A sequel to 'Top Gun' was teased at the San Diego Comic Con in 2019 and had fans bubbling with anticipation. Thankfully, 'Top Gun: Maverick' expelled doubts and exceeded expectations for all the right reasons. It was an amazing experience to be able to taste the flavour of the original film again and witness a modern take on a classic franchise.
The film was released in theatres on 24 May. Tom Cruise reprised the role of Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and delivered an outstanding and wholesome performance as the character. Penny Benjamin was brought to life by Jennifer Connelly. Miles Teller played the role of Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw along with Glenn Powell, Monica Barbaro, Jon Hamm and Jay Ellis, who play Hangman, Phoenix, Cyclone and Payback respectively. Val Kilmer reappeared as Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky for a brief cameo.
The story takes place nearly 35 years after the events of the first. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, is still flying high and still feels the need for speed even after all these years. However, despite a great track record, he is still a Captain while everyone he knows have become high ranking officials.
Maverick returns to Top Gun, where aviators are trained to be the best of the best. Aces are pushed to their limits, and become legends of air combat in the process. He returns as an instructor and comes face to face with the ghost of his past.
It is safe to say that many of the audience, if not most, were eager for the new sequel because of the charm of its predecessor. 'Top Gun: Maverick' delivers perfectly on those reminiscing elements.
Even though the flight decks are now filled with new and improved tech, the charm is still the same. The flashiness of the jets and the pilots, along with the catchy callsigns, are the perfect callback to the past. However, that doesn't mean that the film was a rehash of the original. The struggles, motivations and inspirations have all changed with the drift of time.
The 1986 film focused more on the pride and might of the US Navy Aviation. The sequel, however, shifts that focus to a more character driven story of the protagonist and the people around him. The 2022 film focuses on the struggle of Maverick as he becomes entangled with new characters.
Most summer action movies have a trend of showing off spectacular visuals – like caped superheroes shooting energy beams at one another, speeding across the galaxy, etc. However, no amount of expensive CGI can actually rival the visceral experience of Cruise sitting in the cockpit of an F-18, with plane-mounted cameras directed at him, while gravity smooshes his face flat.
The flight shots in the original Top Gun were outstanding for its day, but it pales in comparison to what Kosinski and his team have produced here. Every action sequence looks perfect, and will keep you at the edge of your seat.
'Top Gun: Maverick' does an excellent job of reeling you in. There is never a dull moment throughout its entire duration. Every turn of the story, the film will keep you anticipating what comes next, and leave you wanting more.