Top Gun:  Maverick  (12A) | Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Joseph Kosinski, US 2022, 131 mins

Cast:  Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller

Review by Carol Allen

Tom Cruise, the Peter Pan of movies, is pushing 60 (July 3rd if you want to send him a birthday card!) and he is still looking good.   And indeed still doing his own stunts.  There aren’t many stars with the confidence to return to a role that was one of their greatest hits 35 years ago, but he embraces the opportunity with total enthusiasm.

The story acknowledges that some three decades have gone by.  Maverick (Cruise) has stayed with the navy, refusing all offers of promotion which would have tied him to a desk job, preferring to remain as a leading test pilot.   Despite the taunts of his superior officer (Ed Harris) who gives him the ultimate put down – “The future is now – and you’re not part of it” – Maverick still has a role to play in the present. 

He is summoned by his old sparring partner and chum Iceman (Val Kilmer, in a cameo role) to lead and train a group of pilots for a special mission to wipe out a threat to world peace from an unnamed enemy.  And Maverick is there like a shot.

Iceman is not the only blast from the past however.  One member of the young team is Rooster (Miles Teller) who is the son of Maverick’s friend and former team mate Goose, from the first film, and Rooster blames Maverick for his father’s death.

Our hero also finds time for a discreet little love affair with Jennifer Connelly as Penny, with whom we gather he once dallied in the past.

Despite a lot of personal business however, the real action is in the air and some really exciting stunt work and aerial sequences.   At times the action feels like you are the main player in a high tech Top Gun video game.  And the main player, Cruise, looks like he is having a ball.

So if you’re a fan of Tom Cruise, video games or high octane action movies or any combination of those three, this is for you.