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Review: "Top Gun Maverick"

by Nick Cavuoti 3 months ago in tv / review / pop culture / movie / industry / feature / entertainment / celebrities / art
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Maverick defies logic by improving upon the previous entry, even if it came thirty years later.

Top Gun Maverick by all logic is a film that should not work, but just as the action at times defies logic, the film is just a blast to watch. At times it feels as if Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt had been displaced from his Mission Impossible films and planted here in aviation school amongst the best of the best of their kind. Especially when watching the opening scene of Pete Mitchell “Maverick” taking a plane and making it exceed the fastest velocity a human has ever taken a plane. The way that his co-workers look up in awe at computer screens and declare Maverick to be the fastest man alive feels a bit absurd and self-congratulatory of the action maniac that is Cruise, despite these moments of absurdity, the film is likable, full of heart and just fun.

The plot follows Maverick (Tom Cruise) who thirty years later from when he was last seen, is still getting on the last nerves of every superior officer. Maverick finds that pilots are being shown the door in favor of drones, and goes out of his way to try to show the military that pilots still have a place in this new world. This selfish and selfless act lands him in hot water but an old friend gets him back to Top Gun to teach the newest generation of great pilots ahead of a top-secret mission. Upon arriving, Maverick finds that one of the young pilots is of Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller) who holds a grudge against him for how his father had passed away in the previous film.

Maverick’s plight throughout the film echoes a lot of his struggles in the previous Top Gun but it holds more emotional weight this time as it is connected to failures that the audience has personally seen him endure. He feels guilty over what happened to Goose and it shows in every interaction that he has with Rooster and all of the other young pilots. He is mortified to have blood on his hands again and would much rather die himself than have to suit up for a funeral and explain to a family why he couldn't get their loved one home. Rooster is another part of this crux as he has plenty of animosity toward Maverick, but he represents the closest thing he's had to a father so there is plenty of respect there too almost as if he strives to be better to get the appreciation of his “father”.

Tom Cruise does about what you’d expect with this film and you can tell plenty of love and care went into making sure they got this film correct, which they did. It is a great time and deserving of all the praise it has gotten so far. The action is incredible and my only wish is that I would have gotten to see it in theaters where I am positive that the action scenes would be truly stellar, not to say at home it isn’t any less thrilling. Miles Teller continues to put forth good work between this and Spiderhead this year showing that he is an incredible young talent in the industry. His chemistry with Cruise is also a strong point of the film. The only thing that felt a bit out of place was the tension between Rooster and Hangman (Glen Powell). Powell’s Hangman, while brash and aggressive, is still likable due to his talent of Powell as an actor. However, the dynamic between Rooster and Hangman feels so much like Maverick and Iceman, while probably intentional it leads to a predictable ending.

The rest of the supporting cast does a decent enough job, but none of them truly stand out beyond Maverick, Rooster, and Hangman. Director Joseph Kosinski does a good job, and really he allows his action star to do what he does best. Of course, Top Gun is a nostalgic film, but unlike other films of recent memory that try to be successful based on nostalgia, Maverick isn’t hamstrung by it. The increase in emotional and dramatic beats helps elevate the film a good bit. Cruise continues to show that his exploits as an action star aren’t slowing down but the constant saying of the mission at hand in Top Gun, “It can’t be done.” At times, it really does echo Mission Impossible. All of the stunts that he manages to pull off throughout the film feel like it could belong in that universe. With so many studios building connected universes, why not at this point make a Tom Cruise Movie Universe of some sort? It is impossible to not like the film, even as it does have moments that feel a bit to familiar, the action keeps you on your toes and the emotional beats make it all the better.

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About the author

Nick Cavuoti

An avid movie watcher, and I have been writing short stories and novels on the side for years now. Hoping to hone my craft here on Vocal!

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