It’s time to once again have the need…the need for speed in the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic film.
Years after becoming one of the best unorthodox fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has proven himself to be able to go Mach 10 on a scramjet project despite objections from Rear Admiral Cain’s attempt to shut down the program for unmanned drones. When Maverick breaks the prototype, he is soon saved but forced to take on a new mission: train a group of new aviator pilots to prepare for a mission involving an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant.
Maverick’s new pilots include Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of his late best friend Goose. From the moment they lock eyes on each other again, Rooster has felt resentment towards Maverick. Despite objections from new leader Cyclone, Maverick’s methods of teaching soon grow on the new team. However, still haunted by the memory of his friend, Maverick still is a bit reluctant, which leads to a standstill between the team and himself. When an old friend tells Maverick it’s time to let go, the motivation soon gets to Maverick, who is ready to be the best again. However, he must get over his beef with Rooster to make the mission a success.
36 years later, Tom Cruise returns to one of his most iconic roles, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in this long-awaited sequel. Is it worth the wait? Absolutely and it’s not just because we are dealing with another adventure. One can see this as a true generational sequel where the threat of unmanned drones taking over the classic pilots allows us to see if the old school method can continue to work. And it does, in more ways than one.
Cruise’s Maverick can be viewed as the “little boy who refuses to grow up”. His character is someone who hasn’t really changed. He is still the arrogant and unorthodox pilot who constantly draws the ire of his superiors. While he does have a chance to prove himself as a mentor to a new team of pilots, he brings a sense of acting like he is better than everyone else. His actions get him in constant trouble, and it gets to a point where he’s even reprimanded for a team-building exercise in a football game on the beach that pays homage to the beach volleyball scene of the original.
Two standouts of the film are Miles Teller as Rooster, the son of original character Goose and Jennifer Connelly as love interest Penny. Rooster still has a sense of resentment towards Maverick and the two’s constant at odds fighting is a core issue in the film. As for looking for love again, we learn that Penny was mentioned in the original film but we see her in real form this time around with Connelly doing an amazing job not only having good chemistry with Cruise, but seems to be a step up from Kelly McGillis’ original love interest Charlie. Val Kilmer makes an emotional cameo in his return as Iceman, who we learn has been the one helping Maverick out and when we see him, knowing the real-life issue Kilmer has dealt with, you can’t help but shed a major tear.
Which leads us to the action scenes. These are some of the most epic scenes that really go up there with the original if not surpassing them. The scenes look so realistic that it feels like you are with the team on their missions and training. Cruise put the cast of new pilots on a boot camp with actual Navy pilots to train for the film and boy, did they impress. Kudos to Monica Barbero, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Glen Powell, and Jay Ellis because they did a tremendous job as the new team of trainees who get in on the action this time around.
Top Gun: Maverick is a rare sequel that is just as amazing as the original. The homages are there, the action is exhilarating, and Val Kilmer’s cameo will definitely bring some emotion. Tom Cruise makes a welcome return to the iconic Maverick.
WFG RATING: A
Paramount Pictures presents a Skydance/Jerry Bruckheimer Films production. Director: Joseph Kosinski. Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, and David Ellison. Writers: Ehren Kruger, Christopher McQuarrie, and Eric Warren Singer; based on characters created by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. Cinematography: Claudio Miranda. Editing: Eddie Hamilton.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Monica Barbero, Danny Ramirez, Jay Ellis, Charles Parnell, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer.