Top Gun: Maverick came through with flying colours by effortlessly taking its audience into the danger zone.
Despite initial mixed critical reception, very few movies have endured the way Top Gun has. In addition to increasing the number of male US Naval Aviator applicants by 500% at the time of its release, Tony Scott’s classic is also credited as the film that catapulted Tom Cruise to superstardom. From its incredible box office run to its sensational soundtrack, 1986’s Top Gun has left a tremendous legacy that captured the imagination of popular culture. Naturally, a sequel after a 36-year break is bound to garner excitement – and Top Gun: Maverick came through with flying colours by effortlessly taking its audience into the danger zone.
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After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
Masterfully crafting aerial action sequences as beautiful as they are exciting, director Joseph Kosinski delivers a cinematic experience that will never ever be matched at home. In addition to the film’s dedication to exhilarating action sequences, Cruise’s tireless commitment to filmmaking permeates through the screen in every scene. Easily one of the more memorable legacy sequels, Top Gun: Maverick is a full-throttle, action-packed time capsule that delivers the thrills audiences have been clamouring for.
Building on top of the foundation laid by the original film, Top Gun: Maverick’s storytelling is just as engrossing on the ground as it is in the air. Although it borrows the narrative framework of its predecessor, packed with scenes of rivalry and seduction, personal reckonings that runs parallel with difficult flight tests and simulated dogfights, the Top Gun sequel goes to great lengths to bring it to unexpected new heights as an exhilarating, and more importantly, emotional piece of filmmaking.
Blending the right amount of respect for the source material, tribute, and modernisation, Top Gun: Maverick joins the small list of recent sequels made many years removed from their predecessors that are better than the originals. Packed with adrenaline-laced dogfights grounded by a top-tier performance from Cruise, the film lives up to the insane hype by delivering exactly what it promised. Soaring above and beyond its predecessor, Top Gun: Maverick is an immaculately crafted film that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.