2022, Movies

Top Gun: Maverick (2022, Joseph Kosinski)

Full disclosure: a way of differentiating myself from other people, as a serious fan of movies, I would tell anyone who would listen that I thought Top Gun was a stupid, terrible movie. I’ve seen it all the way through only a couple of times but I’ve seen scenes from it more times than I can count, like anyone who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. Sometime in my 20s I gave it a hilariously terrible rating on IMDB and I’ve never fixed it. I realize I’m wrong about it but I don’t care enough to watch it again to fix it. So, be advised, this movie was not made for me.

This is a nostalgia trip and there’s no hiding it. Some people view that as a virtue but I’ve never been a fan of nostalgia. I’m getting more appreciative of nostalgia the older I get, but it has to be for something I actually have nostalgia for. As you might imagine, I have no nostalgia for Top Gun. So the opening credits and “Danger Zone” don’t do anything for me. And the other echoes of the earlier film – and outright clips from the original! – do not do anything for me.

Like the first film, there are things that just don’t make sense. Why are they using old planes? Why does “the enemy” (Iran?!?!) have better planes than the US Navy? Why is a supposedly ace dog-fighter a test pilot? (There are dog-fighters still?) What decade is this supposed to take place in, anyway? Aren’t there drones to do this? Satellites to pinpoint the exact target for the drones? (The target is in a big, dry bowl.) Oh, and as Jenn says, how does he just hijack Jon Hamm’s lesson from a plane? And lastly, are they really declaring war on Iran or whatever? (Apparently no-one knows what country it is. Except for The Ringer.) There were other things too but I didn’t write down a list. Basically, if you had issues with the first movie – and I know most people don’t – you’ll have plenty here.

I can’t deny that, as a film, it is constructed traditionally and hits all its marks. I did laugh multiple times, despite my intention to not enjoy myself. It is corny, some of the dialogue is really weak and the whole reeks of the rah-rah anti Evil Empire patriotism of its source. But it’s a tight film for its length and it clearly works for a lot of people. The filming of the pilots is well-done and the main climax is handled really well until the score comes in to hot and heavy. (That second climax, on the other hand…)

I still think that if these films are your idea of good movies, you and I will likely never agree on what constitutes a good movie, or at least a good action movie. And, frankly, that’s not really a surprise because action movies aren’t really my thing, for the most part. (I prefer a certain type of action movie that is closer to “thriller,” I’d say.)

5/10 for the flight scenes. But jesus, folks, this is a corny film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.