The following review contains spoilers for the original Top Gun
I am not normally the type of person to jump out of their seat in excitement at the prospect of an action movie. I’m not even a person who enjoys going to the theaters. When Top Gun: Maverick was announced, however, my father was one of the people overcome with excitement, and so last weekend we went out to the theaters to watch it as a family.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did I have a good time watching Maverick, it was one of the better movies I’d seen so far this year. Unlike most of the movies based on old movies that have come out recently, Maverick wasn’t a remake but a sequel, featuring Pete (Tom Cruise), who has remained a Captain due to frequently getting on the bad side of his superiors, forced to mentor a group of Top Gun graduates for a seemingly impossible mission.
What makes the mission impossible for Pete specifically is that one of the men who is training for the mission is Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of “Goose”, Pete’s wingman who was killed during a battle in the original movie. Pete and Bradley have a rickety relationship, mostly because Pete doesn’t want Bradley to fly. He doesn’t want his best friend’s son to die the same way that his best friend did.
The movie features lots of interpersonal drama surrounding Pete/Bradley, Pete and all of his superiors (also featuring a surprise drop-in from Iceman), and Bradley and his peers at Top Gun. That made the movie interesting even during scenes where they were just training for their mission, because you were always wondering what was going to happen between the people.
It also featured a somewhat fan-servicey romance plot between Penny (Jennifer Connelly) and Pete, who also had a romance in the original. I felt like this was done solely to please the people who were shipping them in the original, as it didn’t have any baring on the plot itself and also wasn’t fully fleshed out, taking place mostly in a series of scenes that rather bizarrely faded in and out on top of one another. It was cute though, and I appreciated it for what it was.
The movie was mostly two hours of action scenes packed on top of each other, but it somehow kept me in a high anxiety soothe state the entire time. In other words, it was so action filled that it calmed me rather than made me stressed out.
While some of the plot points were rather predictable, I enjoyed the way it all played out and felt like there was enough surprise that it was well worth the movie. If you have the chance, I’d recommend seeing it while it’s still in theaters.