Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) returns to the Top Gun academy to coach the best young flyers in the Navy on how to navigate a very dangerous mission in Top Gun: Maverick.
I think the first Top Gun is just fine, and do not have any strong feelings about it. And I believe that you don’t have to watch the predecessor to enjoy Top Gun: Maverick, it does stand on its own and even surpasses the original film.
You can’t talk about this film without mentioning the action sequences, which are awe-inspiring. Not only are these dogfighting sequences nail-biting, but they were almost all done practically, which makes a big difference. Tom Cruise and these other actors are actually filming themselves flying these jets.
The plot overall of this film is predictable. Miles Teller stars as Goose’s son, “Rooster”, and he serves as the emotional weight for Maverick. Goose’s death still looms large not only for Maverick but for his son too. The character of Maverick is pretty much the same. He still is arrogant, doesn’t follow the rules, and pushes not only his limit but everyone else’s too.
This sequel has a lot of homages to the original film. This at first worried me. The opening credits are almost exactly the same, the same songs are used, and there is a beach game with a lot of shirtless men. Thankfully though these homages tended to be surface level.
Everyone delivered good performances in this film, but there is not much character development for really anyone in the cast. Cruise does has some vulnerable beats, while Teller’s character must learn to overcome his fears. Val Kilmer also shows up again as “Iceman,” and it was really nice to see him on-screen again.
I will say the end song by Lady Gaga did not exactly fit with this film. The romantic subplot between Maverick and Jennifer Connelly’s character was also a bit mediocre. And I also wish Meg Ryan had a small part in this film. I know she didn’t have a big role in the original film, but I think it would have been nice to see her.
Though the summer season just started, I believe Top Gun: Maverick will be this year’s summer movie. It’s an excellent sequel and a great blockbuster. Top Gun: Maverick is innovative, thrilling, and impressive. Go see it in a theater, because those fighter jet sequences really are something else.
I give Top Gun: Maverick an A-