36 years after the first Top Gun movie was released, a new sequel has arrived: Top Gun: Maverick. It was released in cinemas on 27th May 2022, and has a lot to live up to, given the fame of its predecessor. Daniel Evans reviews.
If ever there was a film that does exactly what it says on the tin, it is Top Gun: Maverick. There is ropy dialogue and a predictable plot. There is romance, and unabashed militarism. There is also a degree of inconsistency in its tone, and a flat score. This film is by no means perfect, but neither does it seek to be.
If, for some inconceivable reason, you were expecting something that pushes the boundaries of cinema with excellently crafted characters and a masterful script, then you will be disappointed. This is the quintessential 80’s action film released in 2022.
The greatest strength of Top Gun: Maverick is its flight sequences. Put simply, they are spectacular, and I found myself on the edge of my seat at numerous points. If you enjoy watching machines move very fast, then this is the film for you.
The film explores the impact of grief and belonging in an effective way
There are also moments that are genuinely touching. The subplot revolving around Maverick (Cruise) and Rooster (Teller) did not feel forced to me, and adds much needed depth. There is also a moving scene between Cruise and Val Kilmer that respectfully balances the latter’s struggles away from the screen, and also feels necessary to the story. This film explores the impact of grief and belonging in an effective way, and while this is certainly not the main draw, it adds to the overall quality.
The major issue I had was tonal inconsistency. At times it is comedic, and at others it is serious. These two can be balanced, but I did not feel that it was done as well as it could have been. There is also a sequence towards the end where belief must be suspended utterly, and the film veers into the ridiculous.
Comfortably predictable storylines
Top Gun: Maverick is exactly what you expect it to be, and that is a good thing. Not everything needs to be high art; sometimes it is fun to watch fighter jets break the sound barrier, and enjoy comfortably predictable storylines. This film looks, sounds and feels brilliant, and is certainly great fun.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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