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Old 06-09-2022, 07:42 PM
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TrueFaith77 TrueFaith77 is offline
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33.Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski); grade: B

The amazing authenticity of Tom Cruise really makes Top Gun: Maverick soar. The publicity around the movie focuses on Tom Cruise performing his own stunts. He demonstrates this most obviously in his Buster Keaton-esque derring-do in the Mission: Impossible movies, especially the fourth installment Ghost Protocol (directed by Brad Bird). With Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise impresses folks with the realism of actually flying fighter jets. (The CGI is seamless.) The g-force tugs at his facial muscles. But the greatest special effect in the movie is Cruise's face and his physicality (remember the paternal phantom punch in Spielberg's War of the Worlds? It's still Cruise's finest moment--and it's magnificent.) Here, Cruise amazes when emotional recall plays over his countenance when he sees a new generation of pilots singing along to "Great Balls of Fire" like he and his buddy Goose in the original Top Gun, part of that 80s tradition that reduced narrative to commercials and music videos. Now, Cruise imparts emotional weight to the utterly weightless characterization of the first film. Similarly, Cruise affords emotional generosity to his reunion scene with Val Kilmer's Ice Man. Both scenes induce goose bumps. Unfortunately, Cruise's gravitas (earned after 2002's breakthrough Minority Report) grounds the film in his significance but does not apply his significance. There is no frisson to his generation-gap conflict with Goose's son (Miles Teller is like a ripe eunuch) or in his romantic redemption with gorgeous Jennifer Connelly. Commitment-phobe Maverick never links Cruise's emotional authenticity to the audience's need for social-spiritual commitment--as did his characterizations in Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Tropic Thunder, and Lions for Lambs.
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Last edited by TrueFaith77; 06-09-2022 at 07:46 PM..
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