Top Gun Maverick

Practical Performance

Gosh, there is so much not to like here, on top of the fact that this reinforces a positive trend in film; the effects are largely practical, pitting Cruise against Cameron for the future of film. We could probably stand the competition for our imagination. I heartily endorse it, and I think it will make our experience more visceral. ‘Being there’ in this case isn’t emotional, but we need to be there for film to matter.

I’m told that Cruise put the metaphor of pilots vs drones in for just this reason. Cruise wrote the lines: Admiral: The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction. Maverick: Maybe so, sir. But not today.” As a champion of film in life and life in film, I have to applaud Mr Cruise.

So, what’s to criticise? The multilayer attitude of performance did not register for me. The actors are there on screen to perform for us the viewers. These mirror characters in real life that truly do perform at a high level professionally so my kids can sleep peacefully.

What we have here is some weird conflation of these two where everyone on screen is there to outperform some other characters. Outperform not in the technical sense; They are there only to do some mugging and strutting in the story to reflect back outside the story. Real military pilots aren’t like that. It is the cheapest of theatrics and so offensive to the real pilots and the values of real actors I cannot give it a ‘three’.

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

IMDB

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