It was all the way back in 1986 when we first met pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and his army of fast paced, four G-pulling fighter jets. Now, Maverick is back and better than ever as he takes to the air once more in Top Gun: Maverick.
The original Top Gun
The first Top Gun film was widely well-received. It totaled a worldwide gross profit of $353.8 million, which was the highest-grossing film of that year. It is clear the movie franchise has become a staple in modern society, with people quoting the ‘I feel the need for speed’ in any given situation.
However, on Rotten Tomatoes the film only garnered a 57% rating which, in comparison to its sequel which has a strong 99% rating, is woefully low. Some critics loved the original film, saying ‘It’s what you want in a big bombastic cheesy blockbuster.’ However, many other reviewers did not see it the same.
The general consensus was that ‘Top Gun is very much a film of 1986’ which is true. It is a movie of its time. That means modern audiences may not gravitate to it as much because they are now used to the constantly impactful and high-budget films of today such as the Marvel Universe. Nonetheless, the original Top Gun has its hard-core fans and they aren’t going anywhere.
Top Gun: Maverick reception
With Top Gun: Maverick now out for people to watch, will the franchise appeal to the newer audiences? Well, it seems it has.
The sequel made a cool $51.8 million on its release date. Critics and fans alike seem to have taken to this film, which shows ‘Maverick’ older and wiser than he once was.
Jason Barlow of Top Gear Magazine writes that the film is ‘of unexpected heart and soul, that supplies a huge dose of adrenaline while ruminating on life and the regrets and wisdom that invariably accrues.’
With The Guardian’s Mark Kermode giving the film four stars and being ‘shamefully brought to tears by moments of hate-yourself-for-going-with-it manipulation.’
The new cast
Obviously there are some recurring characters, namely Pete Mitchell played by Tom Cruise. Amazingly, Val Kilmer makes an appearance in this film despite having been badly affected by cancer in previous years. Whilst Kelly McGillis is not in this film, we are graced with Jennifer Connelly, who plays Penny.
Other notable cast members are: Ed Harris (The Truman Show), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Monica Barbaro (Chicago Justice) and Glen Powell (Set It Up).