Top Gun: Maverick combines the right amount of nostalgia, military action, and familiar charms to deliver an entertaining alternative to CGI movies.
Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is a test pilot for the US Navy. The objective of his “Darkstar” scramjet program was changed without prior notice, rendering his tests a failure. But Maverick being Maverick, takes the window of opportunity before the admiral arrives to shut down the program and flies the hypersonic plane. He achieves the required Mach 10 but destroys a bazillion-dollar military property.
But before he gets permanently grounded, he’s assigned back to Top Gun, but now as an instructor for a new crop of hopefuls. His mission – teach the best pilots to accomplish a nearly impossible and almost suicide mission.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to search for your Dad’s VHS of the original movie to get this sequel. There are enough flashbacks for you to understand what happened and how it affects Maverick as he returns to his old stomping grounds.
If you’re tired of the Marvel CGI spectacles, good news. Top Gun: Maverick has enough clout to get multiple screenings instead of getting sidelined by Multiverse of Madness.
Tom Cruise, who has enough licenses to decorate a wall, commits to the action scenes as usual – he designed a boot camp for pilots to undergo a three-month training that included aerial aviation and underwater evacuation. The actors also had to learn how to run the IMAX cameras inside the cockpit.
All of this effort paid off. The aerial action and dogfights are immersive – editing shows you different perspectives from the cockpit to flight footage. The movie feels less like an hour-long recruitment video and more like a standard blockbuster.
The new cast is a typical collection of stock characters – the arrogant hotshot, the token femme fatale, the black dude, the comic relief, and the protege.
Miles Teller is a decent actor when you forget how douchy he comes off in interviews. The rest of the cast supplies the goods in the looks department. You’ll see Manny Jacinto in the background, though unfortunately he’s only featured in one quick cameo.
Their enemy is completely dehumanized and seen as nothing but a simple threat. There are fewer light moments – the romance is perfunctory – to accommodate for the action and you can tell this whole movie is Cruise controlled.
But this is to be expected. After all, this is still a Tom Cruise movie.
Top Gun: Maverick is a classic blockbuster that relies on practical effects for believability and doesn’t need in-depth franchise knowledge to be appreciated, like the movies of a bygone era where they’re just exactly that, a movie.
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is an old-school blockbuster that balances nostalgia and military action, delivering a palate cleanser to CGI-vomit movies.