“Top Gun: Maverick” (2022) Movie Review

Director: Joseph Kosinski. Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly. Rated PG-13. Color. 131 Minutes.

No question the original “Top Gun” is the perennial frat boy movie ever made. If you are looking for a film perfect for a bunch of bros giving each other chest bumps in between Jager-Bombs and beach volleyball whilst hitting on hotties, look no further than the original “NEED FOR SPEED”! Decades later, Tom Cruise is back in the airplane. This time he is actually flying the fighter jets, along with his costars. which creates an immersive action experience. The original “Top Gun” is a low bar to compare another movie to. “Maverick” is not a classic at all. This is not “Die Hard”. But, for what it is, you will walk out with a smile after seeing this Tom Cruise action adventure.

Our main man ‘Maverick’ is back. This time, he’s old! For some reason ‘Maverick’ has yet to take on a promotion in the Navy. He can however still ride motorcycles. Maverick gets another chance thanks to his old friend ‘Iceman’ (Val Kilmer) giving him a recommendation to Admiral Beau ‘Cyclone’ Simpson (John Hamm) for a top secret mission involving blowing up a uranium missile silo in some unnamed country. I’m guessing they cut out whatever country’s name for political reasons in today’s climate, but I think we know which one we are talking about.

‘Maverick’, fresh off test-piloting the latest army aircrafts, is initially called back into service by Admiral Solomon ‘Warlock’ Bates (Charles Parnell), a big supporter of the pilot. Facing Maverick is a group of hot-headed rookies who think they are the s*** in a fighter jet. Teaching is not what Maverick does. He flies. Listening to old guys talk is not what these pilots do. They’re on tick-tock and partying in bars. The one thing they have in common, they fly.

To make matters even more complicated, Maverick has to teach Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw (Miles Teller). For those fortunate enough to have not seen the original movie, ‘Rooster’ is the son of ‘Goose’ (Anthony Edwards). ‘Goose’ tragically died in the original film and Tom Cruise can never forgive himself. Training ‘Rooster’ is the worst eventuality in class. But ‘Maverick’ is going to train these kids for a deadly mission in a matter of weeks.

On top of that, ‘Maverick’ stumbles upon Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), an old flame who owns a Navy bar. Penny also has a daughter and I do believe it is ‘Maverick’s’ kid, but do not quote me. The entire character dynamic is very vague. Connelly’s character is very vague overall and a side note that, while necessary, is not utilized correctly considering her talent.

None of this matters. “Top Gun: Maverick” will not change your life. It is not in the universe of greatest action movies ever. And yet, for what it is, this movie is a blast. When they start flying at full speed over mountain scapes during the climax, it is simply phenomenal. There are multiple stupid sequences. Unlike the original film, “Top Gun: Maverick” does, in a small way, go to the “DANGER ZONE”!

SUCK FACTOR: 3 out of 7 (7 MEANS YOUR MOVIE REALLY SUCKS!)

The SUCK FACTOR! How it works. We have flipped the script on ratings. So, if you make a classic like “The Godfather”, you receive 0 ‘SUCKS’. If you make a Michael Bay movie, chances are you will receive a full 7 ‘SUCKS!’ Meaning your movie really ‘SUCKS!’

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