CinemaCon attendees got a high-octane treat in exchange for their devotion to the theatrical arts today, as Paramount debuted, not just a trailer for upcoming sequel Top Gun: Maverick at the Las Vegas-set convention, but the whole dang movie, screened for 3,000 people in various states of Dad Film Ecstasy.
And the reactions from the crowd do, in fact, appear ecstatic: Trawling through tweets from various critics in the crowd, it’s hard to find a dissenting voice, so enraptured were attendees by the awe-inspiring spectacle of Planes Go Fast. If nothing else, praise was absolutely uniform for the film’s high-altitude action scenes, with Tron: Legacy and Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski having apparently lived up to the challenge of depicting high-speed aerial combat for a modern generation.
Weirdly, comics creator Rob Liefeld (creator of Cable, Cable’s big guns, Cable’s big ammo pouches for Cable’s big guns, Deadpoool, etc.) was also in attendance. Rob Liefeld liked the movie!
Praise also came in on the musical side of things; not coincidentally, today also marks the announcement of Lady Gaga’s new single, “Hold My Hand,” which plays over the end credits of the film. (Given how vital music was to the original film’s Kenny Loggins-powered success, it’s heartening to see Kosinski and his team embrace that aspect of the original’s legacy.) The Gaga song arrives online on May 3.
And, of course, accolades have come in in a serious way for Tom Cruise, who, whatever else you might say about him, has clearly been the passionate heart of the project to boot Top Gun, of all franchises, back up 26 years later. Critical notes for the film praised its drama, centered on Cruise’s Maverick, as much as its combat. The supporting cast (including Miles Teller and Monica Barbaro), drew some kudos, too, suggesting they ably provide the appropriate amount of aerial melodrama.
Finally, there’s one repeated assertion from everyone who’s seen the film: This is a big-budget, no screwing around action movie, and you’re going to want to see it on a big screen*; not for nothing, but the movie was filmed in IMAX, which will probably be a damn good way to see Plane Go Fast.
(*Please consider this your reminder that, while vaccination has mitigated some of the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic for some people, vulnerable populations are still exactly that, and any trip to the movie theaters to see Plane Go Fast On Big Screen should take the safety of yourself and others into account.)