dir: Joseph Kosinski
File this under “unwelcome things from the past that resurface and aren’t as shit as one would think.” Sorta like endless covid variants, herpes, or the ex you still owe money to.
I mean, Top Gun is a terrible movie, but it still captured the imaginations and ears of way too many people. Everyone my age or slightly younger still knows a bunch of songs from that fucking movie, even if we never watched it voluntarily, and still knows half of the catchphrases.
This new flick MAVERICK (I feel like it should be in all caps, all of the time) should not exist. The idea that the same guy who did what he did 36 years ago is still at it, at the age of 60, is absurd. The elitist of the elite navy fighter pilots is still the absolute bestest pilot in all of the Americas after 36 goddamn years? I don’t even believe he could read an email whose font size has been changed to 26 point without glasses, and we’re meant to believe this Peter “Maverick” Mitchell still flies better than the rest? His call sign should be changed to Peter “Pan” Mitchell, because this fucker will never grow up.
Not only is he still the greatest, he is still doing that shit eating grin from 36 years ago, and riding motorbikes without a helmet, and generally doing whatever the fuck he wants, despite the fact that the navy hierarchy all loathe him with a passion. The “real” servicemen and women know that he’s the best.
Reviews will tell you that this flick doesn’t have as much of the testosterone-inflected, homoerotic undertones of the earlier instalment. Don’t believe them. This flick still, even with more women in the mix, is still ultimately about the love between men who serve that allegedly great nation. It can’t be sublimated entirely, it can’t be satisfied openly, so instead these preening jocks of all ages rub their metaphorical dicks against each other until there’s some kind of emotional hugging catharsis at the end.
The film goes out of its way to address the manner in which Maverick and Iceman (Val Kilmer), bitter rivals for most of the first film, have been lifelong friends since they swore to be each other’s wingman way back in the day. Iceman, who rose through the ranks and became the commander of the navy in the Pacific, is the only reason the other bitter, older men in the Navy haven’t booted Maverick out.
How did they come to love and respect each other so much? Who knows? They just tell us it’s the case, and we accept it, as the fucking chumps that we are.
And goddamn it if I didn’t tear up at the scene anyway.