Top Gun: Maverick — Authentic, Artistic and Full of Heart.
Possibly one of my most anticipated films of 2022, the sequel to the 1986 classic has finally arrived — Top Gun: Maverick has hit screens and I managed to check it out in Cineworld’s exclusive 4DX format.
We join Pete “Maverick” Mitchell more than 30 years after the events of the first film, having failed as an instructor, he is now a test pilot avoiding any kind of rank promotion in the navy. However, when an old friend tasks him with training Top Gun graduates for a near-impossible mission, he must quickly face the ghosts of his past and prepare them or risk the success of the mission and more importantly, be at fault for the loss of another pilot.
Tom Cruise continues to amaze me. Not only is he doing ridiculously dangerous things at nearly 60 years old, but he’s matching them with performance. You can tell this role sits close to his heart, just like this film does with many of us — he puts his soul into this film here and it pays off big time. Whether it’s feeling the responsibility of a group of young pilots or dealing with the weight of training his former wingman’s son, every emotion is etched into the screen from Tom in some of his best work in a while.
The supporting cast do very well too. Standouts are of course Miles Teller, but also Glen Powell. The others are good, but none are really given as much of the spotlight as they probably should be for a film about training new recruits. They’re good, but we’re not given much about their characters, we’re meant to just accept them for what they’re supposed to be and that’s it.
The biggest win for the film comes from the technical department. Every shot in the jets is shot practically, with the actors being in the aircrafts themselves after months of training and even having to direct themselves in the box too.
This authenticity does two things — it elevates the beauty of every scene and it also enhances the immersion to totally new levels, meaning the screenplay and action sequences become that much more engaging. As I mentioned, I watched the film in 4DX and my word was it a good decision — pair the kind of immersion you get from that experience with the way the film is shot and you do genuinely feel like you’re in the cockpit.
But the praise doesn’t stop there, this is a sequel after and all, and it is a very good one. It sticks to what the original was good at and provides that level of nostalgia (no, I don’t just mean hearing “Danger Zone” in the intro) but somehow adds even more heart, keeps it unpredictable and isn’t afraid to get heavy with the emotions. It’s truly brilliant.
It’s difficult to make a sequel as engaging and enjoyable as the first film 30+ years later but that’s what this does — it reaps the rewards of a strong core story with heart and strong emotion paired with authenticity in it’s execution making this a truly immersive piece of art that cannot be missed.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is out now in cinemas only.