Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski. The film is a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun. Tom Cruise reprises his starring role as the naval aviator Maverick. The film also stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. In the film, Maverick confronts his past while training a group of younger Top Gun graduates, including the son of his deceased best friend, for a dangerous mission. In this one, we assume age and politics would finally bring an end to Maverick’s devil-may-care ways but as like the real person behind the character, Maverick/Tom Cruise forces us to eat our words.

More than 30 years after graduating from Top Gun, United States Navy Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is a test pilot. Despite many achievements, repeated insubordination has kept him from flag rank; his friend and former Top Gun rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, now commander of the Pacific Fleet, often protects Maverick. After a test gone awry, Iceman again saves Maverick’s career by assigning him to the Top Gun school at NAS North Island for his next assignment, but not before Maverick is told by the Commander at the test school, that the era of manned fighter aircraft will soon be over.

Maverick is informed that the U.S. Navy has been tasked with destroying an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant before it becomes operational (in a country that is a mix of China/North Korea/Russia). It is located in an underground bunker at the end of a canyon. It is defended by surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), GPS jammers, and fifth-generation fighters (seemingly Su-57s) as well as older F-14 Tomcats (no idea how these countries got it). Maverick devises a plan employing two pairs of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets armed with laser-guided bombs, but instead of participating in the strike, he is to train an elite group of Top Gun graduates assembled by Air Boss Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson.

Maverick dogfights his skeptical students and prevails in every contest, winning their respect. Lieutenants Jake “Hangman” Seresin and Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw—son of Maverick’s dead best friend and RIO Nick “Goose” Bradshaw—clash: Rooster dislikes Hangman’s cavalier attitude, while Hangman criticizes Rooster’s cautious flying. Maverick reunites with former girlfriend Penny Benjamin (a completely pointless waste of Jennifer Connelly), to whom he reveals that he promised Rooster’s dying mother that Rooster would not become a pilot. Rooster, unaware of the promise, angrily resents Maverick for dropping his Naval Academy application—impeding his military career—and blames him for his father’s death.

One of the best scenes of the movie

Cyclone removes Maverick as instructor following a training incident in which an F/A-18F is lost. Cyclone relaxes the mission parameters, so they are easier to execute but make escape much more difficult. During Cyclone’s announcement, Maverick makes an unauthorized flight through the course with his preferred parameters, proving that it can be done. Cyclone reluctantly appoints Maverick as team leader. A tough mission follows which involves Maverick being shot down by a SAM, trying to save Rooster. Believing Maverick to be dead, the others are ordered back to the carrier, but Rooster returns to find that Maverick ejected and is being targeted by an Mi-24 attack helicopter. After destroying the gunship, Rooster is shot down by a SAM and ejects. The two rendezvous and steal an F-14 from the damaged air base. Maverick and Rooster destroy two intercepting Su-57s, but a third attacks as they run out of ammunition and countermeasures. Hangman arrives in time to shoot it down, and the planes return safely. We are then shown Rooster helping Maverick work on his P-51 Mustang. Rooster looks at a photo of their mission’s success, pinned alongside a photo of his late father and a young Maverick, as Penny and Maverick fly off in the P-51.

The movie works not because of the new characters but rather due to Tom Cruise’s infectious charisma. The new group of pilots have some interesting moments but Miles Teller as Rooster just comes off as grumpy and Glen Powell as ‘Hangman’ comes across as cocky without being able to back it up. Jennifer Connelly as Penelope is brought as a love interest as the love interest from the first Top Gun movie, Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood played by Kelly McGillis was unable to prevent ageing unlike Tom Cruise who along with Paul Rudd seem to have stumbled upon some “forever young” serum which they do not want to share with the rest of the world.

The action sequences are amazing and this is a movie that flourishes on the big screen. It is a movie made for the typical Hollywood “Action Hero” or the “Last Big Movie Star” and Tom Cruise fits in beautifully. The movie also focuses on entertainment as movies should and not the New Hollywood habit of going Über-Woke and squeezing diversity even when it is not required. Otherwise we might have seen Penelope’s daughter whining about the different genders she thinks she has or some other nonsensical trend emerging out of the United States. Even the feminism is shown as it should by women being treated as women and as equals and men not ashamed of their masculinity, in the name of the non-existent “toxic masculinity”. Top Gun: Maverick works because it celebrates masculinity and accepts as normal and something not be ashamed of as Netflix movies and Instagram woke-fluencers would have men be.

If there is a sequel to Top Gun: Maverick, I hope that the movie continues the tradition of wanting to entertain above everything else because that is and always will be the recipe for a mass entertainer. Hollywood – stop focusing on Tom Cruise’s idiotic religious beliefs and focus more on making good movies that entertain, like he almost always does instead of trying to squeeze in idiotic trends that barely affect anyone in the world except for some permanently offended folk in the United States.


No movie of 2022 entertains the way Top Gun: Maverick does – watch it for the thrills, watch it for the action and watch it for the awesome Tom Cruise.


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