Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer
It’s been a little over thirty-five years since the first Top Gun, and now after two years of delays the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is here and it is really wroth the wait. One of the defining things about the last few years has been legacy sequels, from Star Wars to Ghostbusters, and Top Gun: Maverick may be the best of the bunch.
Tom Cruise steps back into the role of Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, who is now a test pilot for the US Navy, after spending years avoiding promotions. His project is shut down and he’s sent back to Top Gun as an instructor, training and preparing the best of the best for a time sensitive mission that is going to be hard to pull off, especially without losing anyone.
The plot is pretty much exactly what you expect from a Top Gun film. It feels like a continuation of the original in every way, just that everything is that much better. It has all the moments the original you’d expect to return, but perfected. There’s an emotional weight to everything that is surprisingly touching. Another surprise is the humour in the film, which really works. It doesn’t matter that the plot is simple, or that you can guess what’s coming, it’s done so well that you’re just completely invested. It’s also one of those films that, even though it’s a little over two hours, doesn’t feel like any time has passed when it ends.
The actual flight sequences are incredible and absolutely thrilling. It’s no surprise for a Cruise film that the stunts are real, and you can feel it. There are so many incredibly tense moments that will have you on the edge of your seat, with your heart racing. Cruise planned a training course for the rest of the actors to learn how to fly the planes and how to operate the camera while flying. It really pays off, and you can feel that it’s real and looks so much better than the CGIfest we’re used to in big budget blockbusters.
Without a doubt this is Tom Cruise’s best performance in at least twenty years. He’s phenomenal in the film and really reminds you that he’s a great actor as well as a stuntman. Miles Teller is perfectly cast as Rooster, the son of Goose who died in the first film. He looks spot-on and gives a great performance. The rest of the cast are fantastic, with a nice cameo from Val Kilmer, the only other returning character from the first film.
Top Gun: Maverick is one of the best blockbuster films of recent years. It’s story may be simple, but it’s perfectly made and sets a new standard for legacy sequels (something Cruise had already done before with The Colour of Money). There’s nail biting tension, mesmerising sequences and everything else you’d want from a sequel to Top Gun.
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