Top Gun: Maverick


 By: Adam Freed

If the point of consuming art is to feel something, to actively connect with a work on an emotional level, then Top Gun: Maverick is a bullseye. Goosebumps? Check. Sweaty palms? Check. Lump in throat nostalgia? Ready for takeoff.

One of the great joys of experiencing TG: Maverick is the inevitable triggering of mirror neurons that Cruise and the brilliant flight cinematography team achieve while airborne. Each frantic moment is met with clenched teeth, gripped armrests or an audible gasp.

There will be the cynical who mock Cruise for his ageless ambition to dominate the action genre while simultaneously standing as the last star fighting alone against the inevitable wave of streaming giants. The man bet on himself for 3 years and won. Through sheer will bordering on stubbornness, Cruise forced this film to be seen the way that it was intended, large and loud. He was right.

Perhaps theaters are doomed? Maybe we are all destined to eventually take in big budget entertainment on a 6 inch handheld screen, but to quote Pete Mitchell, “not today” and not as long as Tom Cruise is in the fight.