Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick ★★★★½

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After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

Is it too early to talk about an Oscar nomination for a Top Gun sequel? Would you be able to process that sentence at this time last year? After so many delays, and the fact that I do not even love the first film, a sequel being anything more than good is somewhat shocking. Top Gun: Maverick goes above and beyond all expectations to deliver a triumphant sequel. The beautiful part here is that this movie is simple from start to finish, and the subtle storytelling allows the experience to come across as an easy yet intense one. It helps knowing the characters and story from the first, as we are (still) experiencing the fallout from that. The relationship between Maverick and Goose is a legendary one, and the entirety of this plot is based around how everyone is still dealing with the events of the past, especially Rooster. Miles Teller expertly plays the son of Goose, and the tension between he and Maverick feels as real as it gets. You understand the motivation behind the anger, on both sides, but you are locked in to see who comes out on top. While certain story beats feel repetitive from the first, specifically the back and forth between Rooster and Hangman, the new crew is still a ton of fun to get to know.

The new cast is excellent across the board, and we spend a ton of time with them. There may not be as many individual standouts, but the overall team is more likable. What are the main differences between Top Gun and its sequel? The character dynamics are similar, but the specific relationships feel more fleshed out. The best relationship improvement is that of Maverick and his romantic interest. It could have been because the storyline was so poorly integrated in, but the original relationship did not land (plane pun) with me. This relationship is subtle, quietly charming, and it doesn’t take up too much unnecessary time. The other plus with this one is not hearing the same songs over and over; they let the score do most of the heavy-lifting, and it is composed masterfully. After a nice buildup, the film kicks into the next gear after we bring a slower second act to a close. As their mission begins, the tension raises to a ridiculous level. The action is top tier because you feel as If you are there, in the cockpits, with them. The camera work, practical stunts, and cgi will blow viewers away. I walked out with my jaw on the floor because that final sequence makes for one of the coolest finales ever. It is a final act that delivers everything you want, and the same could be said about the entire film. Maverick is significantly better than the first.

🔙Top Gun♻️
🔜Iron Man 2♻️

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