Really freaking good movie. Why?
Lots of reasons.
–It’s a 36-year sequel to a classic from the 80s that neither negates, retcons, or destablizes its predecessor.
–While we don’t find out what happened with Pete and Charlie, we get enough context on Pete and Penny to know that she’s one of his other frequent flames from the intervening years.
–Tom Cruise is still a fun actor to watch
–The action scenes were incredible, and full of tension.
–Jeez, Miles Teller can act? Never saw that before.
–The respect for Val Kilmer and the way they worked him into the movie was superb. Bro has throat cancer IRL and apparently has to feed himself with a tube these days.
–I’m a sucker for multigenerational stories, especially when they’re done well. Rooster’s similarities to Goose were a little on-the-nose at times, but they had to be, I think; this is a dude who was a little kid in the first movie, lost his dad as a child, and now his mother’s gone. He’s clinging to what’s most important to him (his family) and that comes through beautifully over and over.
–Maverick and Rooster teaming up to overcome their greatest interpersonal obstacles in the third act is a thing of beauty. I’m so starved for good, masculine characters in popular entertainment these days. This was a bro movie for bros and bro-ettes alike.
–Zero postmodern politics is an absolute plus in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty-two. Kudos to them for keeping it out of the film.
I’ll leave you with Drinker’s video, with the usual content warning for strong language.