Friday, May 27, 2022

Top Gun Maverick - Movie Review

The Movie: Top Gun Maverick

The Director: Joseph Kosinski

The Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer

The Story: Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

The Review:
Top Gun might be one of the most iconic movies ever made. Tom Cruise is one of the most iconic movie stars in the history of movies. A sequel of course is going to come packed with high expectations and it absolutely has to be done right. It has to satisfy the die hard fans who were there when the movie came out and it has to bring something fresh for younger generations to enjoy. It has to capitalize on the current sentiment of the nation, it has to wave a flag of patriotism that toes the line between a country's population that is honestly quite divided at the moment, and it has to leave behind outdated stereotypes and the type of content that may not fly in the face of today's sensibilities.

As simple and basic of a story as this is, the execution of every aspect of the movie is just spot on perfect and exactly what you want and hope for this movie to be. From the opening moments, the music, the lighting, the camera work, all of it just screams Top Gun in the best way possible. The story finds a way to make you feel like you never left even after so much time has passed and there is no delay in showing Maverick being Maverick while setting up all the events that follow. At this point there should never be any reason to doubt a movie that Tom Cruise is in and this right here is the exclamation point to that idea.

I think it's best not to take a lot of what happens in this movie too seriously and you also want to suspend disbelief for a proper viewing experience. The good news for me is that the action, while being as intense and exciting as I was hoping for, never goes too far over the top, never treads into Fast and Furious style waters, and keeps everything at a fairly believable tone and level of authenticity. I'm sure there are military experts and pilots and other people more knowledgable than me that could easily pick things apart but you know what. This is Top Gun, get over it and enjoy!

For long time fans of the original movie, the nostalgia kick starts right from the beginning and never wears off or wears thin and somehow Tom Cruise looks like he may have only aged a few years instead of a few decades between movies which is just unreal. One thing I will say is that if you are a fan of the original Star Wars and you know the details of the movie front and backwards, don't worry I'm not going to spoil anything here, you will have very familiar feeling while seeing how this story plays out. From a certain point of view, I suppose. When it comes to originality, the movie overall is very lacking but it's also better off that way because trying to create something entirely new wouldn't have felt as whole and compete as this movie does.

The casting for this movie couldn't have been more spot on perfect with Tom Cruise obviously coming back but the real highlights are Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw and Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin a former flame that gets reignited as the story plays out. It's amazing how Teller plays his character, I was totally convinced that he could be Anthony Edwards' son in real life not just their on screen counterparts from each movie. It's pretty amazing the career that Jennifer Connelly has had dating back almost 40 years to her debit in Once Upon a Time in America and then her breakout performance in Career Opportunities. I feel like this movie should keep that momentum going for as long as she wants.

The Verdict:
Top Gun Maverick is a high flying big screen spectacle that kicks in the after burners and never lets up. Tom Cruise once again proves that he is one of the greatest and most consistent movie stars of all time. 

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