Ahead of its long-awaited release later this month, Top Gun: Maverick has won over the critics, having been hailed ‘one of the best sequels of all time’.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the film is set 34 years after the original and sees Tom Cruise return as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell as he mentors a new generation of US Navy fighter pilots.
As the new flight instructor of Top Gun academy, he guides Bradley – the son of Maverick's late wingman, Goose – who wants to follow in the footsteps of his old man to become a pilot.
A synopsis from Paramount says: “After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
“When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: ‘Rooster,’ the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka ‘Goose'.”
Ahead of the film’s release in cinemas, the critics’ reviews are in – with a positive consensus earning it a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
For starters, Cameron Frew, from LADbible’s sister site UNILAD, said the film isn’t just one of the best blockbusters of the year, it’s ‘one of the best sequels of all time’.
“Top Gun’s long-awaited, stupidly-doubted sequel represents a lost era of mainstream, shameless filmmaking: ultimately IP-driven, but huge-hearted, stand-alone bombast capable of rousing any crowd without serialised tidbits, teases and cameos, not to mention packing some of the most impressive, dynamic action the big screen has ever seen,” he wrote, adding: “Top Gun: Maverick is blockbuster nirvana. In other words, it will take your breath away.”
Empire's Ian Freer gave the sequel a full five stars, concluding: “Avoiding the danger zone of mere retread, Kosinski and co deliver all the Top Gun feels and then some: slick visuals, crew camaraderie, thrilling aerial action, a surprising emotional wallop and, in Tom Cruise, a magnetic movie-star performance as comforting as an old leather jacket. Punching the air is mandatory.”
Phil de Semlyen of Time Out also noted how Tom Cruise ‘owns a crowd-thrilling sequel’, which he said ‘easily surpasses the original’.
“Few Hollywood reboots can boast this blend of nostalgia, freshness and adrenaline. You will want to high five someone on the way out,” de Semlyen said in his four-star review.
Collider's Ross Bonaime, said it’s ‘hard not to sound hyperbolic’ when talking about the flick, but that this is ‘the rare case where it absolutely deserves all the massive praise’.
Bonaime added: “Top Gun: Maverick improves upon the original in every conceivable way (well, the soundtrack doesn’t have Berlin, so that’s one strike against it), and does so in a way that might make this one of the greatest sequels ever made.
“It’s also hard not to say this might have some of the most exciting action scenes to ever hit the skies, and gives Cruise one of his best performances by returning to the role that made him a star. Top Gun: Maverick is a marvel of a film, one that will truly take your breath away.”
Top Gun: Maverick hits UK cinemas on 25 May, and in the US on 27 May.