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The director was asked about the film while appearing on the ReelBlend podcast this week with his Pulp Fiction co-writer, Roger Avary.
Tarantino began with the caveat that he doesn’t like to talk about new films “because then I’m only forced to say good things, or else I’m ‘slamming’ someone, I don’t want to do that.” Then he plowed ahead: “But in this case, I fucking love Top Gun: Maverick. I thought it was fantastic. I saw it at the theaters. … That and [Steven] Spielberg’s West Side Story both provided a true cinematic spectacle, the kind that I’d almost thought that I wasn’t going to see anymore. It was fantastic.
“But also there was just this lovely, lovely aspect because I love both [original Top Gun director] Tony Scott’s cinema so much, and I love Tony so much that that’s as close as we’re ever going to get to seeing one more Tony Scott movie,” he continued. “[Director Joseph Kosinski] did a great job. The respect and the love of Tony was in every frame. It was almost in every decision. It was consciously right there, but in this really cool way that was really respectful. And I think it was in every decision Tom [Cruise] made on the film. It’s the closest we’re ever going get to seeing one more Tony Scott movie, and it was a fucking terrific one.”
Tarantino added that he had asked Cruise before the film was released how he was going to do the movie without Scott. The director said Cruise replied, “I know; that’s why I said no all these years — for that exact reason. We figured out a way.”
Scott directed True Romance, a 1993 film written by Tarantino that’s arguably the most underrated title in his oeuvre. Tarantino also provided some polish on the script for Scott’s 1995 hit Crimson Tide.
Tarantino opined that the film’s touching scene reuniting Cruise and Val Kilmer, “was almost too cheap, but it absolutely works. It’s a bit like Charlie Chaplin dying onstage for the last scene of Limelight … but it fucking works. You’re waiting for it and the fucking scene delivers.”
As for whether Maverick will give a long-term boost to theatrical cinema, Tarantino said, “We’ll see,” and predicted it will take a couple of years to determine.
Maverick is the highest-grossing film of Cruise’s career, with a box office tally of nearly $1.3 billion.
Previously, Tarantino gave a viral monologue in the 1994 movie Sleep With Me theorizing that Top Gun is really “a story about a man’s struggle with his own homosexuality.”
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