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"Top Gun: Maverick" (2022): Movie Review

I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!

top-gun-maverick-2022-movie-review
MPAA RATINGYOU FEEL THE NEED. THE NEED FOR PG-13

Running time and Flying Time

131 Minutes

Director

Joseph Kosinski

Writers

There's like 28 writing credits and do you actually read this part of the review?

Finally.

It is the year 2089. After 70 years, the long awaited, eagerly anticipated sequel to Top Gun is finally released. Star Tom Cruise passed away in _____, but he left specific instructions only to release Top Gun: Maverick in theaters and never ever never ever directly to streaming or else he would come back from the dead and start screaming at them and then have it recorded and go viral.

As you well know, Maverick was originally set to be released in the summer of 2019 but delayed a year to add more flair to the aerial scenes. No problem, we can wait a year if that means the movie will be better. It’s only until the summer of 2020, what could go wrong that could stop the release of a major motion picture.

F*ck you, Covid.

After Covid, there was the monkeypox. Then the gasoline wars. Then all the theaters got shop up by disgruntled fanboys. Then we lost power. Then someone lost the original print of Maverick and didn’t tell anyone and just sent theaters VHS copies of Rock of Ages and digitally added planes and Meg Ryan before all that surgery. Then someone found that workprint and thought it a video of Tom Cruise just working out and that was his actual height. Then someone heard Kenny Loggins’ "Danger Zone" and remembered their dad used to listen to that “tape” all the time in their car before he and mom got divorced because he was copulating with an underage…it’s a long story but the workprint eventually found its way back to Paramount Studios and they decided to release in during the present, even while prepping Mission Impossible: Flomax for a 2090 release.

Was Top Gun: Maverick worth the exceptionally long wait? Yes, but you could have waited the extra 45 days to see it on Paramount Plus unless you like the sounds of jets wooshing around and sweaty guys slow dancing to “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling (I hate it when she does that)”.

But since you’re reading this, here’s the review.

I was in Top Gun: Maverick, but I was digitally erased because I was the guy boosting Tom Cruise into his seat on the plane.

“What exactly is a chafing dish?”

Synopsis

Top Gun: Maverick opens 30 something years after Maverick and Iceman told each other they could be each other’s wingmen or wingperson as the case may be.

Maverick (Tom Cruise aka Jack Reacher aka Couch Jumper) is still in the service but now he’s just testing out planes. Maverick’s job is to push planes to their limit, and he has to get a plane to the unheard of speed of Mach 10 or else they shut the program down.

Scratch that, they’re about to shut the program down and Admiral Shutdown (Ed Harris, stopping by to say hi) is coming over to do just that. No more tests. There’s other ways the money can be spent. Maverick is grounded.

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But you know Maverick. No direct order or lingering STD will stop him from doing what he wants. Maverick is such a…maverick. Maverick takes the plane against orders and makes it to Mach 10 (faster than Mach 9 but slower than Mach 11). Unfortunately, Mav pushes the plane too far over its limits and he crashes it into a town, killing a bunch of cows, destroying a Dairy Queen knockoff, and running over Adele’s foot.

Maverick’s ego is writing checks his body can’t cash, especially since no one writes checks anymore.

"Isn't The Mummy just the best movie?"

"Isn't The Mummy just the best movie?"

Maverick is permanently grounded for that silly little stunt that cost the taxpayers several hundred dollars.

The movie ends and we wait another 30 years for a sequel.

But…there’s a super-secret mission the navy needs done involving enriched Uranium from a secret base that can kill us all once the Death Star gets operational. It’s a lot of exposition that you don’t really have to pay attention to. Just know that the Navy needs its best fighter pilots. The ones who just graduated from Top Gun. They’re the best of the best. They’re the top one percent of the top one percent of the top ten percent of the Top Gun elite graduating class provided they get their credits and electives.

They’ve got all the technology in the world, but this mission will take more than technology. More than the press of a button. This mission will take fighter pilots pushing it to the limit and then over that limit so that their fingers become hotdogs like in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

And only one man can teach them: Maverick.

It’s Maverick’s final assignment from the Navy, take it or leave it.

Maverick doesn’t want to teach them. He doesn’t follow orders. He’s a cop on the edge. But he just might be the only person who can. This mission doesn’t look like it’s possible. Some might say impossible.

Oh yes, one of the pilots is Rooster (Miles Teller). He’s Goose’s son from the first movie. He’s still smarting from his dad dying and resents Maverick. I don’t know if that will come into play later.

Other creative call signs are Payback, CVS (who knew corporate sponsorship went into call signs now?) Fanboy, Ghostbuster, Pilot (not very creative), and Paul Rudd.

Once Maverick is through with these pilots, they’re going to throw the best talent show this town has ever seen.

Her hands are glued to his waist.

Her hands are glued to his waist.

What Works With Top Gun: Maverick

  • Iceman: As you know, Val Kilmer returns as Iceman. I’m not crying. You’re crying. Scratch that. I’m crying now as well. His scene gets the funniest line in the movie, all the more because it’s so unexpected.
  • Does Maverick match the aerial acrobatics of Tony Scott’s original? Possibly, but there’s more attention to character in the sequel as all the action scenes have an emotional resonance that the 1986 version couldn’t touch.
  • Football instead of volleyball. Sure.
  • Jon Hamm steals his scenes as his sparring with Maverick provides much of the movie’s humor.

What Doesn’t Work With Top Gun Maverick

  • Jennifer Connelly is wasted as The Girl. She’s not given much to do, but the Oscar Winner does it very well.
"Who the $#% took my binoculars?"

"Who the $#% took my binoculars?"

Overall

Superior to the 1986 original in every way, Top Gun: Maverick exceeds expectations (I’ll admit to not really having high ones) and provides mindless entertainment with more heart than you’d expect. If you liked the empty calorie original, you should love the sequel. This Gun fires on all cylinders and it’s fine that those metaphors are mixed.

What's your Favorite Line From the Original Top Gun!

Buy It Here!

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