I couldn’t figure out how to review the new TOP GUN sequel for this site, or any of the other sites we manage (WEREWOLVES.COM and DARKNESS.COM). I’m honest enough about things that, if I’m gonna keep my receipt from the movie theater and write off the ticket price for my taxes, then I need to use the experience for work. If you review movies professionally, see, you get to write off ticket purchases as work-related expenses. A lot of times studios will send you free passes, but when they don’t, you can just save your receipts, provided you actually do review the movies you go see. But in the case of TOP GUN: MAVERICK—which is freakin’ phenomenal, by the way, and should be experienced up on the big screen by one and sundry—I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. But then I did!
If we’re honest about it, Tom Cruise, in most of his movies, ends up playing Tom Cruise. Typically that’s enough for him to get by, and Tom Cruise fans don’t really expect a lot more out of him. But the guy *can*, when he wants to, when he tries, deliver a good performance. There are two examples from his body of work where he is genuinely *good*. Like, really good. Those two pieces of work are INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, where he surprised the hell out of everybody, including Anne Rice, with his performance as Lestat, and now TOP GUN: MAVERICK. The dude *can* act. He just doesn’t always find it necessary to do so.