Top Gun: Maverick – a movie review by Alex First

May 22, 2022 by Alex First
Read on for article

Top Gun: Maverick is everything I wanted and more from a sequel 36 years on.

It is tense, action-packed, anti-establishment and cheeky, with romance thrown in for good measure.

After three decades, one of the Navy’s top aviators is still doing things his way, breaking rules and getting into trouble.

I speak of Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick (Tom Cruise), whose “antics” see him unable to rise in rank beyond that of captain.

His latest, and likely his last assignment sees him instructing the new breed of the best of the best fighter pilots in a perilous mission against an unnamed enemy.

Among his charges is the son of Maverick’s former best buddy, Goose, who died in his arms.

The Top Gun: Maverick script by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie is a beauty.

It is one that will appeal to both fans of the original and those without that history.

Director Joseph Kosinski, who worked with Cruise on Oblivion, has done a fine job integrating the backstory into the present, enabling the characters to move forward.

Even after all these years, Cruise is totally at ease wearing the hero’s bomber jacket and, dare I say, it still fits comfortably.

Around him, the new fighter pilots also stand tall.

Among the most noteworthy is the aggrieved son of Goose, Rooster. Miles Teller puts on a good show, while Glen Powell channels arrogance with distinction as cocky young pilot Hangman.

I also liked Bashir Salahuddin as Maverick’s right-hand man, Bernie “Hondo” Coleman.

Hondo knows all too well just how far Maverick is willing to push and is loyal to a fault. Salahuddin brings warmth to the role.

As Admiral Solomon “Warlock” Bates, Charles Parnell traverses the fine line of trying to keep Maverick in line, while admiring his moxie.

Jennifer Connelly more than holds her own as Maverick’s love interest, Penny Benjamin.

She is a strong-willed and independent woman who Maverick has hurt before but remains attracted to his charm and attitude.

YouTube player

Visually, Top Gun: Maverick is stunning – the aerial manoeuvres, in particular, are, indeed, the stuff of daredevils.

But that is not to undersell the sea shots and those on land. It is an exercise in accentuating the best out of each scene, the work of Claudio Miranda (Oblivion).

There is also a throwback to footage from the Top Gun (1986), which is well worked into the story arc and a pleasant trip down memory lane.

Musically too, the score by Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer and Hans Zimmer works a treat, delivering no shortage of pulsating, energetic numbers.

So, there is a great deal to appreciate about Top Gun: Maverick, which remains true to the original concept.

It captures bravado, with a capital “B” and is thoroughly entertaining throughout.

Rated M, it scores an 8½ out of 10.  Running time: 130 minutes

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.