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//Gill Sherry//

I make no apology for admitting that Top Gun is my all-time favourite movie. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Air Boss Johnson spill his coffee as a result of Maverick’s fly-by. Or how often I’ve quoted that unforgettable line: “I feel the need… the need for speed!” I still shed a tear when Maverick throws Goose’s dog tags into the ocean. The hairs on the back of my neck still stand on end in the closing scene when Charlie slots a quarter into the jukebox. And let’s not forget, I named my dog after the Top Gun protagonist.

So, imagine my frustration when the sequel, originally due to be released in December last year, was delayed until July 2021, and then again until 19th November 2021. As if the pandemic hasn’t been frustrating enough, now I’m denied the pleasure of seeing Pete “Maverick” Mitchell train a new squad of aviator graduates. Not to mention Val Kilmer’s return as “Iceman” (he can be my wingman anytime).

It’s not that I’m a huge Tom Cruise fan (I’m more of a Daniel Craig girl myself) but I must admit, he has aged rather well. And if the sequel is anywhere near as good as the original 1986 movie, then box office receipts should be as big as Maverick’s ego. (“Your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”)

That said, as much as I’m itching to see the new film, I’m not sure I want to sit in a cinema wearing a face mask. Not only that, I’m reluctant to share my viewing space with a bunch of strangers who will no doubt annoy me with their constant chattering, fidgeting and eating (not forgetting those who forget to turn off their phone). I want my long awaited viewing to be uninterrupted. I want to hear every word, feel every emotion, enjoy every scene.

Like many others, I’ve become used to watching movies in the comfort of my own home. Admittedly, the size of the screen is significantly smaller and the surround sound not quite in the same league but, if it means I don’t have to sit behind a mask for the duration of the film, then I might just opt to stay at home.

But I’ve waited thirty-five long years for this sequel, the last of which has been the longest year of all. Can I really wait any longer for it be shown on TV? And aren’t we obliged to support the economy by spending our money at the box office? It sure is a quandary. Let’s hope that by the time November comes around, the rules regarding face masks will no longer apply. It’s a shame we can’t remove noisy cinema-goers at the same time but I live in hope that my fellow film buffs will be as keen to enjoy the sequel as I am.

Now, returning to the subject of Daniel Craig, the release date of the new James Bond movie has been shifted for a third time as a result of the pandemic. No Time to Die was originally scheduled for release in the UK in April 2020 but was postponed until November the same year. It was then delayed again until 8th October 2021 until, surprisingly, being brought forward to 30th September.

Admittedly, I haven’t waited over thirty years for the handsome intelligence officer to order a Vodka Martini “shaken not stirred” but that doesn’t mean the wait has been any less frustrating. The fact that it is Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007 has made the delay even more disappointing. No doubt it will be full of the usual corny and outdated clichés but isn’t that what makes a Bond film so enjoyable?

Both movies are guaranteed to attract huge audiences and, despite their obvious differences, their attraction is undeniably similar. Action-packed with a heroic male lead, a hint of romance and an awesome soundtrack/theme tune. A winning combination and a welcome return to our cinemas. Bring it on!

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