Top Gun: Maverick – Does It Live Up To Expectations


Tom Cruise speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con about returning to Top Gun. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Asa Stuart, Reporter

     I’ll admit, my first reaction to Top Gun: Maverick was, “who’s Tom Cruise?” I had heard the name before, but never knew what he looked like, or what he was famous for. The only context I had heard his name before in was his involvement with the Church of Scientology. But when I watched Top Gun on Memorial Day, because why celebrate Memorial Day if you don’t watch a USA propaganda movie, I put a face to the name. Cruise was the perfect, cocky, talented actor that could show the world that the USA Navy and armed forces weren’t so bad. The movie wasn’t half bad, I felt a little bit sad when Goose, my favorite character, died, and consequently Maverick, Cruise’s character, fell off and began to spiral downhill. Now, after this eye-opening experience of being introduced to Cruise and his all-American charm, I knew I had to watch Top Gun: Maverick. 

     Going into the movie, I had high expectations. I had seen some slight spoilers on TikTok, specifically the beach scene of Miles Teller dancing with his shirt off, but nothing that would taint my experience. The movie was what I expected, Maverick being a teacher, the students being dudes, except the one girl, Phoenix, who was a total girl-boss, and tension between Maverick and his dead BFF’s son. The movie was very obviously propaganda, with the Top Gun graduates going on some super important mission with lots of plane and uniform shots. 

     The plane shots were cool after gaining the knowledge that they were made with no CGI and that they were actually flying the planes. The movies had an average action Navy plot, but was carried out well with some humor, sadness, and tension. They handled the pacing and plot fairly well, with several high and low points, so there were no long stretches of boring dialogue, and not too many flying scenes. 

     Cruise maintained his all-American charm, and showed it. He somehow very successfully managed to carry the same charm and cockiness of his younger self in the first movie. 

     Top Gun: Maverick was teased in theaters for several years due to COVID setting it back, and many were unsure of whether it was going to be released, and if they wanted it to be released. Now that it has actually been released, people seem to be fine with it. They love Miles Teller, his mustache and charm, and they are cool with Cruise. 

     Even if Cruise was the main star of the movie, other actors managed to gain attention, like Teller, and Phoenix, the female Top Gun graduate. Phoenix was played by Monica Barbaro, and has been in many crime/action TV shows before, like Chicago Justice. After the movie came out, a Barbie was released of her character in her uniform.

     Overall Top Gun: Maverick is a movie that I would never have chosen to watch by myself, but it was a fun experience, and I enjoyed it. It was nice to finally know who Tom Cruise is, and I hope that he stays clear of the Church of Scientology. I rate it a 6/10, but probably would not watch again.