DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, June 06, 2022

Matt's Highway to the Danger Zone: Top Gun Maverick (review)

Top Gun Maverick (12a)

Dir. Joseph Kosinski 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

“The end is inevitable Maverick. Your kind is heading to  extinction.” 

“Maybe so, sir, but not today.”

Here we are then, 36 years after the incredible, epoch defining adrenaline overload Tony Scott delivered in Top Gun - we finally have a sequel and its name is ‘Maverick’. 

Could this possibly be anywhere near as good?

Well, great balls of fire… Top Gun Maverick buzzes the tower and actually surpasses its predecessor, this is pretty much the perfect follow up and boy does Cruise bring his thunder.  There is loving homage and actual footage borrowed from the 1986 original interlaced throughout - it’s not overdone but it amps up the nostalgia without using it as a crutch.

'feeling the need for speed again!'

It is a complete joy to rejoin Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom ‘doesn’t seem to age’ Cruise) as he grapples with his guilt for  the death of his former co-pilot ‘Goose’ (Anthony Edwards). Things get spicy when Goose’s son Bradley (Miles Teller) – callsign ‘Rooster’ signs up to be part of Mav’s special group of pilots training for a secret mission. 

Grumpy old gun Rear Admiral Chester Cain (Ed Harris) commissions Maverick to train a team of young guns for a literally under-the-radar black ops mission. Cue hot-headed, overly confident pilot antics as cocky wannabe Hangman (Glen Powell), girl power Phoenix (Monica Barbaro), quiet geek ‘BOB’ (Lewis Pullman) – and your ‘not just token’ Payback (Jay Ellis) plus Fanboy (Danny Ramirez). But the beating heart of the film is the Maverick / Rooster’s understandable clash. 

What about the love interest tho? Is Kelly McGillis back? Alas no, she passed and handed on the smooching duties to one of my all time fav actresses Jennifer ‘The Hot Spot’ Connelly who plays the Admiral’s daughter Penny Benjamin and she n Tom make the cutest middle age couple you’ll ever see… And speaking of sweet - the bromance between Tom and Val Kilmer’s Admiral Iceman is a real heart-in-mouth moment too.

'this bogey's all over me'

The callback to the uber homoerotic volleyball scene is reworked into a beach football game which bonds the team even better than playing dogfights…Which brings me to the awe-inspiring fighter jet action - Ooooooo baby these are incredible and deserve to be witnessed on the biggest screen possible.

Top Gun Maverick has crashed straight into my all time favourite list and is just a full-speed cinematic treat!!  

Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


(5 - Exceptional entertainment, fully recommended)

Awesomeness ööööö – Pulse racing, high calibre thrills a go go)

Laughs ööö – Plenty to make you smile

Horror öö – Some aerial violence, obviously 

Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - never never leave your wingman

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