Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick is a much-needed dose of adrenaline-filled memberberry juice delivered directly to the veins.
Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller
Joseph Kosinski
Action, Adventure, Drama
Release date
May 27, 2022
Where to watch
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Rating Summary
Top Gun: Maverick is a slick and visually masterful piece of popcorn-munching fun. Sure, it's formulaic as h3!!, but who cares? There's so much high-octane charisma and jet fuel being burned on screen that it doesn't matter. Tom Cruise, et al. do what no one in Hollywood has been able to do for years. They made a movie instead of a soapbox speech or a computer-generated video game cut screen posing as a movie.

Top Gun: Maverick was nearly 40 years in the making, but Tom Cruise is back and just as Mavericky as ever. Pro Tip: blast Kenny Loggins while reading the rest of this review.

Top Gun: Maverick

Set 30+ years after the events of the original Top Gun, Maverick follows Captain Peter “Maverick” Mitchell, played once again by the redoubtable Tom Cruise. The same independent and rebellious spirit that has made Maverick a legendary fighter pilot has also hamstrung his advancement and kept him on the knife’s edge of forced retirement for years and, much like Puss in Boots, Maverick now finds himself on his last life. Mav’s only chance to keep doing what he’s best at is to train the next generation of Top Gun pilots so that they can complete a nearly impossible mission (see what I did there) of the utmost importance to America and its allies.

It’s rare when you can tell that everyone in a particular movie is thrilled to be there, but that’s exactly what you get with Top Gun: Maverick, and it’s infectious. What’s even rarer is a modern movie that’s not either a pretentious excuse for the filmmakers to put on a sandwich board and screech at passersby, or a soulless piece of AI-generated fluff. While, Top Gun: Maverick isn’t going to win any awards for possessing exceptional depth, it is both unpretentious and thrilling. Its only ambition is to tell a fun and exciting story with some universal themes, a dose of heart, and a sprinkling of cheese, and it delivers and delivers and delivers.

It’s not a perfect movie, the love story between Mav and Jennifer Connelly’s character is completely superfluous. It was clearly originally intended to be between Mav and Kelly McGillis’s Charlie from the original film but McGillis was…let’s say no longer right for the role. However, the two veteran actors are great together, and it doesn’t detract from the film overall.

kelly mcgillis top gun maverick
Did someone hit the wall on the highway to the Danger Zone?

There are two outstanding performers in Top Gun: Maverick and they are Charisma and Action. Every actor has to take a moment to floss the scenery from their teeth and every action scene will have you on the edge of your seat hooting and hollering like you’re a small child rooting for Rocky as he single-handedly wins the Cold War (not that I have any 1st-hand experience with such things).

If you’ve nearly forgotten what it was like to feel good after watching a summer blockbuster, or you’re a millennial or gen-z’er and have never experienced this, then you must watch Top Gun: Maverick.


None. Before you blast me for not mentioning the female elephant in the room, there are women Top Gun pilots.


James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

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