‘Top Gun: Maverick’ brings the charm and nostalgia of the original while improving on the story and delivering breath taking cinematography

After 36 years we are finally getting a sequel to the movie that propelled Tom Cruise into Hollywood royalty.  Top Gun: Maverick, starts off much like the original Top Gun with its almost identical to the original prologue, followed by the crowd-pleasing Kenny Loggins hit “Danger Zone. Its opening sequence is riddled with fist pumping, signal giving cool looking guys decked with aviators directing Naval Carrier traffic.  Maverick takes the best parts of the original film filtering out the corny or campy stuff and improves on the story set up by the original. Even more so, it manages to explore combat grief, fear and incredible relationships that make the stakes of the film even higher. Using unique ways to get around real life issues to deliver emotional scenes that we didn’t expect.

The cinematography is fantastic. More than that, this film doesn’t just pit hotshot pilots against one another for sport, it shows how challenging and physically demanding it is to pilot and aircraft while operating weapons and flight controls. It really gives you an in-flight feeling. 

But what will leave the most lasting impression is Tom Cruise’s performance in the sequel. Cruise being one of the last true of bona-fide movie stars left from a crop of stars that is truly dwindling these days. Gone are the days of the seemingly immortal A-listers. He delivers an almost Oscar worthy performance as Maverick. How many other household names can almost guarantee a box office hit?

Not going without notice the relationships formed and presented to us as audience members give the film seemingly higher stakes.  Miles Teller finally seems to have grown out of the career slump that has plagued him in the past. He delivers a solid performance here and continues to be someone I would keep an eye on.

Top Gun: Maverick 4.5 out of 5 Naval Carriers

Reviewed at AMC Whitemarsh (Imax), May 23, 2022.

MPA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 130 MIN.

  • Production:  A Paramount Pictures release of a Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Jerry Bruckheimer Films presentation of a Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer production. Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison. Executive producers: Tommy Harper, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Chad Oman, Mike Stenson.
  • Crew: Director: Joseph Kosinski. Screenplay: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie; story: Peter Craig, Justin Marks, based on characters created by Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr. Camera: Claudio Miranda. Editor: Eddie Hamilton. Music: Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer, Hans Zimmer.
  • With: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer.

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