You ever see a trailer for a sequel to a movie that came out more than 30 years ago and say: who asked for this?
I did. I asked for this.
Me and all the dads out there.
We have good looking people, flying fucking fighter jets and fighting the bad guys! We have Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment), playing Goose's son and being trained by Maverick! We get Maverick riding a rice rocket down a runway! We even get a Val Kilmer (Willow) cameo! This is movie magic, folks!
Top Gun: Maverick is a capital M type movie.
The sole reason this movie was made was to rock-your-shit and judging it through that lens - it's one of the better movies I've seen a long-while.
Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) fills in for the legendary Tony Scott (Law Dogs) during this go around and doesn't miss a beat when it comes to maintaining the testosterone-laden just guys bein' dudes tone of the original.
This movie doesn't exist and isn't worth making without Tom Cruise (All the Right Moves), who is possibly the last great movie star.
Sure, there are famous actors, but Cruise is unique in his desire to give himself to the audience's entertainment completely.
Top Gun: Maverick shines because it looks and feels real . . . and that's because most of the action shots ARE real. If you made this same movie and every shot of an F-35 had been computer generated, the movie goes from modern action-master piece to. . . Stealth, that Jamie Foxx movie from 10 years ago that you've probably already forgotten about.
And we can thank Tom Cruise and his I'm going to potentially kill myself during filming-levels of autism for real stunts - all in service of entertaining the audience.
Perhaps most notably, Top Gun: Maverick allows you to enjoy the characters without having to navigate your feelings over some hypothetical geopolitical conflict with real-world stakes.
Now, as my editor always says, I am the most prolific film reviewer of the New Right and I suppose that means I should complain about the lack of a defined enemy in the movie.
No country or group is ever named. The movie always just refers to "the enemy" and the unnamed enemy country is simply "enemy territory".
But honestly it didn't bother me.
See, Top Gun and I'm sure this sequel are intended to be recruitment films. This is not a subliminal message of the movies, it's why they're made.
They're military recruitment films. Designed to make flying a fighter jet look sick as hell and letting you know the only way you'll ever experience something like that is by joining the military.
It worked for the first movie. However, we had easily defined enemies back then. The world is now a lot more connected and a lot more grey.
If you want your movie to play worldwide, you can't get too specific on the specifics or origins of the "bad guys".
You can't say it's China because the CCP will ban the film from playing on its screens (which it did anyway). You can't say it's Russia because then the Russians might cut off oil to Europe. You can't even say the North Koreans are the bad guys, because...well, I don't know - that one doesn't really make sense and more movies should use them as the cartoonish villains they are.
And because the film lacks any identifiable enemy, all you can focus on saw is the nameless, shapeless country getting it's nuclear program bombed all to hell.
In that moment, I wasn't thinking "Fuck yeah, fuck the enemy!" I was thinking "Hell yeah, they fucking did it that was awesome!" So without a face, it doesn't work as a recruitment tactic.
Propaganda isn't always easy to spot. But Top Gun: Maverick is showing us that as the Cathedral strives for global hegemony, its cultural prowess is collapsing. In the globalists' tactic of trying to offend nobody, they succeeded in entertaining everyone - but failed in their broader mission - pitting people against each other.
The movie isn't hurt by the namelessness of the enemy. Because who cares? A name would just make this movie military propaganda.
And this movie isn't propaganda.
One for the dads.
Cinematography: Fucking sweet. Watching fighter jets go 10gs is sick
Score: All the synth hits of the first one plus some neat updates
Performances: Tom Cruise is so good. He doesn't get nearly enough credit.
Length: Little over 2 hours but this movie rips through its runtime
Final Score: 8/10. Thank you, Tom Cruise for saving movies