Top Gun: Maverick [Grade: 93.3%]

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Story By: Peter Craig, Justin Marks, Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, & Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Lyliana Wray, & Val Kilmer.

* * *

This was such an exciting surprise…and I am not a huge Cruise fan.

* * *

Theme & Story: A

Pacing: A

Character: A

Overall “Paper” Score: A

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Entertainment Factors

General Public: Worth the $$$

Film Enthusiasts: Not Applicable

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Interesting Enough

Action / Adventure / Top Gun Fans: Worth the $$$

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Worth the $$$

* * *

TAKEAWAYS:

1. Maverick ticks off an admiral that sends him back to Top Gun where he is not only asked to train a younger crop of top pilots to prepare for a mission that seems dangerously impossible, but also pushed to mend relationships. 

This is Top Gun: Maverick. 

Thematically, the film focused on “letting go and moving on” both in terms of past relationships and professionally, and it was executed quite well. 

Act One was true to the title, setting the tone with Maverick while also giving insight to his theme-related conflict—contentment with his status, connecting with past relationships, and his somewhat rebelliousness that impact the professional. 

Act Two continues with the thematic follow through, amping up on Maverick’s rebellious nature impacting his professional task. It also brings intersections between Maverick and some relationships that are holding him hostage in some way, as well as influencing his professionalism. 

Act Three was all about the tension in order to officially “move on.”  There’s also a very intentional scene between Maverick and one particular relationship that sort of gave the head-to-head and crossing over of the theme for me. 

The story is pretty straight-forward, and the execution of the theme followed suit. Nice work. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

2. Baby listen… Miles Teller looked SO good with that mustache. 😩😍😍

3. I enjoyed the training scenes in the sky. 👍🏾

4. Act Three was possibly my favorite Act. I just wanted to see the mission in action. 👍🏾

5. This was actually a pretty cute, fun, and vigorous 127 minutes; and because the story itself was so straightforward, nothing felt too rushed or too long. Every moment had a purpose, and was given the right amount of time to state the purpose and move on. 👍🏾

6. To piggyback off point #2, the entire team of pilots were just beautiful! My goodness. Makes me want to find a Navy man to settle down with. 😩😍😜

7. Also, Charles Parnell… … 😍😍😍

8. I don’t know who was flying that jet from the opposition, but they were NOT playing games. 😂

9. The film did a good job getting me attached to not only Maverick, but really Rooster and the team of pilots. By the time situations came up in Act Three, I was clutching my chest for everyone for different reasons. 

Maverick embodied the theme through and through. His entire existence within the story was all about struggling to let go and figuring out how to move on, and Cruise delivered. 

I also found Jennifer Connelly’s character to be a used well as this other idea of “moving on” that seemed to be carried from the previous film/relationship with Maverick, which also had an influence on Maverick’s character with the theme.👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

10. I appreciated the balance of casual comedic relief with this film. 👍🏾

* * *

Overall #TopGunMaverick gives Top Gun – meets Bakugo and Midoriya – meets Drumline – meets Armageddon. 

I’ve never watched the Top Gun franchise until this installment, and I must say… it’s good. There was such a modernized 80-vibe to the entire film that I also appreciated, as well as some cinematography choices that brought about some beautiful balance to this “love story for the guys” if you will (LOL). 

Also, why didn’t my baby Manny Jacinto get more screen time!? When I saw his face pop up on the screen as 1 of the pilots during the debrief, I was so excited… then I saw him walk by in the background, and that was it. I love that man! LOL LOL 

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