REVIEW: Tom Cruise soars in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’
The highway to the Danger Zone is back with “Top Gun: Maverick,” a rip-roaringly good sequel to the original 1980s classic.
Actor Tom Cruise is keeping his special corner of Hollywood alive by sheer force of will. And this force of will has brought us a sequel to “Top Gun,” even though Cruise is pushing 60. But that’s not going to stop this madman from strapping himself into a jet fighter and taking to the skies for some of the best action you’re likely to see on the big screen this year.
Captain Pete “Maverick” Russell has had a long, storied career as an aviator with the U.S. Navy, and he’s called back to the elite Top Gun fighter jet school to train a new team of pilots for a special mission. But Maverick is going to have to face his demons and push his skills to the limit if he’s going to be a proper teacher.
“Top Gun: Maverick” delivers exactly what it promises. Cruise has become rather insistent in recent years to doing his own stunts, and both he and the whole cast bring that attitude to this high octane adventure. This movie puts cameras and actors into real jet planes for as real an experience as possible.
Suffice to say, the jet fighter scenes are worth the price of admission alone. If you want to see Maverick behind the stick for some intense, supersonic jet fighter stunts, you will not be disappointed with this sequel.
Fortunately, the story and the nostalgia factor are also really good. Having Maverick act as a mentor figure to some new, young pilots is a very fun story, all building to this dangerous special mission. And the sequel knows exactly what people loved about the 1986 original, letting fans revel in their memories.
The return of Val Kilmer’s Iceman character could very well bring tears to your eyes, especially if you know about Kilmer’s real life struggles with cancer. His scenes are handled perfectly.
If there are any drawbacks to “Top Gun: Maverick,” they’re not in the movie itself. Considering some of the story choices made for this movie, I found it a little difficult to divorce Tom Cruise the person away from Maverick the character. There’s a reason he has a new, younger love interest in this movie.
But that might not bother anybody else.
As long as you don’t worry too much about the real world antics of Tom Cruise, then “Top Gun: Maverick” should prove to be everything you want it to be. The jets are fast, the action is insane, the emotions are real and this movie is the whole package.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is only playing in theaters, as Cruise intended.
For more, check out the latest Sentinel Cinema podcast: https://romesentinel.com/stories/top-gun-maverick,135304
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