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Top Gun: Maverick flies back to the big screen and lands on top at the international box office

One of the most beloved 80s films has come back with a bang, landing as Tom Cruise's best opening film at the box office

By Sienna Thompson, First Year, English Literature

Good Morning Aviators! One of the most beloved 80s films has come back with a bang, which I believe is worth flying to the top of best films this year. Not to mention that this film holds the best box office opening for Tom Cruise, soaring over $100 million USD in its opening weekend alone. The nostalgic music, shots, references, and characters, all topped off with state-of-the-art stunt work and cinematography, have certainly claimed a special place in my heart.

In this stunning sequel, we follow Maverick (Tom Cruise) as he returns to Top Gun: an elite school for the top one per cent of the United States Navy. Only this time, he is there to teach rather than learn. Still suffering the trauma of losing his best friend and wingman Goose, Maverick learns that Goose’s son, Rooster (Miles Teller), will be one of his pupils in the class he will be teaching.

Courtesy of IMDB

Miles Teller played an excellent portrayal of Goose’s son. In terms of resemblance, the casting was amazing, and Rooster was able to convincingly portray so much passion when the past was brought up. Tom Cruise, however, was still the star of the show. He fitted back into the role of Maverick like a glove and provided us with a playful but more mature character to make us laugh, gasp, and even shed a tear.

Maverick and Rooster have a complicated relationship regarding Goose, making for tense flying and in-person scenes throughout the film. However, as their relationship strengthens, we see the similarities between Rooster and his father and experience the father-son trope coming into play.

Miles Teller as Rooster in Top Gun (2022) // Courtesy of IMDB

The stunts included are incredible to watch. My favourite scene, including these stunts, would be the final flight scene when the aviators complete their mission, followed by Maverick and Rooster's impeccable teamwork when trying to escape bandits in the F-14 Tomcat. The action is nonstop and constantly has you gripping the edge of your seats as the actors complete incredible stunt work.

What I thought would be a downside to this film proved to be an upside. Upon seeing that Charlie from the original Top Gun wasn’t in the film, and a new love interest was introduced, I thought this would bring the film down in my ratings slightly. However, Penny (Jennifer Connelly) lived up to the standards of Charlie. As well as this, it was refreshing to see a more age-similar love interest which many action films do not include.

Courtesy of IMDB

I believe what the opinion of this film comes down to is largely generational. Sometimes the classics cannot be topped. But as a fan of the original myself, I feel that the sequel lived up the standard set in the 80s. Personally, it provided a better and more thrilling cinematic experience.

It is safe to say this is a film I would pay to see again and again. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this magnificent film, which I never usually feel towards sequels (especially for a classic such as Top Gun). I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t seen this film yet to get down to their nearest cinema and experience it for themselves.

Featured Image: IMDB

What did you think of Top Gun? Is the sequel just as good as the first one?