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Review: Top Gun 2 great trip to the danger zone

At the beginning of “Top Gun: Maverick”, Tom Cruise jumps on his fancy motorcycle in his airplane sunglasses and plastered leather jacket and hurries away in a time machine. Or, rather, we are the ones who go into the past.

More than 30 years after Cruise smiled to the heights of the 1980s as a Navy pilot with the code name Maverick, the actor effortlessly repeats the character in a new “Top Gun” chapter. which is an absolutely enjoyable journey: an example of how to create a sequel.

“Top Gun: Maverick” satisfies by touching all the touchstones of the first film: a fast motorcycle, the “Danger Zone” song, a military abortion, humorless naval chiefs, shirtless pilots in sports, those sung at the bar … And yet it stands. It is not burdened by its past as the latest “Ghostbusters” sequel, but rises by offering answers and echoing the problems of the first.

Cruise, of course, repeats his role as a rogue experimental pilot now located in the forgotten corner of the Mojave Desert, only a captain when he should be a general because he continues to challenge power. The years have not calmed the impulsive and hot-tempered Maverick. Pilots do, he argues, not rumors. “You think you’re dead up there,” he says. This is Cruise at its best.

His former rival Iceman – played by Val Kilmer – is also back, now as a huge naval braggart. Even Goose returns, through his son Miles Teller, with a similar mustache and striking resemblance to Anthony Edwards, the actor who played the deceased sidekick in the first film. That death haunts Maverick even 30 years later: “Talk to me, goose,” he whispers to himself.

Of course, some things have changed. The F-14A Tomcats have been replaced by the F / A-18 and the ironic pilots from the first film have been flattered by some equally courageous women. Unfortunately, these seem to be the last days of men and women in sea flying; unmanned aerial vehicles are more reliable and that’s what’s coming. “The future is coming and you are not in it,” said the military commander, played by Jon Hamm with delicious fury and calm, Maverick told Maverick.

But Maverick, on the brink of extinction, has one last job for the Navy: training a group of outstanding young men for a dangerous bombing mission in Iran. One possible drawback: Among them is Goose’s son, named Rooster. Will Maverick be responsible for its own fate?

Director Joseph Kosinski brings guts to the film, which makes us feel claustrophobic in the open air as the pilots soar and bend. It alternates nicely between noisy outdoor scenes, where jet engines roar, and quiet indoor scenes where people almost whisper. It also changes from bright sun to dark interiors.

Welcome to the script by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie is Maverick’s new love interest. Jennifer Connelly takes on the role of a divorced bar owner who owns a house in the city, a house on the beach, a sailboat and a Porsche; that is to say, he is doing well in his business. But the unstable Maverick does not like her either and in the key scene she steers the boat comfortably while he has no idea.

This is a considered, sadder Maverick. “Top Gun: Maverick” is, in a way, a reflection on what will happen to talented rebels later in life. He is torn by guilt and in one scene he is picked up and thrown out of a bar by the same big shot 30 years ago. What is remarkable is that Cruise seems to have found a way to block the passage of time. With a sculpted body and a youthful face, he is indistinguishable from three decades younger drivers in a beach soccer game.

The film is about Maverick’s personal business – courting the maid, repairing his relationship with Goose’s son – while fulfilling her promise as an action film. There are 10G jets, the sound in the cockpits of the cockpit that spin, epic dog fights and the groans of machines that meet the demands made on them. The action even takes unexpected and exciting turns. Then hop on a Maverick’s motorcycle, hug him tightly, and take him down the road to the danger zone.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” a Paramount Pictures release coming to theaters in late May, is rated PG-13 (a parental warning that it may be inappropriate for children under 13) from the Motion Picture Association of America. States (MPAA) for “intense action scenes and strong language.” Duration: 131 minutes Three and a half stars out of four.

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