TOP GUN: MAVERICK Review — SO Worth the Wait

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Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Top Gun: Maverick review says its a big, brash and brawny movie with the excitement and charisma fans have been longing for.

Top Gun: Maverick reviewFans have waited for three years and through three official opening postponements for the sequel to one of the top films of a generation to be released.

Now that it’s finally in theaters, those eager fans are asking if it’s worth the wait, and more importantly, is it worth venturing back to the theater and fighting the germy crowds?

In a word, “YES!”

Top Gun: Maverick has much of the charisma and excitement of the original, and some fun new twists, courtesy of engaging new characters and enhanced special effects.

Of course you knew that Tom Cruise would be as compelling as ever, and you kind of hate him for the fact that a few wrinkles and crags only make him more attractive.

His character Maverick hasn’t changed much either—he’s still up to his old rebellious tricks, and hasn’t been promoted above captain because of it. He spends his time out in the Mojave Desert, speed testing aircraft and trying to break records.

He is suddenly and unceremoniously called back into more challenging service, against everyone’s better judgement (including his own) except for his old rival and now friend Iceman,  poignantly played by the ailing Val Kilmer, in a scene so well made tears will flow.

Maverick really has no choice but to train a boisterous crew of the best daring young Top Gun pilots, to prepare them for a mission impossible (Ooops—wrong movie) that involves destroying a nuclear weapons facility before it goes online.

Yes, there are rivalries on land and in the air. Yes, there’s a love interest. Yes, there are motorcycle rides and beach football games with ripped and greased bodies tackling each other in the sand.

And yes, there is much of the original music we all loved from the first installment, with some nifty new additions from a top music team including Hans Zimmer, Lady Gaga, Harold Faltermeyer and Lorne Balfe.

And just when you think they’re going to leave it out, there goes Tom Cruise running as if his life depended on it, toward the surprising end of Act Three. This film has all fans hoped for and more.

Not to say that director Joseph Kosinski has made a perfect film. It’s more than little overcooked, with every line a QUOTE, every scene a MOMENT and every shot an IMAGE SUITABLE FOR FRAMING.

But then again, that’s what sells these days, and Top Gun fans never were impressed by subtlety.

This is a film definitely worth returning to the theater to see. If it’s your first time back in over a year, treat yourself: see it on an IMAX screen and buy a big, steaming vat of popcorn.

In my heart of hearts, I’m hoping that it does gangbusters at the box office, if nothing more than to prove that you don’t have to be a Marvel superhero to pack ’em in.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 11 Minutes

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Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Top Gun: Maverick review says its a big, brash and brawny movie with the excitement and charisma fans have been longing for.

 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and seen on Rotten Tomatoes. She is the author of three bestselling books, and spends as much of her free time as possible with her husband Jim and her jolly therapy Labradoodle Frankie Feldman.

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