Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Dir Joseph Kosinski, Paramount Pictures, 5*****: Matthew Alicoon

Top Gun : Maverick

Paramount Pictures

Running Time: 131 Minutes

Set 36 years after its predecessor. Top Gun: Maverick follows Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) who is placed in charge as an instructor for a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission.

It seems fitting that Berlin’s song from the original Top Gun is called “Take My Breath Away”, as the title perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on Top Gun : Maverick, as the film literally took my breath away.

Top Gun: Maverick is a nostalgic thrill ride that pays homage to the original whilst also being its own standalone piece. The film plays with the concept of legacy similarly to Scream 5 and what Top Gun: Maverick juggles perfectly is the critical depth within the new characters as well as making sure Maverick is at centre stage for the narrative. The script is beautifully written and is filled with heartfelt and sympathetic moments throughout. The elegance of the writing allows the film to be an honourable drama about aviation pilots that just happens to have death-defying practical stunts. The priorities were balanced immaculately, as one component of the story never outweighed the other. Top Gun: Maverick is the ultimate redemption story due to how events from the original film play a fundamental role in this new film.

The film has a superb ensemble cast with the two standouts being Tom Cruise and Miles Teller. Tom Cruise gives an emotional multi-layered performance that has greater depth than previously. We still get to see the on-screen flare and charisma from Tom Cruise but we get to see a more serious and consequential side to his character too. Miles Teller’s character’s backstory provides for an impactful dynamic with Tom Cruise. However, he adds life to the character, as the exchanges between Cruise and Teller were believable and most importantly served the story.

The music composers here are some of the industry’s finest creatives. Hans Zimmer, Harold Faltermeyer and Lorne Balfe create harmonious songs that deepen the story and carry memorability. Lady Gaga’s final song of “Hold My Hand” should deservedly be a contender for next year’s Academy Awards.

The aviation sequences showcase Joseph Kosinski’s masterful direction. The sequences are breathtakingly captivating, immersive and seamless. It shows practical filmmaking at its highest level. The tightness and scope of the shots make you feel like you are in the cockpit with the characters. The level of anxiety and tension is cranked up to an 11 which is a testament to how strong the characterisations are, as you are constantly on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen. There is no predictability which enhances how riveting the action is. In IMAX, there is 26 percent more image display than a standard cinema screen and I would highly recommend seeing this on the biggest screen available to you.

Tom Cruise’s DNA is plastered all over this film in numerous ways, as he is a clear advocate for the big screen experience. Holding off the release date for the film was a bold move but it paid off, as this film is a masterclass in cinematic immersion. Tom Cruise arguably pushes the extremes to maximum capacity with how jaw-dropping the action and scope of this story is. The practical filmmaking demonstrated here is unbelievable. Top Gun: Maverick is the epitome of what makes movies magic for us.


Tom Cruise as Captain Pete Maverick Mitchell

Miles Teller as Lieutenant Bradley Rooster Bradshaw

Jennifer Connelly as Penelope Benjamin

Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral Beau Cyclone Simpson

Glen Powell as Lieutenant Jake Hangman Seresin



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