This is a fantastic movie that you need to see in theaters. While I believed that this film was going to be another shameless attempt at cashing in on our nostalgia, I was properly impressed by an experience that I can only describe as breathtaking. This is not a vanity project by a self-absorbed actor, but a passion project by a man who revitalized my faith in reboots. Top Gun: Maverick earns its ticket price, and if you aren’t watching it in theaters, you are doing it wrong.
Top Gun: Maverick is set after the events of the first movie. Maverick has been reassigned to train a new class of pilots for an impossible mission. Maverick is the only pilot for the job, but he must learn to overcome the demons of his past or risk the lives of the pilots he has in his hands.
This movie is as pro-America as you expect. Every scene is dripping in American flags, but it is an aesthetic fitting of the narrative. There is also plenty of references to the first movie expertly woven throughout this film, but they only serve as nods to the fans of the first movie. You do not need to see the first movie to understand this movie, they do a fantastic job at catching up the audience. The weakest part of this movie is the romantic plot, but it isn’t enough to ruin the movie. Jennifer Connelly sort of just exists in this movie, but her presence is very much appreciated. I wish they had done more with her character, but then it would take away from all the cool airplane stuff.
The best part of the movie has to be everything involving the jets. The dog fights will have you clutching at your seat, ripping away at the material. The flight scenes will have your heart racing, as you watch airplanes do seemingly impossible feats. Watching this movie in theaters is mandatory. Watching the planes on the big screen while feeling the vibrations of the engines make it a powerful experience.
I particularly liked the evolution of Maverick’s character. While still plays by his own rules, age and experience have changed him. While some of it may be self-serving, it is nice to see a hero that isn’t stoic and emotionless. I enjoyed watching him work through his demons and grow as a character. It makes his character interesting, and it gives the movie a depth I didn’t expect from an action movie.
You need to watch this movie, and it has to be in theaters!