Top Gun: Maverick | Movie Review | In Cinemas 26 May 2022

Top Gun: Maverick Movie Review – Is it OK for kids?

Strap in for what is bound to be one of the biggest movies for 2022.  The need for speed is back again in a huge way!

Top Gun: Maverick is a spectacular edge-of-your-seat blockbuster which is thrilling one minute, yet tender the next. It is a nostalgic nod to the original film from the moment ‘Highway to the Danger Zone’ plays with Tom Cruise, Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, riding on his Kawasaki alongside a tarmac with a jet plane taking off. In fact there are many scenes that are carefully reconstructed moments, playing homeage to the original 1986 film, and will feel familiar to fans.

This is a movie made for large screen cinema and you can understand why they didn’t release it over the last 2 years to streaming. It’s one to experience fully with all the sound effects, and take in the epic cinematography on the biggest screen you can find.   Maverick is still the same character, pushing boundaries, breaking the rules, but he’s of course older, more experienced, and wiser. Still racked with guilt over the death of his best friend Goose, he has a complicated pseudo-father relationship with Goose’s son Bradley ‘Rooster’ (Miles Teller) who is now also an elite pilot.

In a time of CGI movies, instead, what you get with Top Gun: Maverick is the real deal. This is old school movie making. Real planes and the actors filmed in action onboard. The cast undertook months of extensive flying training so the scenes you see of them in F/A-18 aircrafts is indeed real, and not CGI. An F-18 Super Hornet has a price tag of USD $70 million – understandably the US Navy did not allow a Hollywood star to take the reigns. Tom Cruise may have his pilot license but these aircraft are not for playing, so the incredible shots of the planes in action were done with the help of qualified Navy pilots in control.

The flight training programme for the cast was personally developed by Cruise and the US Navy with the actors undertaking a unique three month bootcamp to develop skills in aerial aviation, underwater evacuation, and prepare them for the extensive dynamic pressures of G-force while flying.

Maverick’s rival in the first movie, Lt. Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky (Val Kilmer) is now a long time friend and advocate, with a small appearance. The actor sadly has had throat cancer for many years and has lost his voice.

While there is a love interest with new character Jennifer Connelly as Penny, there is no sex, no swearing, and none of the towels around the waist in the showers, or Baywatch type scenes at beach volleyball of the original film. It’s actually generally very PG and I would feel quite comfortable taking a child 10+ to watch it. It is M rated however as there are scenes of military planes fighting. The enemy is never identified in any way so as not to offend any country, and while there are incredible nail-biting aerial dogfight scenes, there is no physical violence, visual deaths or blood.

It’s interesting that after 36 years, the female representation hasn’t advanced in the film. Kelly McGillis’ character in the original had her as an astrophysicist and Top Gun trainer. This time there is only one female pilot and Maverick’s love interest is a bar owner, single mum, who can sail a boat like a pro.

Watch the Official Trailer:

Lady Gaga pens the big ballad for the movie, ‘Hold My Hand’ which is sure to be heard non-stop on the radio, but how good would it have been if she did a new version of ‘Take My Breath Away’?

The story is pretty simple to follow and of course the mission is impossible. For fans, it’s always satisfying when a sequel is as good as the original. This one is packed with the most exhilarating action packed flying sequences that are so real, you feel like you’re strapped in the cockpit for the ride (but thankfully without the motion sickness).

Go see it for that alone. It will take your breath away.

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For more information visit the Paramount Pictures Australia Facebook page.

What: Top Gun: Maverick Movie Review

When:  Release Date: Thursday 26 May 2022

Where:  Exclusive to Cinemas – check your local guide

Who: Rated M

Poster image credit: Paramount Pictures

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. 

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.


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