Top Gun: Maverick is an ode to Tom Cruise

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Before the special kids of Hogwarts began to have fun with their attempts to become the best little prodigies, there were the boys of Top Gun pilots at the service ofAmerican imperialism. Their exploits in the elite flight school of the United States Navy have been bathed in a delightful and erotic ocher from the lamented Tony Scottwhich transformed a normal academy story into a real iconography.

But it happened 36 years ago and the status of icon has faded considerably. Younger kids may be vaguely aware of its visual legacy – the glittering metal and hard, sweaty bodies of men playing beach volleyball – but do they still have a connection to that film? And what about the old people? They are still loyal to Top Gun after all these years?

Paramount is hoping for it, as the existence of the new film proves Top Gun: Maverick (presented at the Cannes Film Festival and in Italian cinemas from 25 May, ed). The film, shot before Covid and lain in the drawer ever since, it is, like many other things nowadays, both a sequel both a reboot. It revisits the history and aesthetic patterns of the original film and, in theory, shows us something new (beach volleyball becomes beach football, for example).

But Maverickdirected by Joseph Kosinskiit is also a hymn sung with intensity to its star, Tom Cruise, which means that none of the new up-and-coming actors encountered in the film are set to hold a candle to the main character. Several times, al Captain Mitchell Cruise’s (nom de guerre Maverick) is said to be a dinosaur, soon replaced by computers and mere mortality. But once again, the old Mav (and the old Cruise) defies obsolescence and shows these suitors what it means to be a real. hero. The film ends with a reverence which touches the religious cult.

Strangely, all this mythicization does not irritate. It helps to keep the story well contained, focused on the personal rather than the global political. L’obsession pornographic towardsoriginal Top Gun for the power and the American military swagger – all of its zoomed-in, high-tech adventurism – is the most harmful thing in the film. Maverick it certainly is fetishist against his flying death machines, but the film just sells recruiting a little less heavily. There is much more attention to the risk; the spectrum of death hangs heavily over the film, both from a past incident (rest in peace Goose) and potential future tragedy in what appears to be a suicide mission.

In the film the enemy is defined only as such, “the enemy», Without any reference to the Russiaat the ChinaatIran or any other common enemy of the patriotic war boys in American movies like this one: too clever a loophole, at best. At worst, it could be seen as an even more painful choice than naming a specific country. What does it matter who i am bad, the movie seems to say. It’s not us, and that’s all we need to know.

The geopolitical issuesnebulae or not, are on the periphery of the vision of Maverick. Much of the time, the film is a close-up story of Maverick dusting himself off to train a new class of superfighters for the aforementioned mission, including Goose’s son, nickname Rooster. He is played by a mustachioed and very tanned Miles Teller, in a strangely fascinating performance that shouldn’t work so well. Rooster is mad at Maverick for meddling in his career (Maverick wanted to keep him out of harm’s way), but not for his potential culpability in Goose’s death. Because, I suppose, the new film doesn’t want to spend too much time thinking about the cost of Maverick’s recklessness. No, his drive to do more and more and faster is mostly framed as a positive thing; his old-fashioned toughness cuts today’s cautions and gets results.

The machismoIt is, however, somewhat softened by age. There is a strange one sweetness at the heart of Mavericka sentimentality that turns aerial acrobatics into something more extravagant than aggressive. Maybe it’s just the movie it does its treacherous job of propaganda. But in the vacuum of 130 minutes of Maverickone disarming melancholy it’s a friendliness they give an interesting shape to what could have been a simple and useless retelling.

If Tom Cruise hadn’t been in the cockpit, I suspect very little of this emotional component would have been as effective. Maverick – loud and stupid and sometimes thrilling – it’s an act of arroganceof course, a star of the veteran cinema happily striding on the stage so lovingly set up for him. But this turns out to be an intelligent reflection of the character she plays. Both are brought out to demonstrate to anonymous young people how to do it if only the old tools are respected: all the classic charisma of Hollywood and perhaps some disused aircraft. Kissed byinvincibility, the aces Maverick and Cruise show no intention of landing anytime soon. And why should they, when the view from the top is so beautiful?

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Source: Vanity Fair

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