Top Gun: Maverick is the sequel nobody knew we needed

by Gordon Shelly

The original Top Gun was 1980’s commercialism at its best (and worst). It was a giant promotion for the US Navy oozing with kitsch and schlock. Plenty of people ate it up, bought into the movie, and watched it again and again.

Even those who love the original acknowledge that it has a Roadhouse-cheese factor. It’s corny and its overtly big, bold, and goofy. It’s the era where Tom Cruise did everything fast and furious (and long before Vin Diesel). Cruise was solidified as box office gold with Top Gun and Days of Thunder but they weren’t exactly cinema artistry. They were formulaic commercialism with the goals of mass appeal.

While this sequel is much of the same, it is also very different. It is, as you have already heard or seen, a visually stunning masterpiece. The look of this movie is incredible. The action and flight sequences are truly amazing.

Top Gun: Maverick shares many of the same elements that I didn’t care for with the original, but it works in a different way. The original feels arrogant and self-serving (with both the characters and the storyline), where the sequel melds it altogether in a way that is plausible and affirming.

Sure, it’s filled with patriotic propaganda and budding bromances, but there is a fine balance here that brings it altogether in an adrenaline packed blockbuster that kicks off the summer season with a glorious cinematic spectacle.

Gordon’s Grade: A