The original Top Gun was probably my favorite childhood movie so I was a little worried about what they would possibly do to it in Top Gun Maverick. When the movie started getting rave reviews my expectations were raised but I was still just a bit unsure. I mean Hollywood doesn’t have a great history with bringing back these legacy iconic characters and making people happy.
I should have trusted in Tom Cruise at least.
Yes Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is called back to teach the best of the best at Top Gun in order to prepare them for a wildly dangerous Star Wars run at the Death Star kind of mission.
Complicated by the fact Maverick knows he’s no teacher one of the students is Rooster (Miles Teller) Goose’s son who in the last couple of years has had a rocky relationship with Maverick not because of what happened to Goose (thank God! that would have been annoying!) but because we find out well Maverick pulled his papers and took years off his flying career.
I actually love this type of pseudo parent/child relationship and they play off each other really well.
Despite the anger it’s obvious to throughout the movie that Rooster still cares about him and my favorite scene which happened so fast it kind of shocked me was when Rooster was in trouble and Maverick literally threw his plane between him and an incoming missile and took the hit.
It was just such a Maverick thing to do period but also worked in their relationship. And while I spent most of the movie wondering if they’d kill him I couldn’t help but think if they did that was a good way for him to go. Flying and saving Goose’s kid.
And how does modern movie times treat Maverick?
Well pretty well. He’s still essentially the same character. He just wants to fly. Still friends with Iceman 🙂 Still annoying his superiors. But they manage to find a balance as he is kind of sad. Even his superiors are like you should have been promoted many times over. He’s alone. He’s estranged from Rooster and he’s not over Goose’s death. The scene with Val Kilmer was a lovely moment though. It was nice to see his character had gotten what he wanted over the years and that they were still friends and he was watching out for Maverick in his own way.
But it’s made clear to us and Maverick that pilots like him, indeed even younger than him, are a thing of the past being phased out quickly for drones.
The mission to destroy an underground uranium site is explained so well as is the perimeters of what the pilots will face and because of how it’s shot practically and clearly it was all so easy to follow. It reminded me of Mad Max Fury Road in how immersive the action was. I want more of this and less CGI fest monstrosities fun though they may be.
The movie wasn’t perfect. The dialogue can sometimes me a little wooden and frankly the entire romance subplot with Penny was so utterly pointless that it could have been removed from the whole movie and the film wouldn’t have lost anything. More time could have been spent on the pilots and shirtless beach sports games 🙂
So Top Gun Maverick isn’t a great movie no but it’s a fun movie, much better than I ever would have expected, and honestly speaking despite the twenty minutes of commercials before it (after the start time) (you are driving me crazy movie theater), the dirty bathroom, overpriced drinks and stale popcorn it’s the only movie in recent memory that I would actually go back to the theater and see again!