Yes, I Am Excited For Top Gun: Maverick, And I'm Sure I Won't Be Disappointed

 I do not roll my eyes often.  It's just not something I do naturally, but there are times where I find myself resorting to that device of exasperation most often exploited by teenagers.  I could not help myself from rolling my eyes when I heard there was going to be a sequel to Independence Day.  More recently, I did the same thing when finding out there was going to be a new Top Gun movie.

There is not much from Top Gun that left me wanting a sequel.  What really stood about that 1986 film was that the aerial sequences were mind-blowingly well shot, and it was a big screen visual treat.  As the years passed by, there has been a grand evolution of what computers can do with special effects and the need to shoot things practically lessened.  

For a long time, there was a reason to purchase movie tickets if a movie was grand and a spectacle.  That's how Rolland Emmerich and Michael Bay made their livings.  Not every film could do what the masters of special effects could pull off.  The technology got more accessible, movie budgets ballooned, and suddenly there were a number of special effect based films out each calendar year. Looking good was no longer a unique selling point for a movie.

The interesting thing for me is that no matter how impressive and flawless some of these blockbusters look, nothing has come close to comparing with Top Guns aerial sequences.  No matter how great CGI has gotten, the practical effects of Top Gun and the filming of the fighter jets really stands out as unparalleled even today.

Top Gun's story is a different beast.  On a recent rewatch, I found it kind of uninteresting.  I didn't have a lot of attachment to the characters, and describing the narrative as "meh" feels really accurate.  While a lot of elements of Top Gun weren't grand, the movie stands out for the brilliance of the filming of fighter jets engaging in dogfights.  As well, I need to say that the opening sequence of the film is one of my favourites of all time.  And that music worked so well to create the tone of the film.

I cannot remember when I saw the first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, but I know for sure there was definitely some eye rolling happening.  How could I expect this story to be interesting if I wasn't even compelled by the original?  Some of the dialogue revealed felt a little cheesy and trying to be too cool for school.  Because of my commitment to The Movie Breakdown podcast, I knew I would see this film, but it wasn't anything I cared about.

And then I saw the trailer a few more times.  My worries about the story and dialogue did not change at all, but what kept standing out to me, looking better and better each time, was the aerial sequences and how they were shot.  They look absolutely brilliant and somehow even better than the original.

Here I am now, officially saying that yes, I do very much want to see the sequel to Top Gun.  I can as well declare that I am excited to see Top Gun: Maverick solely based off of the grandness and spectacle, something I thought would never happen again in the modern era.  With Joseph Kosinski directing (a man whose films look beyond beautiful), I can admit that I care not about what the story will be.  I care not for how the  dialogue or acting will be executed.  I am excited for one thing, and one thing only.  Bring on those dogfights.

Over eight hundred hours of footage was shot in the making of this movie, reportedly more than all three Lord of the Rings movies combined.  Kosinski cares about meticulous visuals, and what will happen in Top Gun Maverick could be one of the most beautifully shot action films we have seen in years, if not decades.

The actors spent months training to handle g-forces so they could be filmed in the jets, although they are obviously not the ones actually piloting them.  The cockpit shots add a level of reality because of this, with apparently six IMAX quality cameras being set up in the cockpits to capture all angles of the actors in the jets.

What was achieved in 1986 with Top Gun was undeniably impressive.  A number of years later a group of talented people are looking to make things even better.  While I am sure there are many digital effects implemented in the movie, the level of practical effects and the skill in which they were shot creates possibly one of the best looking visual spectacles to hit theatres.  Do I think it's corny and silly that Goose's son just happens to have a moustache and be nicknamed Rooster?  Yes, but I won't be buying my ticket for that.  The money spent will be for one thing only, and I know I won't be disappointed.