Why is this film in the billion-dollar club? Top Gun: Maverick is spectacular! When I watched this in the theater, I flinched and shouted from the tension onscreen, which only happens when I’m on a roller coaster or airplane. So, it was super effective. I have not seen Top Gun (1986). Yet, I managed to enjoy this without feeling lost or confused, a testament to how the filmmakers delivered a solid story. Not easy to make an old franchise relevant to a new audience.
It has been 36 years since the original came out. Of course, the pandemic played a role in the delay, as well as the loss of the original director and the Tailhook Scandal. Like The Little Engine That Could, production persevered. Fast forward to 2022, a couple of years from its original release, the movie grossed $520,836,963 domestically and $486,100,000 internationally, according to Box Office Mojo.
Totally worth every cent. TGM is about the best aviator in the Navy, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise). He tests new aircraft technology which might one-day render pilots obsolete. The script is simple and fast-paced. I didn’t know a thing about fighter planes before. Afterwards, I learned a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is superior to an F-14 Tomcat.
Going in, I expected a propaganda film stuffed with patriotic messages. I couldn’t have been more wrong. TGM has more than enough action, clever dialogue, raw emotion and high stakes to keep the blood pumping. There’s a sense of nostalgia in how the narrative flowed. The music score played a huge role as well, a call back to when films provided escapism and taught subtle moral lessons. Top Gun: Maverick gets a 9 out of 10.