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‘High Gun’ sequel a welcome journey to the hazard zone: overview

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Early on in “High Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise hops on his smooth bike, carrying Aviator sun shades and a leather-based jacket with patches, and speeds right into a time machine. No, that is not proper. It is really us who make a journey again.

Greater than 30 years after Cruise smirked his strategy to the cocky heights of the ’80s because the maverick Navy pilot codenamed Maverick, he effortlessly picks up the character in a brand new chapter of “High Gun” that’s a fully, completely gratifying trip – a textbook instance of the right way to make a sequel.

“High Gun: Maverick” satisfies with one foot prior to now by hitting all of the touchstones of the primary movie – quick bikes, the tune “Hazard Zone,” army fetishisms, humorless Navy bosses, shirtless bonding sports activities, “the exhausting deck,” bar singalongs and buzzing the tower – and but stands by itself. It isn’t weighed down by its previous just like the final “Ghostbusters” sequel, however fairly soars by utilizing the second to reply and echo points with the primary.

Tom Cruise arrives at the "Top Gun: Maverick" world premiere on May 4, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Tom Cruise arrives on the “High Gun: Maverick” world premiere on Could 4, 2022, in San Diego, California. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Cruise is, in fact, again, reprising his insurgent take a look at pilot now primarily based in a forgotten nook of the Mojave Desert, a mere captain when he ought to be an admiral as a result of he retains bucking authority. The years haven’t calmed Maverick from his impulsive, hot-headed fashion. Pilots do, he argues; they do not ruminate. “You assume up there, you are useless,” he states. That is Cruise at his most Cruise-iest, coiled, certain and boastful, tooth gleaming within the sunshine.


His once-rival Iceman – Val Kilmer – is again, too, an enormous Navy muckety-muck now. And even Goose is again, by the use of his son, the equally mustachioed Miles Teller, who’s strikingly comparable trying to Anthony Edwards, the actor who performed Maverick’s doomed flight companion and wingman in life within the first movie. That dying looms massive for Maverick even 30 years on: “Discuss to me, Goose,” he’ll whisper to himself.

Some issues have modified, in fact. The F-14A Tomcats have been changed by the F/A-18 and the all-male cocky pilots of the primary movie have been infiltrated by just a few cocky ladies. Sadly, it appears these are the final days of envelope-pushing women and men in naval aviation; pilotless plane are extra dependable and so they’re subsequent. “The long run is coming and you are not in it,” Maverick is instructed by Ed Harris, taking part in a humorless admiral.

However Maverick, on the sting of extinction, has one final job for the Navy: Practice a gaggle of younger hotshots for a harmful bombing mission in Iran. One potential snag: The younger hotshots he should practice embody Goose’s son, name signal Rooster. Will Maverick be answerable for cooking one other Goose? Can he outwit John Hamm, taking part in an imperious by-the-book officer with scrumptious calm fury?

Tom Cruise on the set of "Top Gun," directed by Tony Scott.

Tom Cruise on the set of “High Gun,” directed by Tony Scott. (Paramount Photos/Sundown Boulevard/Corbis by way of Getty Pictures)

Director Joseph Kosinski brings a visceral really feel to the movie, one way or the other making us really feel claustrophobic within the large open sky as pilots swoop and swerve. He splendidly alternates between loud scenes exterior with airplane engines roaring and quiet ones indoors of individuals nearly whispering. He additionally switches from sensible solar to darkish interiors.


One welcome contact within the screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie is a brand new love curiosity for Maverick. Jennifer Connelly performs a divorced bar proprietor who has a townhouse, a seaside home, a sailboat and a Porsche, so enterprise is sweet. However she’s additionally not a push-over for on-again-off-again Maverick and, in a key scene, she’s the snug pilot of a ship and he is the clueless one.

It is a extra considerate Maverick, extra gloomy. “High Gun: Maverick” is in some methods a meditation on what occurs to gifted rebels later in life. He’s riven by guilt and in a single scene he’s picked up and unceremoniously tossed out of a bar by the exact same hotshots that he was 30 years in the past. Worst, he is referred to as “Pops.” What’s outstanding is that Cruise seems to be to have certainly discovered a strategy to thwart time. His chiseled physique and still-boyish face are indistinguishable from the pilots three a long time his junior throughout a soccer recreation on the seaside.

Tom Cruise arrives at the "Top Gun: Maverick" world premiere on May 4, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Tom Cruise arrives on the “High Gun: Maverick” world premiere on Could 4, 2022, in San Diego, California. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

The movie handles Maverick’s private stuff – wooing the barmaid, repairing his relationship with Goose’s child – whereas additionally fulfilling its promise as an motion film. There are jets pulling 10Gs, the steel sound of cockpit sticks being pulled, epic dogfights and the whine of equipment balking on the calls for placed on it. The motion even takes just a few surprising and thrilling turns. So leap on Maverick’s bike, hug him tight and be part of him on the freeway to the hazard zone.


“High Gun: Maverick,” a Paramount Photos launch that hits theaters Could 27, is rated PG-13 for “sequences of intense motion and a few robust language.” Operating time: 131 minutes. Three and a half stars out of 4.

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