Top Gun: Maverick Movie Review

Top Gun 2 is a really good attempt at bringing back the magic of the original 1986 Top Gun.

Top Gun: Maverick Movie Review
Top Gun 2 is a really good attempt at bringing back the magic of the original 1986 Top Gun. Source: Paramount Pictures.

Top Gun 2, also known as Top Gun: Maverick is a sequel to the 1986 movie of the same name. Top Gun: Maverick now brings Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell as a near-retirement Naval Air Force officer who's recruited by the army to train a group of Top Gun graduates on how to push through a high-stakes mission.

Top Gun 2 Movie Review and Summary

This post is both a movie review and a summary of Top Gun: Maverick. That is to say, it may contain spoilers.

Same Old Mav

Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, now lives in the Air Force base where he's tasked with testing cutting-edge Air Force tech, including the latest jets. This time, he's tasked with testing the latest Air Force stealth jet at speeds of Mach 9. The program is about to be scraped by his boss, General Cain and Mav decides to push his limit even further and test the jet at Mach 10, as his superior wants. The test is a success and Maverick manages to buy the program some more time.

Going After Nukes

Maverick is called in by General Cain, played by Ed Harris, and is told that he'll be sent over to The Navy Fighter Weapons School or Top Gun, where he's needed for a mission. On getting there, Maverick is briefed that he'll be training Top Gun graduates, the best of the best, on how to accomplish an anti-nuke mission in the mountains. Mav is briefed that there is nuclear enrichment facility in enemy territory in the mountains, where the group will be sent to conduct airstrikes.

Old Friends and New Flames

Mav heads off to the base's bar where he finds his old flame Penelope 'Penny' Benjamin, played by Jenniffer Connelly. Penny now owns the place and they catch up and reignite their romance.

Goose's son Rooster in Top Gun 2
Nick Goose's son, Bradley Bradshaw, alias Rooster, is all grown up and Maverick is now tasked with training him for a dangerous mission, despite his reservations. Source: Paramount Pictures.

While there, the recruits that he'll be training come in, and amongst them is his former wingman Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw's son, Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw. Maverick has for the longest time been feeling guilty for the accident that killed Goose and still carries the heavy load of losing a beloved friend and colleague.

Class is in Session

During their first class, Mav is introduced as the new teacher and the group realizes that the "old-timer" they'd met at the bar the day before, will be their new instructor. Maverick gets on with the class and details his tactical plan of approaching the target, executing the missile drop, and then flying up the steep mountainside out of the mountain, all while avoiding surface-to-air missiles SAMs.

200 Pushups

The team gets in the air during training, where they now compete with one another to see who'll get the target lock on them first and lose. The team makes a wager that the loser will have to do 200 pushups. To make things even more interesting, Mav will join the group and compete against them. Without a doubt, he beats them all and the team realizes the danger they face with the mission as one of the jets crashes into the mountain. Luckily, the two Top Gun students survive.


Maverick's friend and former colleague, Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky, who ended up as an admiral in the Navy, is in bad shape. He's always been Mav's support and is the one who got him the Top Gun job and has held his hand all through his career in the military.

Mav and Iceman in the original Top Gun
Maverick and Iceman became good friends back in the original Top Gun. Source: Paramount Pictures.

Iceman, played by Val Kilmer, calls Mav for a meet, and the two hash things out. He urges Maverick to move on from what happened to Goose and allow Rooster, played by Miles Teller, to be and succeed in the military, without worrying that something could happen to him. The two say their goodbyes and Iceman dies shortly after.


With his guardian angel in the Navy gone, Maverick is pushed out of the instructor job at Top Gun by the boss, Cyclone, played by Jon Hamm. He resists, however, and goes on an unauthorized fly mission to do a dry run of the mission he's been training the graduates for. He does it in just 2 minutes and 15 seconds, proving that it can be done, and is reinstated as the instructor of the group.

Sooner Rather than Later

Suddenly, the calendar for the mission is pushed up and the group has to destroy the nuclear bunker in just a week. New orders also dictate that Maverick will join the group and lead with the first attack. The group's mission plan is for two jets to first head in, make the first attack, and open up a channel to the nuclear payload; with a second pair of jets making the second attack, now with the actual Tomahawk cruise missiles, to get rid of the nuclear bunker and its payload.

All System Go

D-day is here and the Top Gun graduates and Maverick now head out for the mission. The group gets there in time, despite Rooster hesitating a bit though he later comes along. Mav chooses Rooster as his wingman and he pulls off the first attack.

Maverick in his jet while on the mission to destroy the nuclear bunker
Maverick and his student manage to pull off the attack and the following high-G force steep climb up the mountainside. Source: Paramount Pictures.

The second group follows and despite a failure of the laser designator on one of the jets, manages to send the bombs in, accurately, and the nuclear bunker and its payload are destroyed. The group then successfully makes the steep climb out of the mountain, where they are now faced with surface-to-air missiles.

Under Attack

The jets mostly evade the SAMs but Rooster's jet is in trouble. There are missiles coming his way but he's out of flares and cannot shield himself against them. Maverick quickly swoops in and takes out the missile, but gets his jet hit while doing so. Maverick is now going down and the team is instructed to return to their Aircraft carrier and not help. Rooster doesn't listen, however, and goes on to help Mav.

Saving My Savior

Rooster manages to save Maverick from enemy fire but has his jet hit too by missiles from an enemy fighter jet. The jet crashes and he ejects only to be met by an angry Mav who thinks that he should have followed orders and gone back to the ship as instructed. The two hatch out a plan to get back.

Out of Gears

Maverick comes up with the crazy plan of stealing one of the enemies' jets, an old F-14, which he launches on a tiny stretch of runway, leading its front landing gear to be knocked off by a structure as the two fly out.

Whilst in the air, they are met with more enemy jets but manage to evade fire after one of the students, assigned to a reserve jet, comes to their rescue. Mav and Rooster then fly back to the ship but since they are out of the front landing gear, their jet has to be stopped by a net. It does and they land safely. Mission Accomplished!

Mending Broken Relationships

Maverick and Rooster squash their beef and are good again. Rooster now helps Mav in his workshop and the two get working on Mav's P-51 Mustang. Maverick also decides to stay with Penny this time and not break her heart. The two fly off on the beautiful P-51 and the movie comes to an end.

Mav and Penny riding on his bike in Top Gun: Maverick
Mav and Penny reignite their romance and this time Mav decides to stay and not break her heart. Source: Paramount Pictures.

Our Rating

Top Gun: Maverick is an impeccably well-shot movie by Joseph Kosinski. It mirrors the beauty and fervor of the original 1986 movie while catching us up on what became of Maverick. The movie then takes us through a beautiful story of mending broken bridges and overcoming adversity. We rate it 7.5/10 and are very excited to know what you think once you watch it. Enjoy and tells us what you think of the movie in the comments.

Top Gun: Maverick wins an Oscar for Best Sound

Top Gun: Maverick won an Oscar for Best Sound in the Oscars 2023 and you can read more about the Oscars 2023 winners below.

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