Entertainment

'Bosch: Legacy' Is a Sequel That Understands The Secret Bosch Sauce

Making the jump to Amazon Freevee, the long-running cop drama remains as sturdy and reliable as ever.

Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee

In the first episode of Bosch: Legacy, the quasi-sequel spin-off to Amazon’s long-running detective procedural, an earthquake strikes Los Angeles and shakes the foundation of Harry Bosch’s beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills. The house, a glass-encased two-bedroom on stilts, was also featured in the Michael Mann classic Heat-it’s where Amy Brenneman’s graphic designer (and Robert De Niro love interest) Eady lives-and it’s an essential part of the Bosch experience, the perfect space for a detective to brood while playing jazz records and nursing a Fat Tire beer. Now, because of the structural damage, Bosch, never exactly a work life balance king, has to sleep in his office.

Luckily, the damage to Bosch’s house is not a metaphor for the changes that have occurred to the series in its transition from Bosch: Regular to Bosch: Legacy. Yes, after the events of Bosch’s seventh season, our tattooed hero (Titus Wellever) has handed in his badge and pivoted to the freelance life of a private investigator. There’s a new title and the show now airs on Amazon’s ad-supported Freevee platform (formerly IMDb TV) instead of on Prime proper. Key members of the Bosch cast, like Jamie Hector’s Jerry Edgar, Amy Aquino’s Lieutenant Billets, and Lance Reddick’s Chief Irving, are no longer around. Tragically, the producers have ditched the old Bosch theme song (“Can’t Let Go“) in favor of a track that has yet to fully lodge itself in my brain. But these are small architectural adjustments, like retiling the floor or buying new curtains. No teardown necessary.

Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee
Amazon Freevee

As implied by the title, Bosch: Legacy is basically Bosch with a renewed emphasis on the future. That mostly takes the form of an increased amount of screen-time for Bosch’s daughter Maddie, who was introduced as a teenager in the first season back in 2014 and grew to have a more significant role as the show progressed. Played by Madison Lintz, Maddie has always been an engaging, sharply drawn character, criticizing her father’s stubbornness while still embodying the same quality. As teased in the Bosch series finale, Maddie is now following in her dad’s footsteps by training as a police officer. In the first Bosch: Legacy episode, we meet her as a “boot,” a rookie street cop already chafing against the rules and bureaucracy of the department.

In previous seasons, Maddie worked for Honey “Money” Chandler (Mimi Rogers), a civil rights lawyer who faced off with Bosch in the courtroom but eventually found a begrudging respect for the guy. In addition to Maddie, Chandler, who spent a good deal of Season 7 in a coma after getting shot in her home, is the other Bosch character with a more expanded role in Legacy. She’s teaming up with Bosch, trading barbs and tips, while also dealing with the psychological fallout from her attack. One of the tricky scenarios she draws Bosch into involves ailing billionaire Whitney Vance (William Devane of Marathon Man and Rolling Thunder), who wants to track down a potential heir to his fortune. (Having never known his own father, Bosch gets personally wrapped up in solving the case, a hallmark of the series.) Even if the Knives Out-ish inheritance set-up feels familiar, the scenes between Devane and Wellever are a treat: tender, melancholy, and infused with an awareness of mortality. On the less somber side, there’s also a new tech-savvy, jazz-nerd sidekick named Mo (Stephen Chang) who helps Bosch with his investigations because every cop procedural needs a tech guy. When Mo offers to Venmo his boss and tells him that cash is “so last century,” Bosch gets the last word. “So am I, brother,” he says. “So am I.” 

The last century pleasures of Bosch: Legacy aren’t limited to the character’s resistance to apps. At a time when so many limited series stretch two hours worth of story across a handful of episodes and streamers like Netflix often end even their big hits after a handful of seasons, there’s something admirably old school about Bosch: Legacy’s unwavering commitment to a model of serialized storytelling where you watch a character slowly evolve over nearly a decade. Writer Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, the author of the Bosch book series, remain creatively involved and they have steered the show through peaks and valleys. (Like previous seasons, Bosch: Legacy draws its plot from one of Connelly’s novels, which have provided the series with an endless number of twist-filled mysteries.) Winding down the show on Prime felt like an odd decision, so the choice to essentially resurrect it on Freevee makes sense. The news that it was already renewed for a second season before its premiere shouldn’t come as a shock, either: When you want to get a job done, you call Bosch.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He’s on Twitter @danielvjackson.

Entertainment

'Top Gun: Maverick' Is the Perfect Adrenaline Rush

Tom Cruise's sequel brings the charms of the original classic into the modern era.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

What does it take to make a great action drama? Fighter jets. Kenny Loggins music. Tom Cruise. In 1986, Top Gun, perhaps the ultimate “guys being dudes” action movie set within a training school for the Navy’s best fighter pilots, patented this formula, and added in a bunch of sweaty guys playing beach volleyball and an iconic love scene to seal the deal. Top Gun‘s massive popularity made the announcement of a sequel seem the most natural thing in the world, if not the most exciting: an elder Tom Cruise handing the reins off to a new generation of elite actors. If that’s what you’re expecting, you’re in for a surprise. Top Gun is a classic. Top Gun: Maverick does everything Top Gun did and more.

It’s been thirty-six years since Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) completed his TOPGUN program, but he’s far from the decorated officer he was destined to become by the end of the first movie. He’s dodged every promotion he could dodge, working as a test pilot flying hypersonic stealth jets for the military, but the specter of unmanned drones looms ever closer, spelling the end for an entire era of warfare. Not so fast, though-Maverick is called back to a certain fighter training school as an instructor, tasked with putting together a team of the best of the best to complete a bombing run involving some absurdly complex flying maneuvers at high speed much too close to the ground in enemy territory. If you will, an impossible mission.

The new crop of airmen, now flying F/A-18 Hornets instead of F-14 Tomcats, are kids in Maverick’s eyes, and he shows up to teach them what’s what, inventing training exercises to test their mettle and teach them how to fly as a team. It’s not going to be easy, with the egos of pilots like “Hangman” (Glen Powell), “Fanboy” (Danny Ramirez), “Coyote” (Greg Tarzan Davis) and “Phoenix” (Monica Barbaro) repeatedly clashing as they struggle to work together. And there are two more problems: He only has a few weeks to train these kiddos up to fly a mission from which they might not all return, and one of his students, sullen Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), is the son of Maverick’s old flying partner Goose, who tragically died in the first movie. Not to mention reconnecting with an old flame, single mother Penny (Jennifer Connelly), who manages the local bar and is not about to fall yet again for a guy who’s left her more than once. You see where this is going.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The movie begins with a collection of the greatest hits of its predecessor, including but not limited to a montage of jets landing on an aircraft carrier lit by the golden light of the sun, Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” and Maverick defying orders to do something with an aircraft that nobody’s ever done before. This is, after all, a movie that will have more than a few similarities to the one that came before. After that, though, the engines kick into gear (I apologize if this car metaphor doesn’t also work for planes), and Top Gun: Maverick starts to try out a few new tricks.

The interpersonal relationships between the characters are fun and fully realized (Maverick’s perpetual battle of egos with his commanding officer, a Vice Admiral known as “Cyclone” (Jon Hamm) is a highlight) and there’s just enough downtime between white-knuckle action to really get to know everyone. The sweaty beach game returns, but the macho posturing is toned down, given that we live in a new millennium and one of the main pilots is a woman. Val Kilmer reprises his “Iceman” for a touching scene. All of this is complemented by unbelievable flying sequences that will genuinely leave you breathless, each lightning-fast dogfight game and training simulation grander and faster than the last. This is the type of film to see as big and loud as possible.

But, as the original was, Top Gun: Maverick is also simply a straight-up great time at the movies. It makes the act of being a good movie look like the easiest thing in the world, with director Joseph Kosinski showing off everything he’s got. (Yes, you should give Tron: Legacy another shot.) Because “the enemy” is never named, as in the first movie, it is comfortably apolitical (if you disregard the fact that the jets Maverick eventually goes up against are Russian, and what a boon the original Top Gun was for U.S. military recruitment programs), and even though the whole movie is working towards a life-or-death wartime mission, it never forgets that its purpose is to thrill and excite. Great action movies aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Like a good wingman, Top Gun: Maverick swoops in to save the day.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

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