It’s been over thirty years since Maverick, aka Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise), took part in Top Gun. Currently, Maverick works as a test pilot, laying low and waiting for retirement. Plus, he knows he’ll never be promoted doing what he’s doing, and this pleases him. But Pete made a bold, courageous move during his most recent test flight. Shortly after, he is called back into action with new, non-negotiable orders from above. Maverick’s skills are required to teach and train the best of the best. They’re the best because they have all graduated from Top Gun. But this time, Maverick must prepare them for a high octane deadly mission that, if successful, will save the world.
However, teaching a group of Top Gun graduates isn’t the only challenge for Maverick. Maverick will be forced to relive the past as one of his new students is connected to a part of it that’s filled with darkness and hurt. Can Maverick do what it takes to train, teach, lead and ensure the students complete the mission and survive it?
Like many cinephiles, I am a huge fan of Top Gun (1986). This is mostly due to the level of fun and cheesiness included, such as famous one-liners and its stellar soundtrack. However, what if I told you that as a sequel, this new instalment was better? Well, in my opinion, it is. Firstly, as a sequel, fans will be pleased to see and hear familiar beats and nods to the original film, which is bound to have fans grinning from ear to ear. As a sequel, there is more wild action, making this film easily one of the best blockbusters of the year. Everything on-screen is incredible to look at, and to my surprise, everything on display is easy to watch and follow. Witnessing the various planes conduct extreme stunts certainly takes this sequel a notch up from the original. The audio is incredible.
But while fans will love the nostalgia, what makes Top Gun: Maverick better is its main story, particularly when it comes to the main character. The plot is dramatic and heartfelt, and actor Tom Cruise delivers a tremendous performance. His character is taken to a much deeper level with new and different challenges around him. I wasn’t expecting this, and I loved every moment the actor was on-screen. Side performances are also great, and Miles Teller is excellent in his supporting role. Brief appearances on screen, such as Ed Harris, are excellent and deliver outstanding supporting performances.
As for negatives, I honestly can’t speak badly of this film, but I will point out a couple of small/minor issues for me relating to the romance. At first, the plot surrounding the romance feels forced, but it’s so charming that it’s forgivable. The biggest aspect that didn’t work for me was actor Jon Hamm in a side role. His performance here felt somewhat unfitting given the character he was playing. Again, this is a minor issue.
Overall, as a sequel, this film scores above the original in a massive way, and I especially loved the plot surrounding the lead, Maverick. Those who love action will be stunned, shocked and impressed with all the high octane action displayed here; it’s truly wild and impressive. Tom Cruise is also, once again, excellent, and we witness his character taking on new and unexpected dramas that surround him while still delivering many laughs and grins along the way. It’s an unforgettable experience, and I promise you, it will get your adrenaline pumping based on the third act alone. It’s easily one of the best films released this year and must be seen on the big screen as the filmmakers intended. This film has exceeded my expectations, and I suggest putting on your helmet, aviator glasses and strapping in to re-enter the Dangerzone.
17th May 2022
Written by Peter Walkden
Peter Walkden at the Queensland Red Carpet preview screening at Event Cinemas Chermside!