Top Gun: Maverick, rated PG-13
The long-delayed (due to the pandemic) Top Gun: Maverick, is an exciting action-packed sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun. The film, whose release was delayed five times, and has plenty of nostalgia from the first film, was directed by Joseph Kosinski (Only the Brave) and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie, Peter Craig, and Justin Marks. Only Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer return in their roles from the 1986 Top Gun film.
As the film opens, Maverick, played by three-time Oscar nominee Tom Cruise (Magnolia, Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July), is a test pilot pushing himself and an experimental aircraft to Mach 10. This is against the wishes and order of the program’s Rear Admiral in charge played by four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris (The Truman Show, Pollock, The Hours, Apollo 13), who is ready to shut the program down.
Maverick is called to a new commission and his new commanding officer is Beau “Cyclone” Simpson, played by Emmy winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men), who is not pleased about Maverick being back. However, the order came directly from Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, played by Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), now a highly decorated Admiral who is in failing health. Ice wants him to train twelve new elite fliers, and select the top six for a dangerous mission to destroy a uranium enrichment plant. One of them is Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller. Rooster is the son of “Goose” (played in the original film by Anthony Edwards), who flew with Maverick and died in an ejection mishap. Rooster holds Maverick responsible for his father’s death, as well as for damaging his career. The conflict between Rooster and Maverick runs throughout the film.
Maverick reunites with Penny, played by Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), the daughter of an Admiral that Maverick has dated previously, but was not shown in the previous film. She now owns the Hard Deck Bar, and has a daughter, who tells Maverick not to break her heart again.
In a touching scene, Maverick visits Ice at his home. Kilmer, who in real life has lost his voice due to throat cancer, delivers a memorable performance.
We saw this in an IMAX theater, which I would recommend for this film. The cinematography is incredible, as you feel like you are right in the cockpit with the pilots.
Music is used effectively, with Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” again appearing, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who, as well as the new “Hold My Hand” from Lady Gaga.
Content concerns included adult language, implied sex (nothing is shown), and intense violence and dangerous flying scenes. Themes included sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and romance.
We really enjoyed this entertaining, action-packed film – a perfect film to kick off the summer.