Top Gun: Maverick

An air ace is forced to confront his innermost fears

REVIEWED BY Fazmina Imamudeen

No one can stay mad at Captain Pete Mitchell. Despite his reckless flying tendencies, which put his wingmen and himself at risk, Maverick continues to be a highly skilled pilot during and after his time in the US Navy’s ‘Top Gun’ programme.

While some of his coworkers thought his maverick manoeuvre was impressive, others felt it was reckless and dangerous, and put his copilot in unnecessary danger. He loses Lieutenant (j.g.) Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw and never stops blaming himself for the loss of his friend.

Then he returns 35 years later. Maverick is still in the pilot’s seat… testing the boundaries of what his body and aircraft are capable of achieving. He routinely refuses any opportunity to move up in naval ranks.

Maverick is forced to confront his innermost fears as he faces an unknown future and the demons of his past. This confrontation terminates in a mission that calls for the ultimate sacrifice from those selected to fly it.

His reputation as the best fighter pilot who has ever taken to the skies for the US lands him a job to train the crème de la crème of Top Gun graduates for an extremely dangerous mission.

He is given the task of training a new group of pilots, which includes Bradshaw Jr., a.k.a. Rooster – the son of Goose. Maverick has painful memories of Goose and his death, after seeing Rooster play the piano and enjoy the night with his fellow aviators, which is something that he and Goose had also done regularly.

Top Gun: Maverick is a story of redemption and camaraderie.

In the wake of a string of failures, Top Gun: Maverick has been a resounding box office success for Paramount Pictures. This eagerly anticipated sequel to the enduringly popular 1980s’ classic Top Gun has successfully incorporated both nostalgia and freshness into the movie.

To date, it has been Tom Cruise’s most successful film commercially and a remarkable achievement for an actor of his stature. He also starred in the 1980s’ Top Gun movie in the role that launched his career.

After all these years and so many other movies, Tom’s charm remains undimmed by age and his seemingly youthful naiveté.

A relic of the past is Iceman himself, who rose through the ranks to become an admiral and maintained a watchful eye on his adversary from earlier in their careers. Val Kilmer’s fleeting appearance carries with it a unique and profound sense of nostalgia.

The cinematographic direction of Joseph Kosinski turbo boosts audiences’ enthusiasm and anticipation. Kosinski is at his best in the clouds as he crafts astoundingly soaring sequences that ignite the blood with diverse camera angles and rapid – yet, understandable – editing.

While Top Gun: Maverick is more than simply an action flick, its more dynamic moments are absolute adrenaline triggers for viewers. Being a skilled fighter pilot has its rewards but it also has its adversities.

Maverick informs the crew that “time is your greatest enemy” – and without the spirit of a team player, the mission might fail. Camaraderie, allegiance, passion and (of course) bromance, are all taken very seriously in this film.

It is a movie that thrives on its enthralling on-screen harmony at times thanks to a stellar cast that includes Ed Harris as Admiral Chester ‘Hammer’ Cain, Glen Powell as Hangman, Greg ‘Tarzan’ Davis as Coyote, Jay Ellis as Payback, Danny Ramirez as Fanboy, Monica Barbaro as Phoenix and Lewis Pullman as Bob, among many others.

Even the beach football scene that was shot against the hues of the sun and sandy shore with reminiscent shadows in homage to the original movie is proof of the film’s ultimate triumph.

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