Top Gun: Maverick
This is a superb, suspenseful thriller. It’s the definition of a great summer action movie.
We need films like Top Gun to relieve us from the emotional depression dominating our country today. Children are shot and killed in Texas while grocery shoppers suffer the same fate in Buffalo. The collective response of our leaders to find gun possession more important than human beings.
Yet there is no escape from the TV that is saturated with news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Thank God Top Gun hit the big screen where we can experience several hours of joy and comfort.
This film is filled with great music and spectacular jet scenes unequaled in any other movie. And it all centers on Tom Cruise’s role as Maverick, an aging (not that you can tell) captain sent to train a group of elite pilots to find a way to bomb a dangerous overseas military location surrounded by steep cliffs and mountains.
While death awaits around every corner, Maverick is hounded by Pilot Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s former co-pilot (“Goose”) who died in the 1986 film. Miles Teller gives a warm performance as Rooster, a man who hates Maverick for delaying his ability to progress as a pilot.
But against all conceivable odds, there is a love story that will warm your depressed heart. Maverick connects with a bartender played splendidly by Jennifer Connelly. Good grief, what man wouldn’t love a beautiful woman filled with piss and vinegar!
While there is not a bad performance in a large cast, let me point out the roles of Jon Hamm and Ed Harris as two of Maverick’s superior officers. Neither like him, and Maverick has to challenge both to keep from being grounded.
But what will bring a soft tear to your eye is the short performance of Val Kilmer as the officer known as “Iceman”. Cruise’s rival in the original film, he is dying of throat cancer on and off the screen. It is not hidden, and you will never forget their brief interaction.
The heart and soul of this film is the attack on the unknown enemy’s location. There are mesmerizing scenes of the planes flying low through narrow cliff valleys as they dodge missiles and enemy planes.
Some of our heroes are shot down and you are left wondering if they lived or died. Excited? See the film and embrace the brilliant conclusion.