Tom Cruise feels the need for speed in high-flying sequel Top Gun: Maverick

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tom Cruise as Captain Pete Maverick

Pictures: PA
Tom Cruise as Captain Pete Maverick Pictures: PA

TOP GUN: MAVERICK (12A)

Opening with the familiar beats and chimes of Harold Faltermeyer's electronic score to Tony Scott's 1986 film and the tub-thumping battle cry of Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone as fighter jets take off from an aircraft carrier, Top Gun: Maverick blasts Tom Cruise back into the box office stratosphere.

Director Joseph Kosinski, who previously worked with Cruise on the 2013 sci-fi thriller Oblivion, shares his daredevil leading man's need for speed, orchestrating edge of seat thrills on land and in the air to disprove the theory that sequels linger in the slipstream of the original.

A heavy reliance on physical action sequences rather than digital effects, Cruise is at the controls of almost every flight sequence and co-stars trained extensively in F/A-18 Super Hornets to perform convincingly in cockpits, delivers a pure, unadulterated adrenaline rush of nostalgic pleasure.

It is the kind of escapist fare in which Cruise's cocksure pilot steals an experimental hypersonic jet and exceeds Mach 10 in direct violation of orders from Ed Harris's glowering Rear Admiral.

"Your kind is headed for extinction," snorts the superior officer.

"Maybe so, sir," retorts Cruise. "But not today!"

In emotional scenes, Cruise wrings out genuine tears but he's almost upstaged by Val Kilmer, who reprises his role as Ice Man and breaks hearts to smithereens with half a dozen lines of tenderly whispered dialogue.

More than 30 years after the death of best friend Goose during their secondment to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor programme aka Top Gun, Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise) is comfortably secluded in a hangar in the Mojave Desert, burnishing his reputation as the only fighter pilot to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years.

Admiral Kazansky (Kilmer), who has been promoted to commander of the US Pacific Fleet, summons Maverick to a mission briefing.

A subterranean uranium enrichment plant on enemy soil, guarded by surface-to-air missiles, poses a grave threat to US national security.

Maverick must train the Navy's brightest young pilots including Goose's son "Rooster" (Miles Teller) to fly beneath radar and deliver an explosive payload.

"This will be your last post. You fly for Top Gun or you don't fly for the Navy ever again," coldly explains Vice Admiral Simpson (Jon Hamm).

As Maverick pushes trainees to the limits of physical and mental endurance, he rekindles romance with bar owner Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly) and confronts deep-rooted guilt over Goose's death.

"My Dad believed in you," snarls Rooster. "I'm not going to make the same mistake."

Top Gun: Maverick is ridiculous crowd-pleasing fare of the highest calibre that places obvious plot discrepancies in the ejector seat (the US Navy plans to bombard an enemy airbase with cruise missiles but no one considers a similar strike on the enrichment plant).

Cruise glows in peak physical fitness, matching the bare-chested swagger of younger co-stars, and he catalyses molten screen chemistry with Connelly.

Jingoistic dialogue tees up the derring-do of a white-knuckle final mission that is admittedly rather protracted.

For once, Maverick ignores the need for speed.

8.5/10

THE BOB'S BURGERS MOVIE (PG)

A family-run fast food business faces financial ruin in an animated musical comedy based on the Emmy Award-winning TV sitcom Bob's Burgers created by Loren Bouchard.

The 12th series has recently concluded its run in America and chronicles the exploits of Bob Belcher (voiced by H Jon Benjamin), wife Linda (John Roberts) and their children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) who run a hamburger restaurant in a close-knit seaside community.

For its big screen debut, co-directed by Bouchard and Bernard Derriman, The Bob's Burgers Movie piles stress onto the shoulders of Bob and Linda when a water main ruptures and creates a huge sinkhole in front of their business.

The entrance to the restaurant is blocked indefinitely, impacting potential profits from a lucrative summer season.

While husband and wife struggle to keep the business afloat, Tina, Gene and Louise turn detectives to solve a mystery that could prove the restaurant's unlikely salvation.

Hope flickers in the clan's darkest hours and the Belchers face the might of Mother Nature with renewed energy and determination.

6./10

ELIZABETH: A PORTRAIT IN PARTS (12A)

Timed for release ahead of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend, when communities will come together to mark 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth, Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts is an archive documentary that celebrates one of the most famous women on the planet.

Conceived during the Covid lockdown, Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving female head of state in the world as she enters her ninth decade of public service.

Each chapter celebrates a different facet of her persona from the 1930s to the 2020s as a rapidly changing world swirls around The Queen and she becomes a figure of constancy and strength during periods of upheaval, loss and sweeping social change.

Director Roger Michell completed the film's final sound mix on the day he died in September 2021.

7/10

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting