Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman
Written By: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski
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The biggest hit of the year/summer is now available on 4k UHD, Blu-Ray, DVD and streaming. VHS for old time sake? I’m not sure. Top Gun: Maverick pulls off the rare feat of topping it’s predecessor with being more highly entertaining, the stunts were off the charts and Tom Cruise never ages. Yes, he was running in this movie too.
30 years have gone by, United States Navy Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is working as a test pilot, still flying. Despite all the stuff he has done over the years, he still hasn’t gone too far in the Navy. His former rival and friend Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) is now commander of the Pacific Fleet, who continues to save Maverick’s career despite his ailments. Maverick ends up back at Top Gun, but this time as an instructor. There he realizes that Goose’s son, Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw is a part of the group to go on this dangerous mission. Maverick tries his best to get the pilots ready, while Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm) is breathing down his neck.
When I saw the trailers for Top Gun: Maverick, I knew I wanted to see it as soon as I could. Unfortunately, that was in November when I received this. The movie made a buttload of money for Paramount and it was just a fun movie from start to finish. Tony Scott is no longer with us but Joseph Kosinski captured his style very well, including the overly yellow saturated look. The film is similar in a way from the first movie, similar characters too. Things are different overall though and make the movie a lot better than the original in my opinion. I believe that’s the only way Tom Cruise ever agrees to do sequels, they have to top the one before it. Case in point, the Mission Impossible movies but also this one.
Tom Cruise continues to be Tom Cruise, pulling off the insane and incredible stunts to make everything be as realistic as possible. Even if they had to do a lot of stunts in blue screen, the story itself works. The rest of the supporting cast was good, especially Miles Kenner, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Monica Barbaro. All the actors did an excellent job of doing their roles, but also flying the planes themselves. I’d be crapping myself if I had to do that. I couldn’t really find any complaints about the movie. I suppose if I had to nitpick, some of the characters or situations were similar to the original. There’s the one pilot being a douche but then isn’t at the end. That sort of thing. Again, it’s just nitpicks but the overall story was fun and I liked how they handled the last part of the movie and the mission. It just wasn’t in the air, let’s just say that.
The featurettes on the Blu-Ray contain some featurettes dealing with the aviation training, the filming of the jets, and creating a new plane Darkstar for the movie. It’s just baffling that Paramount execs agreed to let Tom Cruise and all the actors fly these planes by themselves. They had intense training for it, and had to fly several different planes first before even getting into the ones you see in the movie. Tom, of course, is a great pilot and aviation fanatic so he came up with a training program for everyone. I really do believe the guy doesn’t sleep and just trains, reads and learns new things everyday. He’s a machine. It was cool to see how much the actors had to do before even getting in the planes. They would do Navy training exercises, being submerged in water which just looks like a miserable experience. There’s a lot more to see and watch in the extras but part of me wishes these extras were hours long.
Top Gun: Maverick was a highly entertaining movie, and it even has some heart to it as well. It’s hard not to get emotional seeing Val Kilmer on the big screen again. This movie is a major salute to aviation and just filmmaking in general. What they were able to do with this footage is remarkable, but to have a compelling story along with it? That’s just awesome and obviously the world appreciated the efforts since it made so much money.
Cleared for Takeoff
Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick
A Love Letter to Aviation
Forging the Darkstar
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (29.90 Mbps)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.90:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Bottom Line: Top Gun: Maverick is better than the original film!
Running Time: 131 mins