As the sun rises and the planes start to rev their engines, the opening salvo of summer blockbuster entertainment is launched with Top Gun Maverick. I felt I had to fasten my seatbelt as soon as the opening sequence began.
Thirty-six years in the making, Tom Cruise is back as Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. Cruise’s performance is reminiscent of the first film, and the game of planes and dog fights in the sky are taken to new horizons. Top Gun Maverick is nostalgic and carries on the legacy of that first film.
Tom Cruise is definitely one of the main draw making Top Gun Maverick spellbinding, but it has a lot more going for it. The Kenny Loggins theme song, “Danger Zone”, always sets my mindset for an exciting Top Gunexperience. The music in the film fades in and out in smooth transitions, cuing the audience as the action moments begin. Director Joseph Kosinski knows how to continue the traits of what Tony Scott created, bringing the important pieces to mesmerizing new levels. The continued franchise has similar lighting and cinematography, so fans will feel they are back in the 80s with all the unforgettable moments of what makes Top Gun exciting.
The plot starts with Cruise as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in his own world, doing his own types of flying and working with his own planes. But his skills are still needed, and he is recruited by Adm. Beau ‘Cyclone’ Simpson to train new pilots that are stepping into the game. Among the pilots there are many new faces, including Lt. Natasha ‘Phoenix’ Trace, played by Monica Barbaro, Lt. Robert ‘Bob’ Floyd, played by Lewis Pullman, Lt. Jake ‘Hangman’ Seresin, played by Glen Powell, and more.
But the rookie who poses the biggest challenge for Maverick is Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller. Rooster is the son of ‘Goose’, played by Anthony Edwards, who died in the first film. The last thing Maverick wants to do is put ‘Rooster’ in danger, but there is the quote in the film that, “It’s not the plane, it’s the pilot,”. Rooster is determined to be the man he saw his father to be, and to continue the legacy that Maverick and the others created back in the day. The heat of competition rises and it becomes the adventure of a lifetime, an epic ride of trial and terror.
But Top Gun Maverick is not all life and death. Cruise also starts a relationship with Penny Benjamin, played by Jennifer Connolly.
It was the adventures in Top Gun Maverick that left me breathless, though, especially with seeing it in the premium format of Dolby Atmos, a high-end technology that allows you feel the sound and fully experience the heat of the moments. The mission is complex, the skies are ready, and Top Gun Maverick is the opening excitement of summer blockbuster entertainment. The film is triumphant, mesmerizing, and daring. Top Gun Maverick is simply a knockout cinematic experience. Four stars for Top Gun Maverick.