Movie Review: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ a hit

The military-industrial complex has never looked so good



In the skies or in the box office, people love “Top Gun.”

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

The 1986 “Top Gun” movie with Tom Cruise has remained popular among all generations, so it should be no surprise that the sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” is so well-liked.

Anything beyond that I will put the obligatory SPOILER warning. Please keep in mind that beyond this I will be talking about the actual plot of the movie, so if you still have not seen it please bookmark the article and come back later. It will not be going anywhere, but the movie will, so go see it! 

If you expecting tear-jerking writing or top-tier acting from a Cruise movie, you may be in the wrong place. It is not likely to win any awards in that regard, and that is actually OK in this case. 

The most admirable quality of “Top Gun: Maverick” is how honest it is. The movie is built on amazing action shots, a memorable soundtrack and a star-filled cast. People should go into this movie to experience the sights and sounds, fully embracing the adrenaline-filled fest the movie is laying out. 

At the very foundation of the movie, we see an aura of macho stereotypes and thrilling support of the military-industrial complex, great shots of the jets in flight that really get the blood pumping. It is incredibly transparent, but every second of it has you at the edge of your seat cheering on the pilots. 

Because this is an action movie, let us put the magnifying lens over that first and foremost. 

It is awesome, breathtaking and, most importantly, it is entertaining. Almost every one of the action scenes in the movie is easy to follow and is coupled with amazing moments of cinematography. It is enough to make me want to hop in a jet and fly around, although with my poor eyesight and glasses that would not be the best idea. 

The cast is top-notch for this action movie as well. Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, with other big names like Jennifer Connelly and Val Kilmer rounding out the cast. The cast is a pleasant aspect of the movie, and they interact well with each other.

And, of course, if you have seen the movie or spent some time on TikTok, you may have seen Miles Teller’s now-infamous mustache. 

The film does not address the paradox that I have found myself in watching Marvel movies recently. Each movie is filled with so many references from the shows, that audiences need to consume nearly one hundred hours of media to understand everything being said or referenced – an amazing business tactic, but one that makes each movie feel like a bad continuation of the others rather than telling their own stories.

“Top Gun: Maverick” does not have a complicated story at the end of the day, and the plotline is somewhat predictable. Yet, those who are going into the movie expecting a great story should rebalance their expectations. 

While a great plot and convincing lines cannot really hurt a movie, action movies should showcase great action scenes. No one goes to movies like “Godzilla” to see human actions, they want to see the big bad lizard himself. The same thing applies to “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The movie was initially overshadowed by the near cult-like following that the original “Top Gun” has, a paragon of military action films. Yet I can earnestly say that the sequel can be held up to the original without much protest, and is a great addition to the franchise.  

Overall, I would rank “Top Gun: Maverick” a solid 10 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets out of 13 Top Gun callsigns. It was an incredibly fun movie that meets expectations and, at times, exceeds them, ranking it close to the original and certainly worth the watch.