It's been thirty-six years since the Top Gun Anthem became such an iconic piece of music from a film. The film itself has its fans and others that call it overrated however, there's no denying that once the instantly recognisable bong kickstarts the theme that introduces the film you know exactly what you are in for. With Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel that was supposed to release three years ago, it's a pure cinematic adrenaline rush that encapsulates exactly what cinema was designed for.

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is tasked with training Top Gun graduates for a dangerous mission that will push them and their aircraft to the absolute limits. Personalities clash, as does Maverick with his superiors when his methods cross more than a few lines, but can it all be put aside as they set about completing their mission?
There's a sheer sense of glee that comes into play as soon as the film starts, crew prepping fighter jets on an aircraft carrier as the theme tune then blasts into Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone. Yes, it's a carbon copy to the opening of the first film but it settles you into familiar territory quickly. After that, the film just builds in confidence to deliver a sequel that not only surpasses the original, but becomes one of the most mind-blowing action films of this century.

Seriously, the flying sequences are so exhilarating to watch as Maverick and the recruits take to the sky for training and combat. Cruise wanted to do a sequel that was worthy enough and had the technology to make you truly feel as if you are in the cockpit with them, and with the rigorous training regime the actors went through and the camera set-ups within the cockpit, this is definitely a film worthy to carry the name of Top Gun and it has to be admired for that. The final act in particular is so mind-blowingly insane that you really should seek the biggest screen possible to be fully immersed in it all. 

Joseph Kosinski directs the film with such bravado; matching Cruise's energy for bringing the audience a special cinematic experience. The film has tons of heart too, Peter Craig and Justin Marks writing a story that provides the film with an emotional core while the screenplay from Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie captures the arrogance yet playful nature of the recruits while honouring what came before with some very welcome callbacks without becoming a nostalgia-fest. Throw in some spectacular sound design, editing and a score from Hans Zimmer, Lady Gaga and Harold Faltermeyer, and you have a film that really does make you feel all kinds of emotions.
Top Gun: Maverick serves as a chance for Tom Cruise to return to another one of his iconic characters and he does such a great job in making sure this isn't just for the novelty factor. He brings a real sense of pain to Maverick when thinking of past mistakes effecting the present day all while keeping the cockiness that gets right under the skin of his superiors. Watching this man put himself through the extremes for the sake of entertainment is something you can only admire in all honesty. While Cruise may run the show, it's so good to see Miles Teller putting in great work again on the big screen, this time as Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, who has plenty of history with Maverick. Teller still seems like such an underrated talent so more roles for him please. Glenn Powell as "Hangman" and Jon Hamm as "Cyclone" have a lot of fun in their roles while it's great to see Val Kilmer make a small appearance as "Ice man" again. This is very much an ensemble effort though and every single person is giving their all to make this such a joyous experience.

Top Gun: Maverick has to go down as one of the most unforgettable cinematic experiences of my entire life, it's that good. Believe the hype and get ready to feel the need... the need for speed one last time.

Top Gun: Maverick is available now to Download & Keep and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD.

Verdict: ★★★★★


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