‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Offers Great Flight Scenes and Bad Characters

Ulises Duenas


Top Gun: Maverick tells you exactly what it is in the first couple of minutes. Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone” plays over footage of guys high-fiving each other as jets take off in a scene that's just there to remind you that you’re indeed watching a sequel to Top Gun.


Tom Cruise is back as Maverick, who has been dodging promotions in the U.S. Navy so he can remain a pilot as a captain. He’s still haunted by the accidental death of his friend Goose from the first movie, which happened about 30 years ago.


Cruise’s performance isn’t bad, but it also feels like he’s going through the motions. This movie tries to recapture the cheesy magic of the 1980s and it comes at the cost of its story and characters.



The gist of the premise is that Maverick is assigned with training a new team of top gun graduates to take on what is effectively a suicide mission where they have to ascend a mountain at high speed, hit a precise target, then evade advanced jets as they leave the area.


The parts where Maverick is training the new students are the highlight of the movie because the scenes in the jets are a visual spectacle. That all leads up to the climax of the mission itself, which is well done. It’s just a shame that the scenes that don’t involve someone flying a jet are of flat characters and a by-the-numbers romantic subplot.


I don’t blame them for trying to turn Maverick into a more complicated character who is still wrestling with his grief, but in doing so, the writers show their over-reliance on the original movie for references.



From the beginning, you see Maverick riding his old motorcycle while the same music plays in the background, and he talks to some of the same characters as in the earlier installment. It’s utterly shameless in its nostalgia-baiting, which some people might love, but Hollywood is just beating a dead horse at this point.


This movie is a mixed bag. The flight scenes range from good to great and everything else is mediocre, apart from one scene with Val Kilmer reprising his role as Iceman. The mission carried out towards the end of the movie makes it worth watching. Just know that it comes at a cost.


Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.


For Highbrow Magazine


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top gun maverick, top gun, tom cruise, val kilmer, new movies, pilots, fighter pilots
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