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Jan 1, 2023
Review: Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Review by: David North-Martino
Top Gun: Maverick (2022) is an action drama film and the second installment in the Top Gun film series. It’s directed by Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) and stars Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller (Whiplash) Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and Ed Harris (Apollo 13).
Tom Cruise doesn’t disappoint in this sequel to the action romance classic Top Gun. The orignal balanced the two elements perfectly to create the ultimate date movie. The addition of a steller cast and soundtrack made Top Gun one of the most popular movies of the 1980s.
One of the better films in recent memory, Top Gun: Maverick is heavier on action and lighter on characterization and romance than its predecessor, but still manages to be highly enjoyable even if it can’t quite reach the heights of the original.
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Maverick, a test pilot, who, by now, “...should be at least a two-star admiral by now, if not a senator,” but instead has remained a captain because he feels he's where he belongs. Cruise looks great for his age, but a little grey hair would go a long way to cement Maverick as the seasoned pilot providing his experience and mentorship.
After a flight test goes awry , Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) saves Maverick, pulling strings to send him back to Top Gun to train a new generation of fighter pilots for one last dangerous mission. Kilmer’s inclusion (after his struggles with throat cancer) is poignant as well as moving.
Anthony Edwards can’t reprise his role as Goose, of course, but the spirit of the character is felt throughout the picture. Meg Ryan’s absence is sorely felt. It would have been great to have her reprise her role, even if for only a cameo. However, the reason she’s not there makes sense and helps drive the plot.
Jennifer Connolly provides a romantic interest for Cruise but it can’t match the older teacher with younger student motif we got with the first one with Kelly McGillis. Although, Connolly is a great pick here. We remember her from other 1980s classics. So, her inclusion works.
Filled with daring aerial stunts, and some fun callbacks, there is enough action for real life adrenaline junkies along with the armchair variety. Cruise even pilots his own P-51 Mustang near the end of the film (he wasn’t allowed to pilot the F-18 because of Navy restrictions).
Its refreshing to watch a film where the only goal is to entertain. And entertain it certainly does. Do we have another classic film on our hands? No. Instead, we get an enjoyable movie good enough to watch multiple times. Highly recommended.
Top Gun: Maverick is streaming on Paramount Plus.
Anything I listed in this section would just be nitpicking. Top Gun: Maverick certainly isn’t a perfect movie, but for me it’s close enough.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.