Top Gun Sequel Exceeds Viewers Expectations


Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Preparing for a deadly mission with a limited window, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) readies his squad to begin their assault run on the base in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

After the first film became a monumental classic, Tom Cruise returned to Top Gun Academy to “feel the need for speed” 36 years later.

Top Gun: Maverick is the sequel to the 1986 film with Cruise returning as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, along with director Joseph Kosinski, who Cruise previously worked with on Oblivion in 2013.

The second film has been in development since 2010 with the first film to be helmed by Tony Scott, who directed the 1986 original. However, after Scott’s passing in 2012, the future remained uncertain about the next entry.  Producer Jerry Bruckheimer reassured fans that there would still be a sequel. 

Another major setback the film had was its release, which was originally supposed to come out in July 2019, but was delayed to summer 2020 for reshoots. Then the COVID-19 pandemic came into play as it was delayed numerous times, but the wait was well worth it. 

Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) does an evasive maneuver to get a clean shot to take out a bogey in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.)

The story follows Maverick, who has been called back to the Top Gun Academy by Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) to help instruct a new group of pilots on a dangerous mission no one has ever seen before, not even Maverick himself.

But teaching this group becomes tricky, for one of Maverick’s students is Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller),  the son of his late best friend and wingman Goose. Rooster feels Maverick is responsible for his father’s death, a reference to the original Top Gun film in 1986. 

This puts Maverick in a position to bring back his team alive from this do-or-die mission, all while coming to terms with teaching his late wingman’s son. 

The flight sequences are thrilling as they actually flew the fighters seen in the film to give it an authentic feel and in turn, making these sequences feel real will make you hold your breath for the characters. It is clear that Cruise, who fought to make this film happen and give audiences what they have been waiting for since 1986, manages to succeed with flying colors.

Where the film excels the most is the writing, which takes a character many have loved and had him adapt to the times. It shows a Maverick that still has that love of flying and breaking the rules, but he’s also matured and added more depth to him than he had in the original film.

Without giving away any spoilers, there is a great scene involving Kilmer and Cruise that is short, but really effective and will guarantee to pull the heartstrings of fans of the first film and newcomers alike. 

There have been many films that wait decades for a sequel and miss the mark, but in the case of Top Gun: Maverick, it exceeds all expectations and then some. This movie should be seen on the biggest screen possible, as this is one of the greatest sequels of all time that would make Tony Scott proud.