‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Review

To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Top Gun: Maverick is an action-drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (Reindeer Games), Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), and Christopher McQuarrie (Edge of Tomorrow). Featuring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Bashir Salahuddin, and Val Kilmer. The sequel to Top Gun, the story follows test pilot Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as he returns to TOPGUN to train a group of graduates for a specialized mission under the orders of his former rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky.

At an old Navy hanger, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) starts his day fixing up an old plane before heading to work at a nearby testing facility. Upon arrival, he is informed by Bernie “Hondo” Coleman (Bashir Salahuddin) that Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris) is on his way to cut their funding and move it to his drone program if they cannot reach Mach 10, up from the previously informed Mach 9. Maverick decides to move forward with the test flight before the Rear Admiral arrives. During the flight Maverick reaches Mach 10, securing their funding but ends up destroying the plane trying to reach Mach 11.

After being picked up by the Military Police, Hammer informs Maverick that he has been reassigned to teach at TOPGUN by his friend and former rival Four-star Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Upon arrival, he meets some of his trainees realizing among them is Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s late best friend and RIO, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.

Legacy sequels have become very popular in Hollywood lately. Blade Runner 2049, Tron: Legacy, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Jurassic World are examples of this. It was only a matter of time before Top Gun got the sequel treatment as the original film was a box office success and Tom Cruise has only become an even bigger action star. Top Gun: Maverick faced many delays due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and there was a time Paramount considered releasing it on Paramount+, however, Tom Cruise was adamant that it be released exclusively in theaters. Turns out that Cruise was right because this film was tailor-made for the theatrical experience.

Somehow Joseph Kosinski managed to bring the 80s feel to modern film. While technology has changed, the themes of the original film are still present. There is action, comedy, rivalry, and a love story woven together equally throughout the movie. Cruise is the main link to the previous film, but Kilmer has a heartfelt cameo that hits home hard considering the actor’s real-life bout with cancer. Maverick is still struggling with the loss of Goose and is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to keeping Rooster safe. Iceman helps him come to terms with that struggle in a way only a true friend could.

Casting director Denise Chamian (Minority Report) did a great job selecting the younger cast. Miles Teller bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Anthony Edwards making his choice as Goose’s adult son perfect. Teller also has great chemistry with Glen Powell, who plays Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin. Their rivalry is similar to that of Maverick and Iceman in the original movie. What truly makes this film shine is the beautiful cinematography by Claudio Miranda (Only the Brave). The wide-angle shots of the landscape, the horizon seen from the aircraft carriers, and the scenes in the cockpit all look phenomenal. Miranda has been the cinematographer for every feature Kosinski has directed and I think it is safe to say they make a great team.

Overall Top Gun: Maverick is a fun blockbuster that should be experienced in theaters. It’s a fun mix of nostalgia and modern cinema that can be enjoyed by fans of the original and newcomers alike. I give Top Gun: Maverick a Decent 8.8/10. Judging by the talented young actors chosen for this sequel, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a trilogy eventually.

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