Skip to main content

“Top Gun: Maverick” (2022) Review: The Good and The Bad

An amateur film review writer who likes pretty much every film genre.

Top Gun: Maverick is a near-perfect sequel that builds on everything that worked in the original.

Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) has spent more than 30 years as one of the Navy's greatest aviators, yet he has purposefully avoided getting promoted. Pete was cited as an instructor for Top Gun by Tom "Iceman" Kazansky (Val Kilmer). Now, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who choose to fly it.

A better film than the original in so many aspects. However, despite the improvement, it is not perfect. With that in mind, let's look at some of the film's big talking points.

The Good

1. A Brilliant Score

The film's soundtrack is fantastic, which should come as no surprise given that it was produced by Lorne Balfe (Black Widow), Harold Faltermeyer (Top Gun), and Hans Zimmer (Inception). Then there's Lady Gaga, who contributes her voice to the primary soundtrack.

Is it a better version of the original? That remains to be seen. In the end, the score is unquestionably one of the film's highlights.

BONUS: For a few seconds throughout the film, the original soundtrack is played, and it's fantastic to hear.

2. An Awesome Cast

The cast that has been recruited for this picture is incredible. Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, and others are Hollywood veterans. Then there are performers like Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman, and others who are fresh and upcoming. In their various roles, each of them puts up a terrific performance.

For the cast, there is also an ironic aspect to things. Seeing the array of characters symbolizes the film's core topic of the old generation vs the younger generation. It's an intriguing detail that the filmmakers may or may not have intended.

3. Mesmerizing Third Act

This movie's third act is FANTASTIC. The first and second acts are (allegedly) sluggish in developing the tale, with a few action scenes thrown in for good measure.

However, the slow build is done for the third act to be the all-action climax that fans have been waiting for. Maverick's and his students' training has a monetary value. The audience is then treated to an intense action scene.

You get everything you ever wanted from a third act: the massive payoff on both the physical and emotional sides.

On the flight deck in "Top Gun: Maverick"

On the flight deck in "Top Gun: Maverick"

4. A Worthy Follow Up

Top Gun (1986) was cheesy but an entertaining flick. It had good characters and a solid story. Fans loved it and wanted more from the story.

Then, Tom Cruise finally found the script he wants to work with, and a sequel was born. It took 30-plus years to be made but simply put, the wait was worth it.

With the help of a superb cast, Joseph Kosinski (director), Peter Craig (writer), and Justin Marks (writer) deliver a near-perfect sequel with amazing characters, an emotive tale, and well-shot action scenes.

The Bad

1. The Problem with Taking Your Time

The time it took to come up with the sequel is good because of the technological advancement. This can allow for a better-looking film. Taking your time, on the other hand, may not be beneficial to the writing.

The writer essentially had to make up scenarios to fill in Maverick's tale during the last 30 years since the first picture. This shouldn't be a major issue, but the situations they concocted seem intriguing. Maverick is said to have been sent to foreign soil several times because of his acts.

Can we see that? Perhaps a sequel/prequel kind of film? (Please don’t).

Tom Cruise as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell

Tom Cruise as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell

2. Who is the Villain?

This is a minor annoyance. The story presents an antagonist but didn’t provide any details as to who or where they are from. Original Top Gun also didn’t state the name of their enemy but at least it was implied.

It’s understandable to avoid committing to any specific country to avoid the political issue. However, the event depicted in this film is fictitious. So why not embrace the fantasy side of things and establish a fictional country?

Again, this isn't a major flaw, but even a clue as to who the bad guys are would have been intriguing.

Recommendation

Top Gun: Maverick is a rare sequel that manages to improve on a lot of aspects of the first film. Highly recommend you watch this one: 9/10.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

© 2022 Fadhli Dzil