- TOP GUN: MAVERICK
- Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly
- Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
- Rating: PG-13
- Running Time: 2 hrs 11 mins
- Paramount Pictures
In April of 1986 I was in the movie theatre business. I had begged the home office – and convinced them – to give me “Top Gun” as one of my summer pictures. I displayed the posters and ran the trailers, listening to the audience’s excitement when the preview ended. I was set. Then, during the first week of May, our company Vice President visited me in my office. To get the full picture in your head, I’ll preface his comments by letting you know that he sounded an awful bit like Fozzie Bear. “Michael,” he said, “I’ve just come from seeing what will be the biggest film of the summer.” “Top Gun,” I asked. “No, “Cobra.” You’ll play it for months!” “So I’m playing “Cobra” AND “Top Gun?” – my theatre was a twin – “Top Gun”?? That won’t play through June. Believe me, my friend, you want “Cobra.”” So I played “Cobra,” which fizzled out after 2 weeks. The other theatre in the area got “Top Gun.” It played through August!
As his jet rockets through the sky, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise)begins a difficult maneuver and, as he often does in these situations, quietly whispers “talk to me Goose.” It’s something he’s done for the past three-plus decades and it’s always seemed to work. Will it work this time?
Packed with wall -to-wall action, “Top Gun: Maverick” finds, well, Maverick, back as an instructor at the Fighter Pilot Training School, where he is asked to get 16 of the best pilots ready for a mission. He balks at first at the assignment, stating his preference to be a part of the mission itself, but is told in no uncertain terms by his commander (Jon Hamm) that he’s just there to train and evaluate. However, things get a little more difficult when he learns that one of the students, call sign Rooster (Teller), is the son of Maverick’s late friend Goose, a young man who blames Maverick for many things, including, of course, the death of his father. Can you say tension?
It has been 36-years since “Top Gun” hit theatres, and I’ll have to admit that I was a little wary when I heard they were making a sequel. Anticipation grew as COVID delayed the film’s release – originally scheduled for May 2019 – for almost two years. Let me just say, it was well worth the wait. Combining several familiar themes from the first film, with an amazing amount of aerial action, “Top Gun: Maverick” delivers the goods. Cruise is his usual cocky self, and that self-assurance is multiplied several times by the assortment of hot shot pilots he is given to mentor. Teller, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Goose, plays a young man who should be confident of his skills but isn’t, causing him to hesitate at times he shouldn’t. Jennifer Connelly is Maverick’s love interest this time around, playing – if my memory serves me – the daughter of a former Admiral – a daughter that Maverick may or may not have taken advantage of. Jon Hamm and Ed Harris are well cast as the authority figures that just don’t seem to understand Maverick’s ways and it’s a genuine treat to see Val Kilmer back on the big screen. Director Kosinski keeps the film moving at a rapid pace, while the aerial action is downright dizzying.
The film is lovingly dedicated to the late Tony Scott, who directed “Top Gun.” I’d like to think that he would give a thumbs up and a salute to “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis with Ed Harris
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Running time: 131 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
“Top Gun” is one of the essentially movies to watch of the 80’s. I have seen it MANY times and even on 3D Blu-ray, which is an incredible way to view it. So here we are 36 years later and we have “Top Gun: Maverick”. You got to be a little nervous revisiting such an important film as this but this sequel stands up on its on and even surpasses the first film in some areas. “Top Gun: Maverick” also packs a punch of nostalgia and is surprising funny…I mean like belly laughing funny. This was a pleasant surprise as well. The most shocking factor of this sequel is the fact that Tom Cruise hasn’t aged in the last 36 years and delivers one of his best performances. I see this film having a very healthy run at the box office. A must see for sure this summer season!
Before we get too deep into the movie, I need to provide y’all with three important reasons to experience this film in IMAX!!! The first reason is an easy one…with IMAX you get to experience 26% more picture that in standard theaters. A lot of films these days are shooting with these specific IMAX cameras and it’s no joke you get to see more of the movie, so it’s a no brainer. Second, is that you literally fear the roar with IMAX sound. The sound easily rumbled the entire theater. The last one I didn’t know till after I saw the film, which is that there was six IMAX cameras located in each of the cockpits. This was why the aerial shots were so stunning and heart-pounding for sure.
Official Premise: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
I have to give Jennifer Connelly props for nearly taking my breath away…she looks stunning in this movie (and she is another one that doesn’t age). Her and Cruise have great chemistry and I loved their love storyline that they had together. It was cool getting to see Val Kilmer show up again as Ice Man. The aerial scenes were absolutely stunning, like I mentioned above about the sound, the seats were literally shaking in the theater. I don’t know how Tom Cruise continues to out due himself with these films but the guy is a legend and literally wins you over even if your not a fan. Looking forward to a second viewing of this film because I feel like there is so much happening that you could benefit from multiple viewings.
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Every good thing comes to an end. The legend of the West, Jack Kelly returns in the role of Bart Maverick, sans James Gardner in the role of Bret for the fifth and final season of “Maverick”. This was a great show and a strong ending season as well. I wasn’t sure how it was going to hold up without Gardner but I really enjoyed Bart riding solo. Notable guest stars this season include Marie Windsor, Sig Ruman, Reginald Owen, Kathleen Crowley and Jim Backus. Like past seasons, there are no additional special features includes besides this short 13-episode season.
Official Premise: This 3-Disc, 13-Episode Collection closes out the original series run with Jack Kelly riding solo as Bart Maverick. When the series originally aired, these new episodes were ran alternating weeks with re-runs featuring Garner’s Bret Maverick from series 1-3. Kelly’s Bart gets plenty of time to shine as this season pits the wily card sharp up against crooked senators, four-flushing bankers, glamorous grifters, wish-granting leprechauns, and Bonanza-spoofing ranchers.
Even though “Maverick: The Complete Fifth Season” marks the end of the series, the Maverick brothers would end up returning again, with Garner playing Bret in “The New Maverick” TV movie (1978) and the “Bret Maverick” series (1981-82), both guest-starring Kelly as Bart. In the word of old Pappy “You can’t keep a good cardsharp and con artist down.” That’s not even counting the 1994 remake with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster either. It’s been 20 years and James Gardner is still kicking, I think it about time for another revival…am I right or what?
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Maverick” is a rare thing in television, especially today, since it was a western comedy. It ran for five seasons dating from 1957 to 1962. The third season aired in 1959 and was James Garner’s last season before being replaced by Roger Moore as cousin Beau Maverick. The role of Bret Maverick made Garner very popular as it was such a great character. This season also featured a slew of amazing guest stars, including screen veterans Buddy Ebsen, Edgar Buchanan Henry Daniell, Troy Donahue, Adam West, Joel Grey and even Robert Redford. So there is no shortage of talent. I am not a huge fan of Westerns but it was great to visit this classic show. Still funny and still quite sharp!
Official Premise: James Garner and Jack Kelly ante up for more high-stakes cons and games of chance in Season Three of this smart and witty Emmy-winning series (Best Western, 1959). Luck is still the lady they love best, as footloose gamblers Bret (Garner) and Bart (Kelly) Maverick tangle with Indian war parties, killer cattlemen, feuding families, a stubborn marquesa, their conniving old Pappy (Garner in a dual role) and more, in 26 offbeat adventures packed with quips and twists.
Warner Archive has been behind this series since last year and has been pumping out each season since then through its made to open release structure. If you are a fan of this series, then you probably will not have to wait long until to complete it since I am sure that by the end of 2014, they will have released seasons four and five as well. This DVD does not show to be newly restored but for a show dating back to the late 1950’s it looks quite decent. The episodes are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The audio included is the basic DVD Dolby Digital track. No other special features are included.