Thirty-six years after Top Gun, Maverick is back, in a sequel loaded with nostalgia, and with stunning aerial scenes.
Tom Cruise has once again accomplished an impossible mission: to produce a sequel to Top Gun superior to the original film, which made him an international star in 1986. In the pantheon of the best action cinema sequels with Terminator 2, Aliens and The Dark Knightthis “legacyquel” impresses with its aerial sequences and its moving story against a backdrop of nostalgia.
“It was a collective effort,” insists director Joseph Kosinski to BFMTV. “The film is successful because I was supported by Jerry Bruckheimer, who had already produced the first part. We worked hard to present to the public an old-fashioned blockbuster shot with the best available technology.” “We also worked a lot on the script to make it perfect,” adds Jerry Bruckheimer.
About to be rendered obsolete by drones and new technologies, Maverick, the stainless Tom Cruise, is forced to train a new generation of pilots – including “Rooster, the son of “Goose” – to a a mission that would seem impossible to succeed.Thanks to his confidence and his know-how, and against a backdrop of American patriotism, he will show that humans can still triumph without new technologies.
A self-portrait of Tom Cruise
A fairly transparent allegory of the career of Tom Cruise, the only actor in Hollywood to still perform his own stunts himself. This metaphor is backed up in definitive dialogues like “The future is near. And you’re not part of it.” Or: “You are destined to disappear / Maybe, but not today.”
Tom Cruise, “a great storyteller” according to Jerry Bruckheimer, participates in the development of every aspect of the film: “He was present at each work meeting to imagine the story. He supervised the casting. He approved all the actors. He was the one who imagined the aerial scenes.”
Filming in the air
These sequences, produced without digital effects, and actually performed by the actors, who were trained for the occasion, are in themselves worth the trip. Paradoxically, they were made possible thanks to… new technologies, which the film rightly denounces.
“We had a prototype of a new camera from Sony, the Rialto. It’s a tiny camera that captures iMax quality images. We placed six of them in each cockpit. They filmed everything the actors were doing in the airs. They couldn’t cheat with their emotions. They really felt the speed and so the audience can really feel what it’s like to be a pilot for Top Gun“, says Joseph Kosinski.
“It took us 15 months to figure out how to put these six cameras in the cockpit of an F-18,” adds Jerry Bruckheimer. “We spoke for months with the Navy lawyers. We also had to make sure that the cameras weren’t going to come off.” These sequences in the cockpits of the F-18s also offer beautiful moments where the characters, who are unable to communicate on the ground, finally manage to do so in the air.
Show their aging on screen
This difficult communication is at the center of the film and one of the key scenes, where Maverick finds his old sidekick Iceman, who has become an admiral. It is thanks to him that the hot-headed pilot returns to the front of the stage.
An elevator return that sounds like an echo of their real life. Tom Cruise had fought at the time for Val Kilmer to have the role of Iceman. “In the first, I really fought for him to be in the film, because Val is a great actor, I wanted him to play this character,” said Tom Cruise in the American press.
The throat cancer that Val Kilmer suffers from in life has also been incorporated into the script. A very moving scene, where the stars accept to be vulnerable by showing their own aging on the screen. An unprecedented proposal in the career of Tom Cruise, always marked with the seal of omnipotence.