Never say never! So, thank god for director Joseph Kosinski, who convinced Tom Cruise for the Top Gun’s sequel for it has ripped off the bandage. The pain would be real if we don’t get to see more of that air combat, and aerobatics in movies to come.
It took years to flesh out the right script for Tom Cruise to say yes to the sequel and now we know why. The film is rooted in emotion. Watch the previous one to interpret the silence and ‘that look’ of Tom as he embodies ‘Maverick’ at the age of 59.
Joseph has understood what it is like to see a capable officer age and transfer the responsibilities onto someone else’s shoulders. The piece of advice from old Val Kilmer as Iceman to Maverick— It’s time to let go— hits harder than it should. Just when you believe that he would let go, come the twists and turns one after the other taking you on a roller-coaster ride. For spoiler alert, it doesn’t end when you think it does.
As for the other characters, Miles Teller as Goose’s son Rooster adds to the nostalgia quotient. And 36 years after, the Goose and Maverick song, Great Balls of Fire, has still got it. It won’t be wrong to say, the film shook our brain and rattled our nerves, ‘Goodness gracious, great balls of fire’.
And when it comes to the younger Top Guns, who are apparently trained by the best, Maverick, the tension between Rooster and Hangman, played by Glen Powell, is another call-back from the original. Only Glen is a mix of cold and cocky young Iceman and young Maverick, who is known for leaving the team in a limbo since he works better when alone. Just like Hangman and Maverick, the call signs of others too are self explanatory when it comes to their characters or should we say their flying pattern?
The romance between Maverick and his old flame Penny Benjamin, played by Jennifer Connelly, is subtle, yet surreal. At no point it comes off as imposed on the script. Jennifer brings Penny to life, a character which barely got a mention in Top Gun. Monica Barbaro shines as Phoenix and one would like to watch more of her, may be a Top Gun: Phoenix in a decade or later. We are in no hurry! As for the pace and runtime of the movie, it seemed reasonable. The last 10 minutes will make you hang on the edge of your seat. The air combat, in technical terms ‘the dogfight’, is too real even in 2D.
And for those who thought the first instalment of the franchise was pro-war, then let us assure you it’s an out and out entertainer. Here the villains have no face nor the power to stop our unarmed heroes from stealing a plane from the enemy territory. If you still can’t make up your mind whether to watch it or not, follow Maverick’s orders, ‘Don’t think, just do it!’