Andrea’s film review – Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Out in cinemas.

Despite the fact that I’ve grown up in the eighties, I was never really a big fan of the original Top Gun.

After all, let’s be honest and put it all into prospective: the film was never really that great. Yes, it looked good, but it was rather slow, a bit monotonous and for a kid like me who in 1986 was all about Stand by Me, Ferris Bueller and Aliens (well actually… that’s still the case today!)

The film didn’t really seem to offer much beyond fighter planes (something that never really interested me) and shirtless sweaty men playing beach-volley in slow motion or riding motorbikes at sunset.

All this to say that I was certainly not craving a sequel.

So you can imagine my surprise when at the end of Top Gun: Maverick I I found myself wanting to clap and cheer together with the rest of the crowd, having to admit, despite myself, that actually this film is a lot of fun!

Of course it’s completely predictable, ludicrous beyond belief and it has more cheese than an actual fromagerie in Paris, but who cares when it works so well.

The film knows all its shortcomings, it embraces them all and makes them a virtue, improving on every single department, but mostly giving us a clear and simple story which is easy to follow and still exciting.

In an era where even some of the most basic blockbusters are so convoluted that you feel like you need a guidebook to get through it, I really appreciated how the mission and the stakes were properly explained and established well ahead of game here.

And even if sometimes you have no idea who’s behind those helmets and masks, who’s shouting what to whom and where each plane is in relationship to the other, you’ll soon find your bearings again and realise you’re on top of it all.

As for all those little elements which made the first film so iconic, rest assured, they are here too: the 80s songs, the ray-ban sunglasses, the motorbike rides, the gratuitous above-mentioned sweaty shirtless men, the advert-like cinematography, the pounding famous soundtrack (updated here, courtesy of the great Hans Zimmer), the cheesy love story, with the added bonus of those cross-dissolves during the love scene, the funeral (no spoiler here, but it’s in the trailer, which has been playing for about three years, since the film was first announced and then hold back because of Covid).

And at the centre of all that, Maverick the hero, cocky, cool as ever and the best at everything he does… basically an alter ego for Tom Cruises himself who at the age of almost 60 looks incredible!

There are very few really true movie stars out there today: Di Caprio is probably one, but Tom Cruise is certainly another. The age of the actor is clearly not a problem for the film, nor a distraction for anything that happens in it. In fact the only distraction is that whenever he takes off his shirt you might find yourself being very annoyed with yourself!

Top Gun: Maverick is one of those rare sequels which surpasses the original, soars higher than it has any right to do and delivers thrills and fun for the whole family, like all the best blockbusters should do.

I watched it on an Imax screen and it was really worth it! This must be watched in a cinema!

Let the summer season begin.

In your face Covid!

Out this week, only in cinemas (and rightly so!)

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Top Gun: Maverick is out in cinemas now.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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