Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly
Release Date: November 1, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
After more than 30 years of service as a top naval aviator, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot. Yet, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past when he returns to TOP GUN to train a group of elite graduates and comes face-to-face with Lt. Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former wingman, “Goose”. Bitter rivalries ignite as the pilots prepare for a specialized mission, which will require the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
Please Note: Paramount Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ rejoins Pete “Maverick” Mitchell decades after the events of the first film, still in the military but remaining in a low rank position due to his inability to take orders. After yet another troubling stunt, Maverick finds his career saved once again thanks to his old friend Iceman and is ordered back to Top Gun to train a new group of the world’s most elite pilots for an upcoming mission that’s as dangerous as they come. But as he must try and play by the rules and work with this younger group of talented pilots, the one thing he wasn’t expecting was the inclusion of his old best friend and wingman’s son being one of those in the class. Now Maverick will have to try and decide what the best call is for the young man, even if young Lt. Bradshaw has no desire to listen to the man he still blames for the loss of his father.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Oblivion) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road) and Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) and Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, Kosinski does a tremendous job at the helm of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ guiding along all of the excitement, thrills and heart with style. The film’s cast includes Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow), Miles Teller (War Dogs), Jennifer Connelly (Noah), Jon Hamm (Bad Times at the El Royale), Glen Powell (Everybody Wants Some!!), Ed Harris (TV’s Westworld), Val Kilmer (The Snowman), Lewis Pullman (TV’s Outer Range) and more with nearly all offering capable, if not noteworthy performances in each of their respective roles; each doing their part to make this one work as beautifully as it does.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is thrilling, moving and just downright outstanding; an absolute winner of a sequel and a film itself that goes above and beyond in order to deliver an unforgettable follow-up to the legendary 1986 film that might just pull off what so few sequels manage to accomplish, outshine its predecessor. The story itself borrows heavily from the original in many ways and it often feels like a revamped version of its predecessor with a whole new world of technology at its disposal, but the extra care put into each department of this one also allows it to excel to something truly special and unique.
The aviation sequences overall from the practice runs down to the final mission are all utterly breathtaking and astonishing to behold, while many are equally intense and likely to have you gripping the side of your couch or chair even if involuntarily. While the sequences in the sky are obviously the real star here, the film never puts all of its cards solely on the action and actually manages to craft some characters with depth as well as sufficiently delve into the rift between Maverick and Goose’s son which unsurprisingly results in some of the film’s most emotional moments. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ really is one of those truly rare follow-ups that never misses a beat and only improves upon the original. It’s safe to say that this one was well worth the wait.
Overall, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is a phenomenal ride that’s as breathtaking, tense and thrilling as it is touching. It’s a stellar film that’s not only a truly marvelous sequel but a winner across the board and easily one of the year’s best films. With plenty of jaw dropping action like you’ve never quite seen before and heart to spare on top of it, as well as a talented and well selected cast led by Tom Cruise to back it all up; this is one film that you’ll want to go out of your way to check out. I can’t possibly recommend ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ highly enough. It’s magnificent in almost every possible way and should easily prove well worth your time and the price of a rental if you haven’t yet had the pleasure; but don’t be at all surprised if you end up also wanting to buy a copy soon after.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, with a variable Aspect Ratio that alternates between a 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio and a 1.90:1 Aspect Ratio for the IMAX sequences. The video presentation looks absolutely stunning as a whole and provides a clean, sharp and immaculately detailed presentation from start to finish that holds up effortlessly even during the fast moving action sequences and never results in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected or rendered problematic. The Dolby Vision addition only ups the ante and delivers a gorgeous color palette filled with bright, beautifully rich colors complemented by deep, gorgeous blacks that never suffer from any black crush or other troubles. Overall, this is a phenomenal Ultra High Definition video presentation that looks marvelous across the board and should easily thrill fans and first time viewers.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is quite impressive and delivers a crisp, clean and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly utilizes all seven available channels in order to send aircraft, action effects and crowd chatter, along with plenty more zipping throughout the various speakers at every logical opportunity, while never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let along rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a magnificent Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that never loses its way and sounds outstanding throughout.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ includes a decent collection of bonus material that explores the complex process of bringing the film to life and includes various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Cleared for Take Off’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length), ‘Breaking New Ground: Filming Top Gun: Maverick’ (running approximately 8 minutes), ‘A Love Letter to Aviation’ (approximately 5 minutes) and ‘Forging the Darkstar’ (approximately 7 minutes). We are also treated to an in depth interview with Cruise discussing his impressive career in ‘Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival’ (running approximately 49 minutes). Also included are 2 Music Videos: ‘“Hold my Hand’ by Lady Gaga’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘”I Ain’t Worried” by OneRepublic’ (approximately 2 minutes).
*Please note: The above images were provided by Paramount and are not reflective of the actual 4K Ultra HD release or its quality. A standard Blu-ray copy of the film was not included in the release that could be used for screenshots therefore the above publicity stills were utilized. They are all the property of Paramount and any other respective owners.
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Paramount Home Entertainment
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