Top Gun: Maverick (Ultrasonic’s Thoughts)

If someone was asked to come up with their top list of movies from the 1980s, Top Gun will be on that list for sure, and rightfully so. Everything about the film-the scripting, directing, acting, the soundtrack-just works so well that no matter your age, or what time it is, you will find yourself hooked into the story and characters immediately.

They even did video game adaptations!

This one I had for my NES. I made it past the first stage but couldn’t make it past the second.

So after such an incredible blockbuster film that is also a classic in every way, where do you go for a sequel? Is it even possible?

Well, that’s been a question that Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have been trying to answer for many years. But fortunately, we don’t have to wait any longer, because now Top Gun: Maverick is here.

Taking place in the modern time, we meet up with Maverick, who is still serving the Navy but is no longer an instructor at Top Gun. However, he keeps himself busy with helping test out new planes/jets, especially since the Navy seems pretty adamant about going the route of drones instead of pilots, and as a result the team working with Maverick were in danger of getting their funding pulled. Maverick being the one with the never-say-die-attitude goes through with the test and even with protests from most manages to succeed in pulling the test off, which saves the project from getting scrapped.

Not too long after this Maverick learns that he is being sent to Top Gun as an instructor to help teach a team of pilots for a special mission. And it is none other than Maverick’s old rival-turned-friend Iceman that recommended him.

Shortly after, Maverick heads over to a bar and meets up with an old flame of his named Penny Benjamin. That’s right Arcaders, the very same Penny Benjamin briefly mentioned in the first film. Although time has passed, clearly the chemistry has not, and it is shown very well. This doesn’t stop Penny from putting Maverick on the spot and even other young pilots join in on the fun.

Later those same pilots show up at the Top Gun school and it turns out the person they had literally thrown out the bar the other night was none other than Maverick Mitchell himself, something that irks one pilot in particular, who goes by the callsign “Rooster”.

Essentially Maverick has been brought into Top Gun to help teach these pilots for a mission that is almost impossible to do. However, impossible is something that Maverick has shown time and again, and while Naval Air Forces Commander Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm) is doubtful, Maverick nevertheless steps up and begins their teaching in earnest.

Now I can’t explain more about the plot, but what I can definitely tell you is that this is a movie that is true to everything that made the original so good. Along with the realistic flight scenes and the amazing performances from Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly and everyone else, the story truly continues in an organic way, and much like the real world the passage of time has made it only more plausible for Maverick to be where he is both as a pilot and as a person, and you’ll find that he still feels clamped down by things from his past as well as a sense of weariness for the future. The fact that the past also comes back in the form of a certain character or two only solidifies Maverick’s inability to make peace with what happened to Goose all those years ago, and it does beg the question of whether Mav can truly come to terms with said past and move on, or be hampered by his mistake. And just as important, does the character have what it takes for one last hurrah and guide this new generation of pilots for what they need to do?

Only way to find out is to watch this film, and I can guarantee you will find yourself wanting to hit the afterburners and hit the highway to the danger zone!

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