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top gun: maverick

★★★★★

starring: tom cruise, miles teller, jon hamm, and jeniffer connelly

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

 

While I’ve seen bits and pieces of the original Top Gun, I’ve never sat down and watched it in its totality so I can’t truly say how it compares with the original. But you know what? I don’t think it really matters if you’ve seen the original or not. Top Gun: Maverick gives you enough backstory within the film so you don’t feel like you’re missing any information at all. 

 

The narrative of Top Gun: Maverick is pretty simple. Cruise’s Maverick has to train a team of pilots to carry out a near impossible bombing raid on an unspecified enemy. That’s it. But it’s the gut busting, goosebump inducing way in which it's executed that makes this the best action blockbuster to soar onto the silver screen since the pandemic hit. It’s spectacular. 

 

The action sequences are absolutely next level, placing you within the aircraft and executing such insane maneuvers that will take your breath away. And that’s just the training exercises. The last twenty minutes of the film which is devoted to the bombing raid constantly ratchets up the tension as parts of the mission inevitable don’t go to plan. It will leave you on the very edge of your seat, your knuckles turning white as you grip hold of the armrest, your mouth hanging open with a silly, delighted smile slapped across your face. 

 

Although this movie has a heck of a lot of great actors who bring their A game, this is Mr. Tom Cruise’s movie. He brings an energy that outstrips even his co-stars that are half his age, a charisma that lights up the screen, and an emotional depth that anchors the film. 

 

They say that art imitates life. In the age of the film franchise and streaming it seems that the Hollywood megastar, an actor who could sell a movie and fill a cinema with the very whisper of their name, appears to be over. In an early scene a Rear Admiral remarks ‘The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.’ 

 

Top Gun: Maverick proves that Tom Cruise still has the movie Midas touch and is the last, great Hollywood megastar, the king of the blockbuster. Maverick turns to the Rear Admiral and beams that trademark Tom Cruise grin ‘Maybe so, sir. But not today.’ Long live the king. 

 

Grab your mates and popcorn. Find the biggest screen in town and get to Top Gun: Maverick. The most exhilarating, edge of your seat action blockbuster of the year.

★★★★★