SynopsisPete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise), a celebrated fighter pilot for over 30 years, must return to Top Gun (a Navy training program) as an instructor to train their top pilots, which also includes Lieutenant Bradley. Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: Rooster, the son of Maverick’s late friend Goose. Maverick’s new position forces him to confront his past and an overwhelming sense of guilt that has bound him for decades.
Check: Tom Cruise is the head of the Hollywood alpha male brigade. A 24-year-old Cruise in his iconic patch-adorned jacket and Aviators treated us to some cult movie moments in the 1986 original, the blockbuster that catapulted him to stardom. Whether it’s racing against fighter jets on his superbike, playing sexy shirtless beach volleyball, or making a rather headstrong lady fall for him through his notorious charm, arrogance, and reckless (flying) skill… The Top Gun fueled with Cruise’s testosterone was a heady mix of arrogance. heroism, touching friendship, passionate romance and rivalry.
35 years later, in a cinematic phase dominated by superheroes, Tom Cruise, 59, dares to bring back old-school heroism in a worthy sequel full of redemption and emotion. While retaining the drive of the original, the franchise ages gracefully as the wisdom and consequences of death challenge the carefree courage of youth. Although an investigation clears Maverick of responsibility for the death of his friend Goose, the burden of blame falls on him and training Rooster offers Maverick a chance to redeem himself. Aging deprives one of the privilege of making rash decisions and it’s interesting to see a 60-something hero grappling with the ghosts of his past, dealing with career stagnation and facing the reality of choosing to be alone.
Director Joseph Kosinski’s film sticks to the flashy, brazen bravado of the original while upping the emotional stakes and spectacular aerobatics. “I am a fighter pilot. I’m in naval aviation. This is not what I do. This is what I am”. These lines, while attributed to Maverick, resonate with Tom Cruise and his need for speed. The adrenaline junkie in him lives vicariously through his characters and Top Gun is his pet project. The effort to do each aerial stunt well is outstanding and the sound and images accentuate that intention.
Val Kilmer in a guest appearance (as Iceman) takes you back in time. Jennifer Connelly as Maverick’s on-and-off love interest Penny is interesting, but she misses Kelly McGillis a lot and her push-pull chemistry with Cruise. Top Gun: Maverick’s theme song ‘Hold My Hand’ (by Lady Gaga) doesn’t live up to the decades-old sultry love anthem Take My Breath Away. A one-man show, Cruise ensures that the focus is on him and him alone, the film has just the right amount of nostalgia, drama, and action to make it worth seeing at the cinema. Go for it!