When it comes to making a worthy sequel for a popular movie, most often the makers fail. As a pleasant surprise, Top Gun Maverick succeeds in the near-impossible task. The movie had been in the making for over a decade, thankfully Director Joseph Kosinski, the late Tony Scott and the crew have spent the time well and got it right. The film is an authentic sequel to the original, Top Gun (1986) and gets my rating of “Ripe”.
Top Gun: Maverick (TGM), is set 36 years from the predecessor and follows the life of Tom Cruise in the character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who is still serving as a captain, turning down the opportunities for getting promoted, to keep doing what he loves, flying fighter jets. Just like in the original, the sequel starts with an adrenaline-rushing sequence – in this case, as a test pilot Maverick, pushes a test plane beyond its proven limits to a hypersonic speed of 10G. He then gets called to the Top Gun academy to train a set of the Navy’s best pilots before they can undertake a near-suicidal mission to take down an enemy’s nuclear production plant guarded with superior defences. Did he manage to do that, was the story.
Instead of following up on the same girlfriend from the original, which would’ve been convenient but lazy, TGM features another lady Penny and the romance that redevelops between her and Maverick. There was warmth and even humour in their relationship, which felt appropriate at their age and was enjoyable as well. That was a nice touch. The memory of two important characters from the original, his rival Iceman and his buddy Goose, continues in 2022. Jon Hamm (Mad Men fame) has played an important role as Vice Admiral Cyclone. The climax sequence was a bit over the moon but was certainly needed for the finale, I loved it.
TGM offers a simple story that feels genuine, the main characters remain rooted in the ethos laid out in the original movie, and many breathtaking “dog chases” in the sky – overall a winning combination that was entertaining all the way. Deserves the commercial superhit that it has become worldwide.