Friday, May 27, 2022

Top Gun: Maverick

(No spoilers. Okay, almost.)

Most sequels suck. Even more so, sequels based on 36-year-old original material.

Hollywood usually - in fact reliably - screws the pooch on nearly all of them, because they can, and because most producers aren't even 36 years old. Now you know why they screw the pooch so often.

This is the exception that proves that rule. Cruise wouldn't let them screw this one up, not least because he was one of the producers (and let's face it, without him, as producer or not, there is no Top Gun sequel.)

This was in the can 2½ years ago, but COVID kept getting in the way of its release, and it was pushed from a year ago to last Thanksgiving to, finally, this Memorial Day weekend. It was worth the wait.

If you didn't like the original, don't bother. If you really liked the original, and saw it in the theaters, get yourself back to one now, and see this film. Ideally, in an IMAX theater. This movie is was what IMAX was made for, and this movie was shot for IMAX. You've never seen flying sequences like this, and as Jerry Bruckheimer said in lead-in interviews, you probably never will again either.

It tells a new story, but wraps itself in enough of the original to be satisfying. They couldn't get Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard, or Rick Rossovich back for this one, let alone older-than-dirt dinosaurs like James Tolkan (90), Tom Skerrit (88), or Michael Ironside (72) but the use of Val Kilmer was priceless.

And if Jennifer Connelly had been cast as the original Penny Benjamin and seen in the original film, we'd get why Maverick broke rules for her, but she'd have been jailbait at the tender age of 16 when the original premiered (she did Labyrinth that year). And we've been in hardcore lust with her since at least 1991, when she did both Career Opportunities and The Rocketeer (both of which you should catch some time, even if just for her). It also helps that at 51 now, and 48 when this was filmed, time has been far kinder to her than it has to currently best-left-in-your-80s-memories Kelly McGillis, now 64, and looking like somebody's cat-lady box wine granny. >shivers<. (Don't look. You were warned.)

You want to know spoilers, beyond the eleventeen trailers released over the last two years? Okay: you haven't seen your last Tomcat dogfight. Want more? Go. See. The. Movie.

You won't be disappointed. 

Our Rating: Fleet Admiral - 5 stars.

"Maverick is cleared for launch on Cat 1..."


  1. I think my expectations were too high.

  2. I had not seen Top Gun (the original) until a couple weeks ago when it played on CBS. (I denounce myself.) But I definitely get now why it was such a big deal when it came out.

    And I had this strong but mistaken notion that Connelly and McGillis were both in the movie. I must have been thinking of something else.

  3. So, I'm guessing you liked it? ;)

  4. Last time I went to there wasn't a ticket window. They had some.sort of kiosk thingy that couldn't figure out, I left without seeing the movie.
    Sure miss the days of going to the Regent Theater and hanging out in the balcony like when I went to see movies like Jaws.

  5. Great sequel, good ole Americana,,..get the popcorn and Coke! Don't be a WOKE prick.

  6. Last movie I saw was Hacksaw Ridge. I'd watch it again. From what my friends say watching the new Top Gun movie, it is exceptional. It looks like this Top Gun movie will be my once every five years movie.

  7. Brother,
    Saw it last night. It rocked!
    Concur with all of your comments, especially about Connolly (see also "Hot Spot" and "Mulholland Falls"). Tim Robbins? Certainly did NOT miss him.
    One sorta-not-spoiler...the P-51 belongs to Cruise.
    Boat Guy

  8. I’m old. F*k movies… I’m still living one…. and wouldn’t trade that for anything!

  9. Took teenage daughter to see it last weekend on an IMAX screen, having watched the original a couple of months back with her. (As an aside, I don't think the first movie aged exceedingly well, but I remember how great it was measured by 1986 standards, which is the only fair way to judge it.)

    The new one?

    It was just about perfect.

    Great story, solid casting, solid acting, incredible flight sequences (IMAX ftw), and the way they handled Val Kilmer's limitations and wrapped up his story arc was real genius (see what I did there?) I heard a few sniffles in the theater during that scene, and saw a few people around me dabbing their eyes. Who would have thought Iceman, the guy we loved to hate 36 years ago, would move us to tears?

    It's not Citizen Kane, but it was exactly what a summer blockbuster movie should--and used to--be.

    Or, to quote my kiddo:

    "I give it 1,000,000,000 out of 10 stars. Would absolutely see again."

  10. The dog fight scenes are amazing. Absolutely amazing. Jennifer is still hot as a scramjet exhaust at Mach 10 feet but she’s in dire need of a sandwich or two.

    1. Mach 10 means you have to descend two miles per second to maintain level flight

  11. Jennifer Connelly set me afire in The Hot Spot. She's gorgeous. I'm down for this one, it'll be the first movie I've been to in many years.

  12. Thanks for the IMAX recommendation. Was the best $ spent at a movie theater in a long time.