Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick ★★★★

It’s a bit of mystery how this works so well; the script is both fairly thin and yet remarkably, irresistibly effective. The answer might be the film’s commitment to a consistently palpable, dream-like state throughout. The more I watch it, the more I’m convinced everything that follows the opening act’s mid-air explosion is just a post-mortem dream sequence for the actually dead Pete Mitchell: the rapprochement with a former flame, closure with an erstwhile rival-turned-benefactor, and a reckoning with an estranged surrogate child, all set against the context of a literally nameless adversary; all of this seems like a dream you’d have as you head towards the light. Perhaps no argument for this is more convincing than the closing image of a preternaturally beautiful Jennifer Connelly leaning against a Porsche. If that’s not heaven, tell me what is.

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