Signature sounds and nostalgic vibes highlighted this remake of the 1986 original. It brought back so many memories yet didn't appear precisely the same.
Joseph Kosinski's direction of "Top Gun: Maverick" has added a benchmark to the way movie remakes - especially iconic ones like this - should be approached. Great work on screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie.
Musical scoring and new-theme vocals by Lady Gaga added to the marvels of "Top Gun: Maverick". Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer, Hans Zimmer, and Lady Gaga all brought this title to life through sound.
Claudio Miranda's cinematography was excellent. Eddie Hamilton's editing was noteworthy. Amazing soundtracks as well. Jeremy Hindle's production design was great. The set decoration and hair-makeup teams also did amazing work. Marlene Stewart's costume design was relevant and evocative. The stunts and VFX crews did superb work.
Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise, was the heart and soul of this movie. Anyone else in the role would have botched it, in my opinion. Cruise gave fans quite the show, and he was every bit as memorable as we wished he would be. He did most of his own stunts in "Maverick" - huzzah for that.
Penny Benjamin, played by Jennifer Connelly, was a wonderful 'comeback replacement' for Charlie, who was played by Kelly McGillis in the original. Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller, was amazing. Adm. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, played by Val Kilmer - yet another comeback - was great, but received little screentime.
Adm. Beau "Cyclone" Simpson, played by Jon Hamm, was great. Adm. Solomon "Warlock" Bates, played by Charles Parnell, was good. Wo-1. Bernie "Hondo" Coleman, played by Bashir Salahuddin, was also good. Lt. Jake "Hangman" Seresin, played by Glen Powell, was memorable.
Chester "Hammer" Cain, played by Ed Harris, was great. Lt. Natasha "Phoenix" Trace, played by Monica Barbaro, was noteworthy. Lt. Robert "Bob" Floyd, played by Lewis Pullman, was good.
All other cast and crew did remarkable work in "Top Gun: Maverick" now streaming via Amazon Prime VOD.
The story was set thirty years after the original. They maintained a 'true to tradition' feel by not performing irrelevant character de-aging. The titular character made a power-comeback to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, aka Top Gun, but with an interesting twist as to his responsibilities. The script gave fans everything they expected, and then some.
In keeping with progress, I liked how they covered the need for unmanned drone programs and machines that could touch Mach 10, and over. That said, in keeping with the pride of fighter-pilot history, I liked how Tom Cruise made sure the Top Gun program came through, despite military pressure to sideline it.
The idea of foreign uranium-enrichment toward nuclear power gains further added to the plot's significance, especially considering ongoing current affairs. I'm sure this script-element was a nod to what is happening in Iran - specifically, the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) - but the writers were clever in avoiding direct mention of it.
"Top Gun: Maverick" was 'danger zone' gold, and nothing can convince me otherwise. Military drama met high-standards combat pilot training in this heartfelt and unforgettable remake that not only lived up to its hype but delivered one of the best remakes in recent years.
Part of me is glad that Jerry Bruckheimer had a hand in this production, and got to see its brilliance while he is still alive. The man gave cinema some of its biggest titles, so it was only fitting to watch him pull another rabbit out of his hat, or should I say another maverick.
If you don't cry at the end of this movie, chances are you didn't see the original, or you were watching an entirely different title.