[REVIEW] ‘Top Gun Maverick’ or How to Take This Critic’s Breath Away

Back in January of 2020 I did an episode of my podcast with my friend Jen on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2020. One of the films we mentioned for June we were both “super excited for” was Top Gun Maverick. We even chat about how we hope there will be a Meg Ryan cameo and that they will play a new hot beach sport like the beach volleyball in the original film.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-our-most-anticipated-movies-of-2020/id1278536301?i=1000461440616

Who would have ever guessed then that Jen and I would finally get to see the film in a packed IMAX theater in May of 2022! And not only did we see it but we loved it! A lot of pandemic films have been disappointments such as Tenet and Wonder Woman 84 but not this one! I can’t remember the last time I was so engaged in a piece of blockbuster entertainment.

The story in Top Gun Maverick is admittedly simple but it does it’s job which is setting up for fantastic flight sequences and emotional character moments. Some of these involve nostalgia but in a way that’s meaningful not strictly fan service.

Of course I won’t spoil those moments, but suffice it to say we have Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) back to train the top recruits at Top Gun on how to perform a special mission against a mysterious foe that’s hiding a uranium facility. The actual mission feels like the recruits are basically being asked to destroy the Death Star but without the assistance of the force.

Top Gun: Maverick Review: Tom Cruise Soars Above Expectations | IndieWire

All of this is window dressing for some of the most thrilling sequences I’ve seen in a long time. I was gripping the armrest I was so tense!

The performances are all good led of course by Cruise who feels almost more at home in this character than in the Mission Impossible films. We get some heartfelt scenes in this we don’t get in that action-heavy series. I particularly enjoyed his interactions with Val Kilmer which are very well done.

The recruits are all up for the job including Miles Teler, Monica Barbaro and Glen Powell. Don’t worry we get our sexy football scene that lives up to the volleyball of yesteryear. Jennifer Connelly is also a good match for Cruise as a love interest (he sometimes struggles to find chemistry with his leading ladies for some reason).

Tom Cruise Refused to Allow Top Gun: Maverick to Debut on Streaming - IGN

Top Gun Maverick is a great date movie. I certainly wish I had a man to hold my hand during the tense sequences! It has something for everyone and it’s a pretty mild PG-13 so depending on the family it could be a good one to go and see together. It definitely demands to be seen in the theater with the incredible sound design and immersive flight sequences. This is what you go to the movies for! You won’t want to miss it!

9 out of 10

Smile Worthy

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