Monday, December 16, 2019

Let’s talk about Top Gun: Maverick

Paramount dropped the second trailer for Top Gun: Maverick this morning, and odds are very good that you’ve watched it. Maybe even two or three times like me.

Paramount’s Facebook post includes 11,000 comments, most of them summed up with, “I’ve been waiting 30 years for this!” But it’s the comments from friends who are aviation enthusiasts that have amused me the most.

"I expect high grade cheese, but it should still be a good time."
"I want to hate this but…."
"But I'll still go see it...Sadly."

I share these sentiments. I loved the original movie, but I was just a stupid teenager then. I like to think I have more refined tastes now, and in fairness I’ve become less inclined to watch action movies in my 50s, because, well…they all seem the same to me.

Nonetheless, why all the apprehension around Maverick? Here are a few theories.

Is it Tom Cruise? A lot of aviation enthusiasts aren’t fans. Even though he's quite the eccentric, he does some cool stuff. He looks great at 57 and has dated beautiful women. He flies his own P-51D Mustang, which he used to arrive to the set of Maverick, and appears in the movie. Are we jealous? I couldn't fault you for that.

Is it the flying? This latest trailer shows an extraordinarily risky stunt, an F/A-18 shooting up precariously close between two other Hornets. Enthusiasts know these types of moves are unrealistic, so it takes away from the reality of the movie. We’re also wondering why there’s an F-14 in the trailer. How they incorporate it into the plot might be the most intriguing part of the movie.

Is it the plot? I imagine the trailer has been edited to appeal to the movie’s original fans, but we see the same, smug Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, now a captain, as well as him racing his motorcycle against a jet taking off, singing in a bar, a volleyball game on the beach, a fight, and a funeral. As I remarked on one Facebook thread, “I’ve seen his movie before.” Did the producers and writers have to include these tropes in Part 2? Probably, if only to ensure that Maverick is familiar and will appeal to the masses.

Is it the characters? There’s an Iceman lookalike, all sweaty as if he’d just come out of that volleyball game, and a Goose lookalike, whose image appears with the chilling line, “…or death.” And a beautiful brunette who we ultimately see on the back of Maverick’s motorcycle. There's an inevitable nod to the aviation community today, with a female fighter pilot.

Here’s the thing. Maverick wasn’t made for the aviation enthusiast. We all know that, but we seem to want something more from the movie. We’ll find out in a few months, because we’re all going to see it.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I know, it'll be cheese. Depending on the reviews I might wait for it to come out on 4K. I will see it one way or the other.