The Pulp Fiction director loved returning to the danger zone.
Surprisingly, or maybe not, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino absolutely loved Top Gun: Maverick.
During an interview with the ReelBlend Podcast, the 59-year-old filmmaker explained that he doesn’t usually weigh in on popular movies… but he couldn’t hold back his love for the Top Gun sequel.
“I f**king love Top Gun: Maverick,” he said. “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.”
“I don’t like to talk about new films because then I’m only forced to say good things, or else I’m ‘slamming’ someone,” he explained. “I don’t want to do that.”
Tarantino certainly echoes the sentiments of many critics – Top Gun: Maverick was the kind of big, loud blockbuster that we haven’t seen for a few years. After all, the effect of COVID-19 on the film industry all but decimated the summer tentpole.
But when Top Gun: Maverick blew away audiences earlier this year, it was taken as a sign that big, loud, event cinema was back. Whether or not it has a longer-term effect remains to be seen. But for Tarantino, it was also a quite personal affair.
“There was just this lovely, lovely aspect because I love both [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 added. “[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. 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 wrote True Romance which was directed by Scott and also worked with the famed filmmaker on Crimson Tide.
Top Gun: Maverick Images
He also explained that he approached Tom Cruise before the film was released to ask how they could possibly make it without Scott behind the camera. Cruise reportedly replied: “I know; that’s why I said no all these years — for that exact reason. We figured out a way.”
Conversely, he was almost pushed away by the almost-cheesy reunion between Cruise and his nemesis, Val Kilmer’s Iceman. Almost.
“It was almost too cheap, but it absolutely works,” he said. “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.”
Top Gun: Maverick has made more money at the U.S. box office than the original Avengers movie, and has become Paramount’s top-grossing film of all time.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.