‘Good Morning Aviators’ Back in 1986, Tom Cruise hit the big screen at the height of his cinematic powers coupled with the super producers Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckhiemer alongside Director Tony Scott to give us the aerial marvel and mind blowing, popcorn munching, blockbuster Top Gun which featured footage filmed from the cockpits of fighter jets, the likes of which had never been seen before. After it’s huge success and countless copycat movies (Step forward Iron Eagle), the clamour for a sequel grew and grew, but it never happened, that is until now. Top Gun: Maverick has arrived.
After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Training a detachment of graduates for a special assignment, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who choose to fly it.
Tom Cruise is the master of the Blockbuster, he knows what the public likes and he creates it time and time again. Whatever he turns his hand to, seemingly turns to gold and Top Gun: Maverick is no different. Giving the audience what they want, it was always going to be a hard act to follow, but once again he has achieved it. This time with both Don Simpson and Tony Scott no longer being with us (Although the production company is still billed as the Simpson/Bruckhiemer production) gives us the Top Gun opening, with very slight tweaks, but we are here once again and despite his age Maverick is still upsetting his superiors, with only Iceman (Who is now the Navy Admiral) keeps him around.
They don’t waste time in getting us back to Miramar and Top Gun, with some returning class Top Guns, which Just so happens to include his co-pilot, Goose’s son, callsign Rooster (Miles Teller) to add some additional drama. Teller in particular at times is an absolute dead ringer for Anthony Edwards. It’s lovely to see Val Kilmer back to and the way they work around his currently health issues and engage them into the story as well. For the most part he’s just a name on a text message, but when the reunion occurs it’s a beautiful moment. It also gets one of the biggest laughs too.
Also, joining the cast this time is Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connolly) who if you remember from the first film was a certain Admirals daughter he got put in hack for according to Slider after he was getting rolled out for over a fly past when he first got to Top Gun. It’s a neat call back and doesn’t require the need the for a new love story to be built as it’s already there. To an even causal fan of the original, there is plenty for and to enjoy, especially when they are mirroring certain sequences. Also, the finale mission at times does even more than resemble some of the previous copycat movies, once again step forward Iron Eagle.
Of the other cast members Jon Hamm as ‘Cyclone’ really needs to get some more big movies to be in as he is simply fantastic, the class of Top, Top Guns include Monica Barbaro ‘Phoenix’ is more than just a token female, Lewis Pullman ‘Bob”, Jay Ellis “Payback’, Danny Ramirez ‘Fanboy’, Greg Davis ‘Coyote’ are all excellent additions, but Glenn Powell as ‘Hangman’ who bears more than a resemblance to a cocky young Iceman, has quite the presence. It all adds up to action that is simply fantastic throughout and is definitely requires you finding the biggest screen possible to watch it on.
Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) has put together an incredible ultimate blockbuster. The action is fast, continuous and proper edge of your seat stuff. There is real jeopardy throughout for the protagonists even our beloved Maverick, he gives us something that will have you hooked from the first few bars of the Top Gun anthem until Lady Gaga belts out the new theme song at the end credits. The cinematography is almost flawless, the technology used to capture some of the aerial sequences is a new landmark and the drama fully envelopes every emotion, you may even find yourself shedding a tear or two at the end of joy, happiness or maybe just because of the final line. Whatever it is Top Gun: Maverick is a landmark blockbuster, one that’s definitely going to soon have people clamouring for a third part before too soon as well.
So prepare yourselves, because Top Gun: Maverick will take your breath away… Again.
Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas nationwide from 25th May