Structurally, this film is almost exactly the same as the first film: a group of talented pilots spend the majority of “Maverick” participating in training exercises, vying for power and position, and learning the skills that they will need later. The biggest difference is the final mission. In the original, Iceman and Maverick are literally called into action at their graduation ceremony for a mission they never knew was coming. Here, the mission looms over the entire film – everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and how impossible it seems. The objective is to destroy a highly guarded and unauthorized uranium factory before it becomes operational. Pilots must enter enemy airspace, fly through a long flying canyon at a maximum height of 100 feet to avoid appearing on radar, and use missiles to essentially fire a “Star Wars” by blowing up a hatch of venting to an underground bunker, then blasting the planter to smithereens before anyone knew they were even there.
“Top Gun: Maverick” writers Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie present it all as a heist movie, with detailed visual breakdowns of the canyon and a practice course that mimics the exact layout. Watching the pilots try again and again to complete this course is one of the oldest tricks in the storytelling book, building suspense and showing just how difficult the parameters of this mission really are. Ultimately, though, you know where this is all heading: if you think Maverick is going to sit on the sidelines as a teacher for the entire movie, you probably haven’t seen a Tom Cruise movie since the Original Top Gun.
Speaking of the original, the overall structure of this sequel isn’t the only way it tries to replicate the vibe of the first movie. The opening credits sequence is a modern update on the 1986 film’s memorable intro, with lovingly fetish shots of jet planes preparing for takeoff on an aircraft carrier runway and the epic instrumental theme song of Harold Faltermeyer growling in the background. For those who haven’t seen the original in a while, it might seem like a shot-for-shot recreation of that footage. But directors Joseph Kosinski and Tony Scott have very different ideas about the stylistic details of a film like this. Scott, who was long attached to returning to direct a sequel before he died in 2012, drenched his opening sequence in an unreal smoky yellow color, almost as if it were a scene from “Apocalypse Now.” . The original “Top Gun” is full of heightened silhouettes and colors to stylize the drama – characters were frequently bathed in purples, reds and neons, and they were drenched in sweat in cockpits or control rooms. Kosinski, on the other hand, is more committed to realism — his film is made up of deep blacks, tech-tinged greens, and dull grays, and he’s more interested in capturing clean lines and clean visuals than putting it all together. highlighting situations with flashy colors. This cleaner, more uniform approach matches the precision of the action scenes but leaves the rest of “Top Gun: Maverick” a little barren by comparison.