Top Gun is the perfect “Legacy Sequel.” It is fair to mention that the horrible film Scream 6 is an example of the opposite. If you got a decades-old story that attempts to continue to the original in the newer film but bring on new characters and pay homage to the original story, Scream 6 failed horribly, whereas Top Gun Maverick was perfect. Each film brought in new characters and mixed characters from the original movie. Scream 6 characters were mostly props for nostalgia, and Dewey’s death was moronic and pointless.
Top Gun Maverick’s use of old characters and plot was central to why you were in your theater seat. Iceman’s character was the driving force behind Maverick’s ability to still be in the United States Navy. His presence and impact were felt and acknowledged throughout the film. Without Iceman, there was no way Maverick would have been able to continue to be Maverick. How beautiful Iceman’s importance to the film was what happened after his passing. Maverick was almost lost.
The incredible symbiotic relationship continued with the introduction of “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son (Goose) of the deceased best friend Maverick. The tension coming from the emotional trauma each person had from multiple fronts was the tension needed for the development of each character. The tension was all justified by every character in the film. The impact of the choices had so much weight on them and absolved no one. The viewer relates to the characters on the screen because of using the past in constructing the new story.
These attributes made Top Gun Maverick a solid Legacy Sequel compared to Scream bringing characters that already had their stories resolved and new characters that were inconsequential to the story told. Nobody cared about the relations anyone had with the original film for Scream 6. In comparison, Top Gun Maverick’s entire story was about relationships from the original. Maverick’s relationship with the Navy, Iceman, Goose, and his family. And more importantly, with himself.
I must say I went into this film with no expectations. However, some movies hit you for various reasons. Most common is the relationship you have with the story or a character. Being a veteran, I was struck by the emotional impact I had on the most mundane scenes. Just watching them play pool took me back. I was not expecting to be moved by the competitiveness and camaraderie seen on the screen. Most likely due to that being rarely displayed in the civilian world. I’m shocked that this film will be among my top films of this year. I guess I owe that all to Dolby Cinema. Without seeing the film there, I would have let this slide off my radar with no regrets. I am so glad I didn’t.
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