With Top Gun: Maverick being the biggest title to release recently with an epic preview event to go with it, Louise and Saskia decided to head along together, watch Tom Cruise in action, catch Covid and share their thoughts on the film.
Saskia – I watched Top Gun several times in my teen years (and it was my absolute jam), but haven’t seen it since! So I went into the sequel, Maverick, with pretty high expectations and very little memory of its classic predecessor. Louise is obviously a lot fresher on the original 1986 film as she was 100% into the opening track and references right from the get-go.
Louise – The opening sequence injects you with pure nostalgic Top Gun adrenaline, featuring a pumped up montage of fighter jets being slingshotted off an aircraft carrier to the soothing, familiar tones of Kenny Loggins’ Highway to the Danger Zone. Is the Top Gun franchise American military propaganda? Undoubtedly. But let the cognitive dissonance take over and enjoy the loud jet planes going fast!
Sas – Look, I know why you’re here reading this review. You want to know if almost 60-year-old Tom Cruise still got ‘it’. I’m happy to tell you that indeed, he does. He’s still serving up the bod, the cheesy lines and most importantly, the extremely incredible and death defying action/aviation sequences! Come for the Cruise, stay for the shirtless beach sport scene (I have legitimately forgotten what they were playing) and have your mind blown by what this talented cast put themselves through to achieve the most incredible cockpit cinema I have ever witnessed or could ever imagine.
Lou – Impressively, the cast acted their fighter jet cockpit scenes under real high G-force conditions, bringing true realism to the performance. There’s something inexplicably satisfying about watching Tom Cruise’s strained gurning at the edge of consciousness.
Rest easy fellow sceptics; I can wholeheartedly assure you this is not a mediocre reboot cashing in on nostalgia. Top Gun: Maverick is a triumph. It easily ranks as one of the best long-awaited sequels I’ve seen.
Sas – In absolute agreement over here! Maverick holds up on its own not only due to the insane cinematography, soundtrack and stunts, but also the solid cast. I loved all the characters and their relationships, except I did struggle to buy into the romance between Penny (Jennifer Connelly) and Pete (Cruise). It was very much “we just communicate in lines drenched in sexual tension and greet each other with casual sexy poses” constantly. But I guess that’s what a film like Top Gun is here to serve up, and Jennifer Connelly is both a talented actor and a smokin’ hot woman – so she dishes out the sexy lines expertly.
Lou – I really couldn’t give two shits about their scenes. But fortunately they were the only boring parts and provided a useful opportunity to run to the toilet so I didn’t miss the good stuff.
Sas – Glen Powell plays Hangman, the absolute dickhead you’ll love to hate and hate to love. His was probably the stand out performance for me, even though his role is possibly THE single most stereotypical action film role – he nailed it. Monica Barbaro and Miles Teller were also really solid in their roles as Phoenix and Rooster, respectively. The tension between Rooster (Goose’s son) and Maverick was palpable and the journey of their relationship was satisfyingly cute and made more impactful due to the solid backup from every other damn cast member. There was something a little heartbreaking about Val Kilmer’s cameo,seeing him alongside Cruise really highlights what a rough go of it he has had health-wise over the last decade. A real legend.
Lou – In the streaming age and for those who like sailing the high seas, a trip to the cinema is becoming a rarity. But you hermits and basement dwellers absolutely need to see Top Gun: Maverick on the big screen while you can. Immerse yourself in the jaw-dropping visuals and feel the visceral roar of jet engines permeating the depths of your bowels.
The cinematic viewing of this film is a spiritual experience that’s worth every cent. In fact, Tom Cruise has personally advised me that to watch this film hunched over your laptop screen, reducing the F-18’s booms to pathetic whines through your tinny-ass inbuilt speakers, is blasphemy against the Great Lord Xenu himself. Don’t fucking do it.
Yvan Eht Nioj.