World

Cruise in his sixties and nostalgia for eternal youth – what to expect from “Top Gun: Maverick”

The movie

Top Gun: Maverick didn’t take my breath away, especially as it flew straight into the Comfort Zone . Strictly following the box office formula of the years 30 and serving up big chunks of nostalgia, Tom Cruise has given us a film that is, with pride and courage, a work for dads and fifty men. It’s an action movie with a good dose of efficiency and exciting brawls that sends you home thinking “Well, that’s exactly what I expected.”

This effort to please the elders even starts with an old-fashioned song (“Danger Zone”, by Kenny Loggins), refreshing the information from the intro of the original of 1986, and re-establishing scenes such as like the one where the Maverick, with a smile so bright it can be seen from space, accelerates the motorcycle alongside the runway. Despite having one of the most intriguing credits of the year — “Music by Harold Faltermeyer, Lady Gaga and Hans Zimmer” — the film, with a little risky direction by Joseph Kosinski, handpicked by Tom Cruise, does not try to mix styles or adapt. to the 21st century. For the most part, I approve; the film makes no embarrassing efforts to distance itself from the past with that “You’re a dinosaur James Bond, how dare you flirt with women?” bullshit. Still, I couldn’t help but think about the movie wrong by 2020: Back to school . Cruise is Rodney Dangerfield, but he can’t see the joke.

His idea is: what if you can just ignore reality, go back to your old school and find out that everyone is still singing the same classic rock songs you loved when you were years old? What if, instead of being wrinkled and irrelevant, you were still the center of attention and everyone wanted to go to the party with you, and talk to you, and play shirtless homoerotic football with you on the beach?

Tom Cruise is now old enough to be the grandfather of a fighter pilot, but — to be fair — as he has remained fantastically fit, he may be the only card-carrying member of the American Association of Retirees who could play that role. He’s going to be 60 in July, but he’s still (sort of) a big boy, or at least he was four years ago when filming began on Top Gun: Maverick.

With each scene, you already know what’s going to happen and it’s ok. The first movie wasn’t interesting, it would be shocking if this one was. This time, the objective is to blow up an underground uranium enrichment plant in a foreign (unidentified!) country and then set sail before enemy fighter jets fight back. What is the country? You guess what. For a film about indomitable courage, Top Gun: Maverick is full of fingers so as not to offend any overseas market, so the question of who is the enemy is half hazy. You can’t even get a good look at the bad guys’ faces or hear what language they’re speaking. The fear of offending someone is the oldest aspect 2020 of the film.

Despite being further away As of now, Maverick, who is recalled to active duty at the Top Gun training center as a flight instructor, clearly isn’t going to be working on the slate for long. Will have a thinly developed love interest (this time with Jennifer Connelly, as a beautiful bartender from the San Diego base who loves high-speed sailing and drives a Porsche classic), and no other character around Maverick will do much more than emphasize how phenomenal he is. Since the Goose is dead, there’s going to be a Goose son (Miles Teller) with the same pitiful mustache as his father, and a little friction to sort out, as Maverick kind of caused the Goose’s death, but the son Goose is more really upset is because Maverick pulled him out of the Naval Academy. I am exceptionally grateful that in no time Maverick and Goose Filho repeat the scene from the song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”.

[N. do T.: Nesta cena, Maverick e Goose vão a uma festa em que encontram Iceman, personagem de Val Kilmer, que é o antagonista. Ice provoca Maverick, eles se entreolham de perto, o que é um pouco homoerótico. Depois, tentando seduzir a mocinha Charlie (Kelly McGillis), Maverick canta desafinadamente essa música, cujo título em tradução livre é “Você Perdeu o Amor”. Ela, então, vai ao banheiro feminino… e ele a segue.]

While this sequel was carefully designed, I didn’t feel any excitement or suspense. , and even the reveals are pretty formulaic (the same rug-pulling strategy is used twice in the high point). One missed opportunity was the shallow construction of subsidiary characters. Cruise’s ego as a producer seems to make him more inclined to accept scripts that are full of gossip about how wonderful his character is. Cruise has cast two great actors — Ed Harris as a rusty admiral and Jon Hamm [de Mad Men] as a slightly less old rusty admiral, who is actually younger than Cruise — and both are reduced to monitors spouting sprays over Maverick was breaking the rules again, threatening to ground him, until at last they bowed to his sheer magnificence. The older film—made before Cruise had the power to guide everything around him—had supporting characters with far more substance, especially Val Kilmer’s Iceman. At least Cruise was generous enough to give Kilmer a somewhat superfluous scene in the sequel, which takes into account the actor’s sadly debilitated condition (after throat cancer, Kilmer can barely speak).

The best fighter pilot in the world being Cruise is as plausible as the best striker in the world being his age, but whatever! Cruise is still Cruise. He does what he can, and what he can do is be the American hero. You could say he does it better or at least with more longevity than any other star in Hollywood history. Furthermore, Cruise’s self-glorification is flattering to us all: subconsciously, he makes us feel younger. If he still looks almost as good as he did 60 years ago, maybe the rest of us do too?

Kyle Smith is a Fellow of the National Review Institute and Chief Critic of the National Review.

©2022 National Review. Published with permission. Original in English.

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