After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it. -Synopsis
I know what y’all (regular readers) are thinking: “You watched this movie!?” Heck yeah, I watched it for Glen Powell (looking gorgeous, BUT should’ve gotten more characterization)! Powell (who plays Hangman) lobbied for the role of Rooster (which went to Miles Teller- sporting a thick mustache). Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw is the grown-up/pilot son of Goose (played by Anthony Edwards in the 1986 movie) who is NOT on the best of terms w/ Pete “Maverick” Mitchell when this story starts.
Maverick [to younger pilots]: You think up there, you’re dead, believe me.
There is a diverse ensemble of attractive (and super-fit) young pilots; we don’t know much about them, as this story is concerned re: Maverick and the (impressive) action. I learned that a few scenes btwn Rooster and Phoenix (Monica Barbero) were cut. Bob (wears glasses, doesn’t swear or drink) is played by Lewis Pullman, son of actor Bill Pullman. Maverick is still in the rank of captain; he takes risks and bucks authority, though Adm. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) covers his back. Ed Harris and Jon Hamm (who some thought looked older than Cruise- LOL) play two of the experienced Naval officers who are NOT quickly impressed by Maverick’s skills/charm. Many viewers were emotional after seeing Maverick and Iceman (in poor health) reunite!
Iceman: One last thing, who’s the better pilot, you or me?
Maverick: This is a nice moment, let’s not ruin it.
Unlike in the 1986 movie, we see a much better romance! Maverick (single/no kids) reunites w/ his former gf, Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly- good in any role), a bar owner/single mom to a teen daughter. Penny was “the admiral’s daughter” mentioned in the original movie (a few astute viewers noticed). There is a V cool scene where Penny and Maverick go sailing on her boat; the actors are actually doing the work! Their love scene looked tame, BUT this has a PG-13 rating.
The opening of the movie is nearly identical to that in the 1986 movie. There are many call-backs (nostalgia); some will find it touching, while others will think it’s repetitive. The cutting-edge plane that Maverick flies past the speed of Mach 10 is sleek and expensive. The “fight” btwn Rooster and Maverick during one of the training exercises is (potentially) deadly, yet V exciting. In the 3rd act, there are some surprises (which I didn’t see coming). Who is the enemy? We don’t know, as the filmmakers chose to keep it apolitical. No doubt that this movie (filmed in 2018) is a technical achievement which became a box-office hit. If you want to check it out, it’s streaming on Amazon Prime (Paramount+). Powell looked V happy promoting the movie- that’s good enough for me!