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Blu-ray Review – Top Gun: Maverick – “bloody brilliant”

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

The original Top Gun back in 1986was a film I always enjoyed, but was never one that I went out of my way to watch. I know a lot of people love it and a lot of people dislike it.

When there came word of a sequel after all these years I must admit to having little interest in it. I enjoy many Top Gun films, but a sequel just seemed a bit pointless, especially with the other sequels to old films and TV shows that we have had recently. I also felt that there wasn’t much more you could do with the character of Maverick.

I thought it would just sideline the original characters to reboot it with younger versions in CGI-filled action scenes while taking away the things that made the original a success. I did feel a little jaded with remakes and reboots despite my repeated thoughts of “it could be good and we at least have the original.”

When the first trailers dropped followed by behind-the-scenes footage I did start to take more notice. The fact they were putting the actors in real jet planes and putting them through actual manoeuvres was a welcome surprise, but still, I had little interest to see it.

Then it hit the cinemas. I read some of the reviews praising it and then the word of mouth on social media started dropping. I kept thinking, “it can’t be as good as everyone is saying?”

I ended up having a Saturday with not much on so, using my Odeon Limitless, I booked a ticket and headed to the cinema to see what all of the fuss was about.

Turned out, it was bloody brilliant. Sure, it follows many of the same beats of the original, including that original opening and music, but it all just worked. There was no pandering or talking down to the audience. It just told a story of a man who loves to fly, yet the world is moving on around him and he has little else going on except regrets and lost loved ones.

He gets called in to train a new group of pilots to be the best of the best for a mission in an unnamed country. Then due to various circumstances, he ends up leading the mission with various shenanigans and a bit of a love story with Jennifer Connelly along the way.

It was a great time at the cinema and now it is on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and Digital. Does it hold up for home viewing?


Yes, it most certainly does. I got sent the Blu-ray and it is just as much fun watching it at home. Obviously, you don’t get the full immersion that a great cinema can give you, but I found myself getting tense during the flying scenes, especially when the final mission is taking place. Once again, I got emotional when Maverick meets up with Val Kilmer’s Iceman. I was so glad they got Kilmer back and loved how it was his character that got things moving for Maverick to give him some direction in life.

The performances by Tom Cruise, Kilmer and Connelly were all great. I wish Connelly had more to do, but it was great how her character was a successful businesswoman who had her own things going on and was a good match with Maverick. Her character was also a good call back to the original film.

Miles Teller was good as the son of Goose and the rest of the new pilots all worked well, but it did feel at times that character-building scenes had been cut.

Sure, it can seem corny and cheesy at times, but it all fits together and works wonderfully well for a fun action movie. In recent years it seems that the formula for a fun action movie had been forgotten, but Top Gun: Maverick gets it spot on. Things are set up in passing and the pay off later on. I remember a negative review going on about how one of the Fighters from the original film, just happened to be in a hanger in the unnamed country, and they felt it was just thrown in there. Yet, during the original briefing at the start of the film, they mention the fact that the unspecified enemies are using those particular planes. Checkov’s Gun in full effect.

It is the flying scenes that are the true stars of the film. You see the actors getting thrown around the sky, the g-force pulling their faces into unattractive positions and you can see the effort it takes. There is a visceral thrill knowing they were actually in the planes. The extras on the Blu-ray dive deep into this aspect of the film looking at the real-life stunts and the pilot training that they all went through.

Whatever you think of Tom Cruise, his dedication to the craft of movie-making is incredible. He knows that physical stunts and using as many practical effects as you can on camera makes a film more immersive and enjoyable. It adds to the drama of scenes and gives us some truly thrilling moments.

The huge success of the film at the box office (I imagine it will also do well with Blu-ray and Digital sales) can only be a good thing for movies going forward. The studios will no doubt have taken notice and we will hopefully see more films like this. Made with love, care and attention to filmmaking and the fans.

To sum up, it is a great movie and definitely one I am glad to have in my collection.

Top Gun: Maverick is available to Download and Keep now and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD October 31.

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