Top Gun: Maverick Review

*Not a ton here to spoil…

IMDB Synopsis

After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Training a detachment of graduates for a special assignment, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who choose to fly it.

“You think up there, you’re dead, believe me.”

How did we get here Juicers? How did we finally get to a place where we got to see TOP GUN: MAVERICK? The original TOP GUN is a movie that is so ingrained in movie culture that it is hard to imagine there would have been a sequel 36 years later. Yet, Tom Cruise and co. have gotten together and decided to come back to Miramar and give us one more thrill ride. And boy did this movie not disappoint in the slightest. They also made sure to give us a theatrical experience and not take the easy route and put this on Paramount+. This movie deserves to be seen in a theater and I am happy Tom Cruise continues to advocate for that experience.

We know Tom Cruise is probably our greatest movie star, but in this movie he has assembled a crew of people that seem like they could be stars as well. This was so imperative because the original is just dripping with charisma, energy, and future stars. So to see these actors having so much fun together gave me those same great vibes again. Where we upped the ante though is in the story and in the way this movie was made.

36 years ago, technology was not quite ready for what Tom Cruise and the great Tony Scott wanted to do. However, Joseph Kosinski (TRON: LEGACY) asked Tom what he would need to come back to this world, and Cruise said, we need to be in the jets. So this time all the actors are actually in the jets, with Cruise flying his, and you get real terror, real G’s, and real emotions from inside those planes. This is blockbuster moviemaking at its finest, and took all of these actors to their limits to be able to pull this off. Every scene in the air is so exciting and so intense, you feel like you are in the cockpit with them.

To get these incredible shots, they built IMAX cameras to fit inside the cockpits and taught the actors basically to direct themselves in the air. To me as a movie nerd all these nuggets are just so incredible. And the score of course by Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer, and the legend Hans Zimmer gives us the incredible original Top Gun theme, while still giving us new and exciting tracks to build the tension in each scene. And when Lady Gaga’s song finally hits you are just swept away in the energy of it all.

Stock Watch

Stock Neutral – Tom Cruise

He is the King of Movie Stardom and as someone in the movie put it, he is a movie making machine. He gives us everything he has in all of his movies and it shows in every scene. I hope he keeps going as long as he can.

Stock Up – Miles Teller

He has been a star for awhile in big projects and has already done auteur work as well with movies like WHIPLASH and THE SPECTACULAR NOW. After the performance he gives here as Rooster, A.K.A. Goose’s son, it is hard to imagine he does not become one of the biggest stars in the world.

Stock Up – Glen Powell

This man has charisma for days and needs to be given more roles. Every time I see him he is better an better, whether its playing a jock in EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!, a lead in a Rom-Com like SET IT UP, and now a Naval Pilot he just pops off the screen. I want to see much more of him moving forward.

*A couple other tidbits

  • The Val Kilmer scene was so touching, it made me really sad seeing Val like that.
  • Jennifer Connelly brought a great energy to this movie and had a genuine chemistry with Cruise, which he rarely has with female co-stars.
  • This movie was actually very funny and again showed a comedic side to Cruise we rarely get to see.

This is just a real genuine cinematic movie. With movie stars, and incredible filmed action scenes, and a harrowing mission to keep you on the edge of your seat. This deserves the biggest screen possible because this is what blockbuster filmmaking really should be. Long live Tom Cruise, and people who continue to care about movie theaters.

Juice Rating:

*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.

*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.

*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.


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