Tom Cruise’s return in Top Gun: Maverick gained countless compliments from critics, describing it as a “barrier-breaking sequel” to the first 1986 installment.
The sequel, hailed as one of the greatest movies of the 1980s, sees Cruise’s reprisal of his leading role as crackerjack US Navy pilot Maverick.
It is “as thrilling as blockbusters get,” according to Independent, complimenting it as a “true legacy sequel.” Meanwhile, The Telegraph described it as “absurdly exciting” and “unquestionably the best studio action film in years.”
The film cast alongside Cruise is Jennifer Connolly, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Danny Ramirez, Val Kilmer, and Ed Harris. Top Gun will be released in cinemas this month.
Divergent Series’ Miles Teller portrays the character of Rooster, the son of Maverick’s previous partner, Goose. Already a pilot himself, Rooster holds Maverick responsible for his father’s death in an accident in the original film.
In the sequel, Maverick comes back to the Top Gun flying school, now an instructor who handles the training of a new generation of pilots.
Top Gun: Maverick was initially set to be launched in 2019; however, it was postponed to allow the crew to finish the flight sequences. And then, it was delayed again due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peter Debruge of Variety stated that the “barrier-breaking sequel” is a “stunning follow-up,” further saying, “Hardly anything in Top Gun: Maverick will surprise you, except how well it does nearly all the things audiences want and expect it to do.”
Debruge complimented the scenes from a plane cockpit for their accuracy.
“It’s the most immersive flight simulator audiences will have ever experienced,” he stated. “If the flying scenes here blow your mind, it’s because a great many of them are the real deal, putting audiences right there in the cockpit alongside a cast who learned to pilot for their parts.”
Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave a five-star review of the film, hinting the “play of light and gravity on actors’ faces, and the way the landscapes spin and drop away balletically through the canopy glass puts other blockbusters’ green-screened swooping to shame.”
“Watching Cruise’s return as Maverick is so outrageously pleasurable largely because the actor himself treats it as pleasure,” he stated.
Collin then pointed out the “sleek and surprisingly moving plot,” describing the film as “Dad Cinema at its eye-crinkling apogee: all rugged wistfulness and rough-and-tumble comradeship, interspersed with flight sequences so preposterously exciting and involving they seem to invert the cinema through 180 degrees.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang’s review read: “A lot of consideration and calculation have clearly gone into this long-aborning blockbuster sequel, insofar as Cruise [one of the producers] and his collaborators have taken such clear pains to maintain continuity with the events, if not the style, of the first film”Top Gun: Maverick is a longer, costlier and appreciably weightier affair, and its expanded emotional scope and heightened production values give it a classy, elegiac sheen; it’s like a hot summer diversion in prestige-dinosaur drag or vice versa. As a rare big-budget Hollywood movie about men and women who fly without capes, it has a lot riding on it.”
Opinions expressed by Artist Weekly contributors are their own.