Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Review

“Top Gun: Maverick” is an “edge of your seat” experience. If you enjoyed the original “Top Gun” film in 1986 and have been waiting patiently for this release, prepare to be pleased, and for some even blown away!

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr. & Peter Craig it details the training of new Top Gun recruits as they prepare for a dangerous and potentially deadly mission. There is only one pilot who has the skill to teach them everything they need to know and that pilot is …you guessed it “Maverick”. It’s a film that delivers on so many levels that for some it might be hard to find fault in the final product.

I would like to get something out of the way first. Tom Cruise is a superior action star. He puts his all into each role and it shows. From performing his own stunts and continuously thinking of ways to produce a superior product to wanting his co-stars to train and participate to the best of their ability. This is evident in “Top Gun: Maverick” and when this film focuses on the character’s time in the air it is nothing short of Magical!

Where this film gets in its own way is when it attempts to provide the audience with nostalgia overload. As much as we all love the original “Top Gun”, I don’t need exact replica shots of scenes from the first movie (which happens quite a bit). Kosinski has stated in interviews that many of the original cast was not asked back because “I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards” (credit, Ella Kemp, NME) . Well that might have been his intention but this movie spends at least 60% of its time looking back using either identical scenes, shots, lines and even character lookalikes. It can feel lame at worst and “try-hard” at best.

Performances by the actors playing the young pilots bring this film to life and are the highlight of most of the film’s time spent on solid ground. Fans have already shown their love for Miles Teller (Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw”) but steller performances by Monica Barbaro (Lt. Natasha ‘Phoenix’ Trace) and Lewis Pullman (Lt. Robert “Bob” Floyd) just to name a few, bring this film life and comic relief. Lastly, lets not forget about the incredible performance of Val Kilmer reprising his role of “Iceman” and Bashir Salahuddin giving an amazing performance as “Hondo”.

This film is a must-see in theatres and it is not a long shot to recommend multiple viewings if you are able. “Top Gun: Maverick” has lived up to most of the hype and delivers on a sequel that was 30 years in the making. Thanks to everyone who took part in bringing this to the big screen. For me, it is an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Listen to Stephanie discuss Top Gun: Maverick with Kevin, Neil, Kova and Spoiler Steve here.

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