If you loved the original Top Gun, you don’t want to miss seeing Top Gun: Maverick on the big screen.
There are some great callbacks to the original. There are some great visuals. You’ll enjoy the memories.
But… my bet is that you are going to leave a little bit disappointed.
Top Gun: Maverick simply does not capture the magic of the original film. It’s a polished, formulaic, predictable, sequel.
It’s fun when not boring, and there are some parts that are boring. Pretty much the first third of the movie after the opening action.
It’s intense when not slow, and a lot of it felt slow.
To be fair, I’m not really sure if modern movie making can capture the grittiness of the original film.
The original Top Gun was edgy for its time. It was sweaty, sexy, and made great use of dramatic sound, music, and visuals.
Top Gun: Maverick includes much of the same music, sound and visuals, but it doesn’t meld together in the organic way that the original did.
The edgy, sweaty, and sexy vibes of the original have given way to air conditioning and the replaying of favorite tunes in a more family friendly movie.
Speaking of family friendliness, can you bring the kids?
There is some swearing, including the F word once, but not a lot. There is one suggested sex scene with a couple in bed, though no nudity.
There is death. No blood and gore. Some of the aerial combat scenes may be quite intense for young viewers, and parts of the movie are (literally) seat shakingly loud.
Young viewers, and anyone else not really into the Top Gun story, are likely to be bored during much of the movie. I suspect Millennials and Gen Zs won’t be fans.
Oh, and don’t try to make much sense of the military storyline or science. From the speeds to the equipment to the plans, it doesn’t make much sense.
The crowd of Top Gun fans I watched the pre-release screening with clapped when the movie was over. A few seem genuinely very excited about the movie.
But for me, while there were parts that were fun and intense, the movie as a whole was just okay, not great.
If you were hoping for a fantastic summer blockbuster to celebrate the post-pandemic return to movie theaters with, Top Gun: Maverick isn’t going to cut it.