Review by Camden Ferrell
For better or worse, 1986’s Top Gun is one of the decade’s defining films. Upon its release the amount of people joining the Navy to be Naval Aviators skyrocketed as did the sale of aviator sunglasses and bomber jackets. Now, over thirty years later, the sequel we never knew we needed, Top Gun: Maverick, is coming to theaters. This long-awaited film is a brilliant technical and cinematic marvel that will put the original to shame all while gracefully concluding the story of America’s favorite hot shot pilot.
After multiple decades of service as a Navy aviator, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell finds himself as an instructor for a group of Top Gun graduates as they prepare for a perilous mission. Here, he must confront his past and his future while helping a new generation forge their path in the Navy. This is a premise that perfectly sets up the continued development of its protagonist while providing a set-up for some high-stakes, enjoyable action.
Tom Cruise returns the iconic role as if no time has passed at all. He stills maintains all the charisma of Maverick, and he interacts quite well with the rest of the cast. The movie features newcomers to the series in Miles Teller, Glenn Powell, and Monica Barbaro among others. Teller and Powell stand out the most and fit perfectly in the series as Naval aviators alongside Cruise and the rest of the cast.
This sequel improves upon the original in every way imaginable. It is written better, and it actually has a strong emotional core that carries the movie on more than one level throughout. It also feels like the stakes are much higher and palpable than the original. In addition to this, Joseph Kosinski directs this movie very well. He is able to create scenes that are exhilarating and mesmerizingly captivating. There is so much energy and emotion in the way that this movie is executed that it’s hard not to love.
Obviously, when people see this movie, they’re going to want to see some great action in the air. I’m happy to say this movie delivers on that in surprising ways. The sequences in the air are absolutely phenomenal and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The shots from inside the cockpit are fantastic and demand to be seen on the biggest screen possible. This is a technical marvel and one of the finest examples of blockbuster filmmaking this century, and you’re going to want to be in an environment that fully immerses you into all of the excitement.
Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel done right, and with any luck will be more iconic than its predecessor. Kosinski directs a masterful popcorn flick that audiences of all ages will love. This is a movie that’s made for the big screen and will remind audiences why theaters remain and important part of cinema today.
Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters May 27.