Danger Zone

WARNING: SPOILERS for “Top Gun: Maverick”


Evelyn Brilz

Goodness gracious that was worth the wait! The long awaited sequel to the original “Top Gun,” which came out in 1986, has finally been released to the public. After eight years in development and two years filming, “Top Gun:Maverick” was better than anticipated. 

Tom Cruise makes a comeback as his famous character Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. It may have been 40 years for Cruise, but he still rocks those aviators. He is called back to Top Gun to train the latest graduates for a mission that none of them have ever seen done successfully before. The shocker being Lieutenant Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw is one of the candidates for the mission; Maverick’s dead co-pilot’s son.   

There is a rift in between Rooster and Maverick that no one can figure out, until Rooster spills the beans and asks Maverick why he pulled his Naval Academy papers. Through his anger, Rooster has to prove to Maverick that he is ready for this mission, and Maverick pulling his papers was a big mistake.

After a brief introduction into the mischief that Maverick always seems to be in, Lieutenant Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky consistently gets him out of it and back in the air before the Admirals can “ground” him. For one last time, Iceman sends him back to Top Gun. 

Maverick has three weeks to teach these young pilots how to fly with their instincts and work as a team. The candidates are tasked with flying through a tight canyon, up into a crater, dropping two precision missiles, and then climbing their way out only to have to defend themselves against the enemy’s missiles. Even though Maverick is supposed to be an instructor, he is the only one to successfully go through the course in the allotted time, and becomes the team leader.   

Of course, all movies tend to be a little bit predictable, so it was no surprise when Rooster was chosen to be on the mission. The final action scene is loaded with emotions ranging from anxious, to happy, to sad, and back to anxious again. By the end of the scene, Maverick and Rooster have made amends, again no surprise there, but it is nice to know that Rooster no longer hates Maverick’s guts. 

Overall, the movie is filled with old references and great music. If you are looking to go back to the 80’s, “Top Gun: Maverick” sure brings that nostalgia forward. It is definitely worth the wait.