By Ethan Percival
[Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead!] If history has taught us anything about sequels, it’s that they almost never do as well as the original. So logically speaking, a sequel to a movie which was a hallmark film of the 1980s, should be a boring, cheesy, and foolhardy attempt to recapture the magic of the original, right? It is my pleasure to inform the students and faculty of Benicia High School, Top Gun: Maverick not only does justice to the original movie, but surpasses it.
Nearly 40 years after the events of the first movie, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, (still played by Tom Cruise), is now a testpilot of a hypersonic aircraft called Darkstar with the objective of reaching Mach 10. Fun Fact, the mockup of Darkstar was actually designed and created by Skunk Works (which is creator of famous aircraft such as the SR-71 Blackbird, the U-2, and the real Darkstar: the SR-72 Son of the Blackbird).
After a challenging flight, Maverick successfully breaks Mach 10 and subsequently his aircraft as well. Upon returning to base, he is ordered to return to Top Gun to train a group of recent Top Gun graduates for a seemingly impossible mission. Maverick must navigate his strained relationship with the son of his old flight buddy callsign “Rooster”, played by Miles Teller, and come to grips with the fact that not everyone may return from this mission.
Not only is the acting by Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, and all the other characters phenomenal, but the CGI and the practical effects are amazing. Unlike other movies which almost only use CGI, most of the training scenes in Top Gun: Maverick were filmed with the actors in real F/A-18 Fighter Jets experiencing real Gs while flying. Even when there is CGI, it looks real to a shocking degree. In addition to this, the music created for this movie is outstanding. Whether it be an aircraft takeoff montage synced to the iconic song, “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins or the epic and dramatic background score in the final battle, the music created for this movie is outstanding. You can thank music composing legends Harold Faltermeyer, Hans Zimmer, and singer Lady Gaga for the incredible score.
This movie is a true summer blockbuster. The rich and enjoyable plot, the engaging characters, their development over the course of the movie, and the incredible effects make this movie a must see for anyone.