Review: How does “Top Gun: Maverick” compare to the iconic original?


Movie poster for “Top Gun: Maverick” (picture courtesy of IMDB).

Kara Bade, Editor

“Top Gun: Maverick” was released on May 24 and follows Maverick, portrayed by Tom Cruise, in his life after graduating from Top Gun, the top flight school in the U.S. It brings back old characters like Maverick himself and his rival Iceman (played by Val Kilmer) while introducing several new interesting characters. There is Maverick’s love interest, Penny, and a whole new batch of recruits, including the son of Maverick’s navigator, Goose, from the first movie. Goose’s son, Rooster, is played by Miles Teller.

   While watching the movie, it is difficult not to compare it to the last one. However, the movie does a great job of having a fresh new story with new interesting characters, which sequels often fail to do. The story differs from the original while still maintaining parallels, such as a rivalry between two top pilots, a strong friendship between two main characters, and most importantly, Maverick acting on his own accord. The movie allows for Maverick to be the same independent personality he was in the original, but this time while he is teaching. We get to see the same old Maverick but in a new setting, which is what the movie mainly does, updating older, original aspects to fit modern day. 

   One of the main things that made “Top Gun” so interesting at the time was its aerial shots. There was little to no CGI used in the original, which made the movie that much more unique because most of the flying was real. They did the same in this movie, so most people once again are impressed, but it doesn’t have the same impact that it did for the release of the original. “Top Gun: Maverick” does, however, bring much more action to the screen, which is to be expected due to advances in filmmaking. This makes the movie much more intense, but due to a focus on so much action, there was less time to develop the larger cast of new characters. 

   There are only a few problems with the film, but one of the main ones is that there wasn’t as much of a focus on these new characters. They introduced a lot of new characters as the new pilots Maverick is teaching, and while the movie was still centered around Maverick, it seemed like there should be more development the new characters, especially Rooster. Most characters became pretty forgettable, and the more developed ones still didn’t have the same impact that the original characters had on the movie. 

   It is impossible not to compare the two movies. Obviously the new movie isn’t going to have the same impact the original did, but in terms of story and action, it is actually stronger. So, if we focus on what this movie has to offer on its own, it is a pretty great action movie – not incredibly special, but entertaining nonetheless.