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Top Gun Maverick; Top Gun was a Movie, Top Gun Maverick was Cinema. Grade: B+

Happy Memorial Day everyone! To all our Veterans whom have fought to keep the independence and freedom of this country: A simple “Thank you” is not enough for the sacrifice you’ve made for all of us, never ending high end praise and gratitude… Hope you all are having the life of the party up in Heaven, God Bless all of you.

Top Gun: Maverick tells a story about an Navy aviator by the name of Maverick (Tom Cruise), whom just did the unthinkable as his aircraft reached above 10 making his aircraft the fastest ever recorded. Due to the fact Maverick’s aircraft collapsed, Maverick is sent back to Top Gun where he’ll be assign to be an instructor for the top twelve pilots. The moral purpose of Maverick being assigned as an instructor, has everything to do with a top secret mission. The top secret mission at hand is extremely difficult, as Maverick not only has to narrow done his choices down to eight aviators on this mission, but to also get them ready in a short span of time to where they can actually achieve this extremely difficult mission. Watch as this ole legend relives his roots, while also encountering past heartache to where he’ll have to reunite with a dear friends son, to where he needs to be ready for this mission at hand as well.

I watched Top Gun for the first time ever literally two hours before heading into the theater and seeing this sequel. Top Gun was a good lighthearted film, it didn’t wow me by any means but it was a fun time to watch and most certainly has it’s moments, I did enjoy the emotional third act especially. Top Gun: Maverick was delayed for a long period of time, due to of course… The Pain in the Ass. Tom Cruise made sure this film was ready to be released where not only can it produce a lot of money, but to also make sure there was no interference in terms of allowing this to be released on streaming… Rightfully so, Tom Cruise films are meant to be theaters only, this man is ELECTRIC!

I gotta give it to Tom Cruise and Paramount: This film was released honestly at the perfect time. Not only because it’s Memorial Day weekend and all, but it’s released during a time where America desperately needed a film that not only delivers in entertainment value, but to also bring everyone together and celebrate the pride of being an American… This film is exactly what the doctor ordered for a lot of broken lost souls during this difficult period, as I can see this film being beloved and cherished by a lot of movies goers, as a source of emotional comfort.

What I’m most impressed by Top Gun: Maverick is the story at hand… It pretty much blows the first film out of water, as the story is much better written. Not only is this sequel a lot more serious than the first film, but it’s also constructed to where there are actual stakes being played out. The way the mission is designed is not only significant in terms of defeating the enemy, but the landscape on how it’s designed… It’s thoroughly engaging but more so terrifying. There really is no room for error in this mission, everything is very narrow, has a time limit where you have to be on TOP of your game and more, it literally puts the “On the Edge of Your Seat” perspective and ran with it to the extreme. So the film really does a terrific job in producing great conflict, as you don’t really have any idea how this is going to be accomplished for our characters or if their safety is guaranteed, because this mission is BRUTAL and extremely challenging.

The story at hand is thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Obviously the highlight of this film is when the characters are up in the air, as those sequences are just ever so exciting to watch… You can tell the film benefitted so much from the advancement of technology over the years, as they were able to accomplish what they hope to achieve in those sequences. But the way those sequences are being told in the story are actually flawless, every single moment really clicks as by the end of it you end up smiling, even if you predicted it right off the bat it’s still awesome to experience. But the story also excels in it’s more emotional moments, especially Maverick with Rooster (Miles Teller) and a brief moment with past pal Iceman (Val Kilmer). Well executed character development between Maverick and Rooster, as it almost felt like a father and son bond, reconnecting but more so learning why Maverick was highly protective of Rooster even if he wasn’t his son, but his past wingman's son.

I will say Top Gun: Maverick is by no means perfect, as the film has a couple flaws. First the film attempts to recreate the past memorable moments of the first film, by doing something slightly different. Whether it be the football at the beach moment where they try to recapture the volleyball at the beach moment from the first film, or especially the slow romantic sequence between Maverick and significant other Penny (Jennifer Connelly). I felt those sequences at hand not only felt unnecessary, but more so extremely cringeworthy as the film didn’t need to recreate those moments at all. Especially the football sequence… It’s so bizarre and stupid, even with Mavericks reasoning it feels very dumb and a waste of a scene.

Though I enjoyed some moments between Maverick and Penny: I can’t help the fact the film did a poor job in communicating, what kind of relation Maverick had with Penny?! I kid you not considering I saw the first film a couple hours ago: I thought Penny was Maverick’s daughter for good amount of run time, as I thought perhaps he had a kid with his significant other from the first film. I just thought maybe Maverick and Penny had a great father/daughter relationship, especially considering Penny shouted for her mom in one scene, so I felt “Oh Maverick’s first love will show up later on, this must be his daughter!” So yeah you can see not only was Maverick’s romantic encounter with penny not enjoyable in terms of cringe, but not enjoyable as the moment felt completely awkward as the film poorly communicates what kind of relationship they had with each other.

Top Gun: Maverick not only is a successful film for Top Gun fans, but it’s also a successful film for fans of film in general. It entertains you, it makes you laugh, puts you on the edge of your seat, and you also feel something as well… Definitely brings out the Summer Movie Season spirit out for sure!

Overall, Top Gun: Maverick was a pretty damn good film! I highly recommend checking this one out, a whole lot of fun for everyone honestly, get together with friends, family, loved ones, buy a large popcorn and have a DAMN good time at the movies! Shouts out DMon and his friend for experiencing this film with me, I said this film was a DUUUUUUUUUUDE kind of movie and it sure was that! -Mitch Smietana

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