Title – Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Director – Joseph Kosinski (Only the Brave)
Cast – Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Glen Powell, Val Kilmer
Plot – Infamous American pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) finds himself back in the Top Gun school for Navy pilots where his best friends only son Rooster (Teller) is training to be one of the new era of pilots pushing themselves to the very edge of what is considered plausible.
“The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction”
Review by Eddie on 30/05/2022
Disclaimer – This review is based on the IMAX version of the film.
After not only a 36 year wait but a painful few years in amongst that awaiting the Covid-19 pandemic to be tolerated enough for cinemas to be back open for business as per usual, the sequel to iconic 1986 action thriller Top Gun has finally landed in the form of the much-hyped Maverick.
A follow-up that has absolutely no right being as good as it is, director Joseph Kosinski and his star Tom Cruise have blown expectations out of the water for their return to the high flying world of American pilot extraordinaire Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a talented and confident loner who is still haunted by the death of his best friend and facing a changing world where his kind of pilot is no longer considered necessary in a changing landscape where man are too be replaced by machine.
Perfectly balancing homages to the past that is sure to please die-hard fans, respecting the era in which Top Gun was birthed into, bringing in new characters to Mitchell’s world and giving us a story we can invest in while gifting us the adrenaline rush a film like this should inject into our eyeballs, Maverick is a highly functional balancing act of pure entertainment, thrills and heart and while there’s nothing out of the ordinary about the story being told in this venture, Kosinski and Cruise’s commitment to the cause and ability to be at one with itself allows Maverick to succeed where so many similar ventures have failed in recent times.
To call Maverick one of the most successful sequels of all-time may seem far too over the top but with all things considered there’s reason to be so buoyant about such a statement and the fact all involved with Maverick were up for doing things the old fashioned way when it comes to stunts and set-pieces, ensures that the spectacle found within Kosinski’s fast-moving and constantly entertaining exercise is one of the best examples of Hollywood filmmaking seen in the last decade, on par with the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Cruise’s other beloved property Mission Impossible when it comes to bang for buck and top-tier blockbuster outings.
It’s extremely rare for a film of this kind to somehow give time and place to all of its components, giving them time to shine and work alongside one another but that’s what happens here as the story of Mitchell’s grief and desire to find peace with his life comes full circle, all the while giving us a birds eye view of being a pilot in a generation of advanced military machines, culminating in one of the most memorable finales in some time that is sure to have audience members gripping their seats and swaying their heads left and right as the exploits in the skies take hold and Kosinski and Cruise’s imaginations come to a stunning conclusion.
Throughout all of this is a collection of memorable performances with Cruise once more displaying a rare ability to possess Hollywood charisma almost unlike any other peer while new additions to the Top Gun world such as Miles Teller as Goose’s son Rooster (with Teller looking uncannily like his fictional father), Jennifer Connelly as Mitchell’s love interest Penny and Glenn Powell as the cocky Hangman all making memorable appearances while a touching and important cameo from Iceman himself Val Kilmer will be a significantly memorable moment for many children of the 80’s.
Final Say –
Old school Hollywood filmmaking makes a triumphant return in the unexpectedly thrilling (and even moving) experience that is Top Gun: Maverick. A significant achievement for its leading man and a career touchstone for director Joseph Kosinski, if there’s one film you see on the big screen this year make it this one.
4 1/2 pairs of aviators out of 5