‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Is Why We Go to the Theater

He’s old, he’s problematic, but goddammit he’s the only man for the job.

There’s nothing Tom Cruise can’t do at this stage. I’m saying that partly because I don’t wanna goad him any further. Mans got a death wish enough as it is, and god love him. He’s COMMITTED to putting us on the edge of our seats like nobody else in the business, and Top Gun: Maverick might be Cruise’s finest thesis on the cinematic roller coaster front. It’s an adrenaline rush unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in the theater. This thing banks harder than a motherfucker, makes the Star Wars trench run look like a 25¢ kiddie ride, and does laps around the current superhero landscape at 10x the speed of sound. Top Gun: Maverick nods to a bygone era of thrill-seeking action movies and reassures that those good ole glory days haven’t gone bye bye just yet.

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‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’: A Master Class in Action Filmmaking

I blame my taste in action movies on Jackie Chan. Police Story 3: Supercop left quite the impression on me as a kid. I grew up during the action boom of the ‘90s. Movies like Speed, Hard Boiled, The Professional, Point Break, and Lethal Weapon (to name a few) were more memories to me than movies. Supercop is a particularly cherished one.

When Jackie Chan is dangling off that helicopter, or when Michelle Yeoh is hanging onto that truck for dear life, I was immediately engaged. They could fall! Indeed they do. When they fight teams of bad guys, it looks like they actually got hit, or hurt. They do, and when you see the end credits, you know that they did many times over. Both Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh did superhuman things, but they always came across as unpretentiously human. To me, that’s what makes a great action film.

I thought a lot about Supercop as I watched Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Continue reading