Mild spoilers ensue.
- This is basically the most 1980’s war film you could make in the 2020s. All the sunsets and American flags.
- Owes plenty to Star Wars. Flying the trench to hit a 3-meter target without the use of your targeting system? Enemy fighters wearing faceless black helmets as they piloted their superior craft? Mobbed by jubilant crew members as you exit the fighter after returning victorious? The only thing missing was a princess to hand out medals afterward.
- There was a little Tom Cruise greeting to moviegoers that played before the movie. Cruise looked much older in that greeting than he did in the film. He’s aging sort of Robert Redford style.
- Movie relies heavily on slow, lingering golden hour shots of Tom Cruise and/or Jennifer Connelly in a medium shot. I mean, they’re both pretty people, so it’s not all bad.
- Pretty sure if you took all those lingering shots out the movie length would cut down from 2:10 to something like 1:30. OK, maybe 1:45.
- In the initial shot where Cruise is shown a roster of pilots he will train, Manny Jacinto’s (Jason Mendoza from The Good Place) face is in the top-left corner. Jacinto is nowhere to be found in the rest of the movie, though. Poor guy got left on the editing floor I guess.
- I hadn’t realized that Val Kilmer was so ill. His whole plot line was weak – he is introduced as COMPACFLT who brings Maverick in, then his cancer is back but “nobody knows”, even though he’s an invalid and can’t speak, and then he dies and is buried within the next week? Plenty of the movie beggars belief, but that thread was the worst.
- On the whole it was lightweight fun – worth watching on the big screen, not worth watching a second time.