That Tom Cruise bankability.
When early reviews started dropping for Top Gun: Maverick, I was in awe. They were RAVING about it. Leaning into the idea that this film was going to be the best action film of the year. I thought to myself “how can the follow-up to a film that was no doubt military propaganda lashed with homoerotic tones be BETTER than that?”.
Well dear reader, it is.
Because it leans into some of the things which made the predecessor work, sprinkling it all over this feature. It does so while gently improving the stunts, effects and cinematography to produce evidence that yes; The nostalgia trip CAN be good.
Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is still Maverick. A rebel without a cause and billion dollar pieces of hardware under his control. That’s the kind of mixer you want on a night you need to blow out, but probably not when you’re flying experimental pieces of hardware. As plot does, with its fair share of recognisable motif, Maverick is sent back to Top Gun! Because what is Top Gun without Top Gun. In this case, it would just be Maverick apparently.
After that, we fly through a barrage of nostalgia draped over the modernised Top Gun experience! And god the modern experience is SOMETHING ELSE. I’m going to want to dive into how they did all the flight sequences, cause it really is an adrenaline-fueled flyover adventure. The sheer sense of speed you’ll experience as the film drags you into the cockpit, and then willingly throws you through a slalom course which heads toward Mach 9 is incredible. Stomach-churning turns and more are on offer, as Maverick and his new team take on a new mission.
While the new team is definitely “new”, they also strike like something past. The machismo diversified, our new graduates make up for the likes of Iceman (Val Kilmer), Goose and maybe Maverick himself. And the best thing about them is they’re not just there to equip Maverick for his emotional journey, but to also experience their own. And yes, there’s a love interest in Jennifer Connelly‘s Penny which…well it’s there but I really liked how her first scene involved a Bowie song which I thought was a cute Labyrinth reference.
Top Gun: Maverick is a lovingly handled homage to its past.
From Tom Cruise running to half-naked sports on the beach, it is the quintessential Top Gun experience retold. But it might be better, because Cruise runs twice in Maverick. Iconic. So were the critics right? I think so.
Top Gun: Maverick may just be the best action film of 2022.
"I'VE GOT A NEED. A NEED FOR SPEED."
How did they make this movie?
I know it was delayed due to the pandemic, but it's almost worked out for the better. Releasing at a time where people have been yearning for the magic of cinema once again, TOP GUN: MAVERICK lives up to the title of BLOCKBUSTER at high speeds.
Incredible scenes, a lovable cast and Tom Cruise at his best, MAVERICK may be the feature which sees cinemas fill up for the Summer Blockbuster period. Outstanding.