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I did not realize how much I needed this movie. Thank you, Tom Cruise. Image: Paramount Pictures.
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Highway to the DANGER ZOOOOONEEEE

Everything the 1986 Top Gun movie did, Top Gun: Maverick took to the next level. 

Intense flight scenes, heartfelt moments, cringey romance, comedic bits, and Maverick’s need to go absolutely rogue and potentially ruin everything. 

It was awesome. 

I haven’t seen a movie this good in a long time. Maybe ever. 

Top Gun: Maverick is phenomenally done. From its immersiveness, outstanding cinematography, and flawless casting, it felt more like an experience than a movie. 

It is to be expected that after 30 years, production effects are far more seamless than what we saw in the first Top Gun movie. On top of that, the sequel features real F-18 fighter jets and military equipment. 

Plus, it’s beautiful. There were so many shots from the air that were absolutely stunning. 

Nostalgia was important, but not overdone. The use of the original soundtrack was executed extremely well, and I might have Danger Zone on repeat in my brain for the next week. 

When I said flawless casting, I meant it. Appearances from the original cast were appreciated and offered moments of nostalgia and closure with those storylines and characters, but new faces like John Hamm and Jennifer Conelly truly filled their roles better than anyone else could have. 

We must shout out our badass, girl queen, Phoenix. Monica Barbaro was a great fit for Top Gun’s first female fighter pilot, and I cannot express how sick it is that they didn’t make a big deal out of her gender outside of a few comments that felt accurate to the environment.

She was just so COOL. Get a Phoenix barbie doll

Now, let’s take a moment to appreciate Miles Teller, please and thank you. 

It is mind blowing how much he looks like young Anthony Edwards (Goose).

The relationship between Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller), was integral to the Top Gun: Maverick storyline as a whole, and its  what made the movie have such an emotional impact. 

Through this relationship between Maverick and Rooster, we’re drawn into the nostalgia of the past movie, seeing parallels between Rooster and his late father, and being reminded of the brotherhood between Maverick and Goose (and how much Goose’s death affected Maverick). Watching Maverick try to do things right for Rooster was both wildly frustrating and, for some reason, adorable?

Unfortunately, I cannot spoil it for you and tell you what occurs between the two, but I cried.

I cried a lot, like, fully sat through the end credits with tears pouring down my face (bless everyone else in that theater.) 

Partially because the movie was incredible, and truly handled the emotional aspect perfectly while balancing the action/adventure genre excellently, and because I needed that exact ending for all the characters, especially Maverick and Rooster. 

And partially because my dad thought Tom Cruise was the “coolest motherfucker,” and rewatched Top Gun and Oblivion frequently. 

Lowkey, it was kind of weird. 

But I appreciated it, and I loved seeing movies with him. Everytime we were at the theater I would pay real close attention to the trailers so that I could figure out which movie we’d go to next. 

He didn’t get to see Top Gun: Maverick, which feels like a literal crime, because he would have absolutely ate that shit up. 

And I didn’t get to see Top Gun: Maverick with my dad, which just sucks. While walking home, all I could think about was what his reaction would have been, and how badly I wanted to talk to him about it.  

Anyways, let’s not get all sappy over Tom Cruise and Top Gun. 

My parting words are that Top Gun: Maverick is definitely worth a watch or two, or more. It is everything good about movies all wrapped up into a single masterpiece. Tom Cruise and everyone involved with the production of the movie truly outdid themselves with this one. 

That said, if I had to critique the movie at all… 

Not enough dogfight football.