Film Review – Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick (M)

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

The wait is finally over – a sequel 34 years in the making and then an additional two years added due to COVID-19 related release delays – Tom Cruise is back in the pilot’s seat for the sequel to Top Gun (1986).

After more than 30 years as a Navy aviator, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is still a Captain, having avoided advancement through the ranks.

When a unique and dangerous mission arises, he is recruited to train an elite group of cocky graduates, including Lt Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller) the son of Maverick’s best friend Goose who died when Rooster was a child.

Tension between the two adds pressure to the already high stakes mission, with all these graduates live’s in his hands.

Meanwhile, heart-breaker Maverick rekindles a flame with former lover Penny (Jennifer Connelly), now a bar owner and mother who lives a low-key life and does not want to get attached and be abandoned again.

Top Gun: Maverick offers the right amount of humour, action and nostalgia, building on the original story and character relationships while introducing new ones.

Although some decisions remain baffling – eliminating the Kelly McGillis character altogether and only showing brief footage of Meg Ryan’s character, but resurrecting Penny, who was only mentioned previously and never seen.

Regardless, the development between Maverick and the newly introduced characters carries enough dramatic weight for the audience to be engaged and entertained enough between action sequences.

And those action sequences are a thrill and a half.

Director Joseph Kosinksi builds plenty of excitement with the training montages, then dials it up with some of the most exhilarating aerial acrobats and fighter plane action on the big screen, made even more breath taking with how practical it all appears.

Despite having hit gold with the Mission: Impossible franchise, Cruise still has strong hold on Top Gun, seemingly unwilling to pass the baton to the next generation – this is very much about Maverick and his journey.

But that Cruise charm still has wings.

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