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His is not the sequel I was expecting. Within five minutes, outstanding naval aviator and U.S. Navy Combat Weapons School graduate Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise), the noble yet cheeky hero of the 1986 original, praised for having a “ball”. I have never been envious of the ball. As Pete is lured back to his elite alma mater, to prepare the recruits for an impossible mission, I fold my arms and prepare for the worst. Two hours later, I scribbled words like “Woah!”, “Interesting!” and “Bullseye!!”

The whole movie is basically a seduction attack. Bastards. They caught me.

The plot is as cheesy as a fountain of fondue, which is just what you’d expect from a nostalgia festival co-written by Ehren Kruger, who has worked on three Transformers movies. But it’s also oddly engaging, and every now and again with youthful lines, almost certainly the work of Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects and has long been part of the Mission team. The impossibility is captivating, we’re sure to laugh with TG2, as well as at it. In other words, the movie is meant to be funny haha ​​and ridiculous, which is probably why the naughty Lady Gaga signed up as the (outrageously effective) theme song.

So Mav arrives in San Diego, California, and is immediately confronted with his tumultuous past. One of those cadets is Rooster (Miles Teller; excellent), son of Goose, Pete’s best friend, whose sudden death dominated the first movie. This young man has a backbone with Maverick, who once made a secret promise in his hospital bed that seriously affected the Rooster’s career. Meanwhile, the enemy of our hero, the Iceman (Val Kilmer), is now a powerful admiral, but is about to receive bad news.

Miles Teller is brilliant as Goose’s adult son, Rooster

/ AP

The film revolves around Kilmer’s recent real-life health issues in a way that’s both sweet and touching, yet, having said that, a picture of Iceman slightly shakes the mood in a meaningful sequence. deeply solemn. He looks like he’s about to star in the SNL skit The Californians. Tears may well up in your eyes, but for the wrong reasons.

Either way, the school is somehow a giant leap from where the rich bad guys are storing enriched uranium. Rooster and his peers are “the best of the best”. But Maverick is still the best of the best, and for each person who calls him dinosaur/relic/fossil/pops/old-timer, another looks at him with wet eyes and mutters. muttered something along the lines of, “We won’t look like his again. “Frankly damn. Someone has to lead the suicide mission. Guess who that person could be?

Top Gun 2 really should be called Old Guys Do It Better (that, or 50 Shades. This brand can’t have enough stylish sunglasses). Pete, after humiliating his rivals, does an even better job of winning their respect and love. Top Gun is famously accused of having a homonymous novel among others, Pauline Kael and Quentin Tarantino. But the novel is still busy going far. Pete has an affair – hotheaded single mom Penny (poor Jennifer Connelly) – but our hero’s smile has never been bigger than when he’s playing beach volleyball with the boys.

Speaking of Mav’s smile – will the new movie, like the original, trigger a spike in applications to join the Navy? No possibility. The middle-aged men the film targets are no longer eligible to perform the service. Will it cause a spike in trips to the dentist? Sure. The words on everyone’s lips: “Give me back Tom’s teeth!” Everything about Cruise seems to defy gravity. And the stunts are pretty good too.

Jay Ellis, Monica Barbaro and Danny Ramirez act as rookies

/ AP

Director Joseph Kosinski, who replaced the late Tony Scott, knows a thing or two about driving in the sky. The coverage and editing, is excellent. In fact, the entire technical team will go a little further in the third stage.

By this point, we really care about the kids in the cockpit, not just the Rooster, but also Monica Barbaro’s Phoenix, a female cadet, and Lewis Pullman’s Bob, the school’s only nerd. More importantly, we believe Maverick cares about rookies. Faces of teams surrounded by constant g-forces; they buzz beneath the bridges; they are attacked by enemies that look like Darth Vader. And meanwhile Mav still tells the young people “Don’t think!”

For the last forty minutes of TG2, I didn’t give it much thought. But I had a very good time.

137 minutes, cert 12A

In theaters May 27

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