I will tell you this…it does go to show how beloved Kilmer was as an actor, and how much he made his mark in the first film all those years ago.

What they do with the Iceman in this film hit me right in the nostalgia feels just as much as any film has in a very long time…and I’ve only seen the first top gun movie twice.

Joseph Kosinski– Shout out to you, Mr. Kosinski. Shout out to you for understanding the assignment. You understood that the assignment wasn’t for you, being the new-school visionary director guy and imposing an unfamiliar style that could have been very jarring if done incorrectly. You understood the awesome aspects of the first film without forcefully regurgitating them for a modern-day audience.

You understood how limited the technology was back in 1986 and that you could go stylistically crazy showing these dog fights and training routines, and that you F****** did with aplomb, sir. Over the past couple of years, Tom Cruise has his harem of directors (Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie, and you), and I see why. Guys like y’all understand what a Tom Cruise movie is supposed to be.

THE BAD STUFF

WASTED TALENT- Did you know Ed Harris was in this movie? I sure as hell didn’t. Ed Harris. Four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris. ONE OF THE BEST CHARACTER ACTORS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, ED HARRIS. Yeah, he’s here. But you would never know that. It’s one of the more egregious examples of wasting talent like his. I guess I’ll leave it at that, so I don’t get too spoiler-y.

Also, Glenn Powell is here. And though he is given something to do, he feels thoroughly underused. His character is given a buildup throughout the film with an underwhelming payoff. As a result, he feels wasted here at the end of the day.

THE UGLY STUFF

Not a damn thing.

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(Steps on soapbox)

2005 was a sillier time in our history. Back then, people hated Tom Cruise for couch-jumping and Scientology beliefs that he’s had since the late 80s. A large group of people outwardly discarded his resume because of their personal feelings towards the man. 2005 was the year that a bunch of people actively discredited not only the man…but the resume. People who claim to be film fanatics were outwardly lying to the world, talking about that they’ve never liked a Tom Cruise movie.

And now, two years after the most disastrous film year that will ever be recorded in time…we need movie stars to lead the pack, don’t we?

I genuinely believe that it will be star vehicles that will significantly help get the box office to where it used to be before everybody started copying and pasting the MCU model of how to get box office success. Whatever success this movie will do will be a testament to audiences wanting star vehicles as much as anything else. We should be rooting for this movie to succeed, and we should be rooting for mega movie stars just like Cruise to do what they’ve always done in exactly the way they want to do it.

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is playing in theatres now    

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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