When a Sequel Surpasses the Original
This is the movie everyone will be talking about, so if you want to be in the loop watch it. Luckily, you don’t have to see the first to appreciate the sequel. Go in with the knowledge Maverick lives up to his namesake and know his tragic backstory, and you’re set. Even without this knowledge, the film seamlessly demonstrates all of this so via dialogue, mise-en-scene, and context clues you’re not going to be left wondering what you missed.
Naturally, as a Cruise film, Maverick is jam packed with fast paced action and thrills. The actors do a phenomenal job deepening our connection to richly designed characters with resonating dynamics. The film is pushing its limits off and on set by creating new cinematography techniques and exploring both gender dynamics and roles in relationships. Notably, the film recognizes it’s pushing these norms even in its color theory, such as using the color white to emphasize impending death. Lighting creates authentic spaces, such as how warm colors deem the local bar a place of gathering for fun and laughter, it’s a safe space. Moving outside the bar, there are cooler tones where several mourning scenes occur, which is especially interesting given in the previous film the space where a character met their demise.
Besides its richness of visuals and socio-cultural awareness, the dialogue is just plain fun and heartbreaking in the warmest of ways. Maverick maintains a character coherence that makes him easy to root for throughout the film and creates many tear-worthy moments, so bring the tissues.
While we’ve seen the passing on of legacies in other films before, Maverick tells a unique story of a man’s career and life. It’s not meant to be what he leaves behind or what he accomplished but the relationships he forges and cultivates. This asks the very relevant question to an older generation focused deeply on work ethics and a new generation facing burnout of “What will you have when it’s all over?” and Maverick seeks to tell such a story. A film that has plenty of action and respect for its characters like Maverick is pushing the demand for more quality films of the future that focus on relationships with oneself and the world around them.
Maverick is an emotionally resonating and somewhat taxing journey that proves well worth the heartache. There’s a sense of resilience and pride that radiates from the screen onto the viewer. Despite this being a film targeted towards a more emotionally mature audience, it is plenty family-friendly for its rating. This film has something for everyone woven throughout, not just in parts, which makes it such a necessary film of the season to see for anyone who wants to know more about filmmaking, good writing, or just plain have a good time and make stimulating conversation.