Top Gun: Maverick is poised for takeoff and the critics are loving the movie so far. As the reviews roll in, it's clear that Paramount has a massive hit on its hands. Tom Cruise is back as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and he's still as charismatic as ever. Miles Teller brings some real life as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw. Of course, the younger actor is playing the son of Maverick's friend Goose from the first film. All of this causes Cruise to have to confront the ghosts of his past and face the future head on. It's all very stirring and referential to the first film. But, most reviewers think Maverick eclipses Top Gun, surprisingly!
So, what are critics (including Comicbook.com's own Spencer Perry) saying about another trip into the world of Top Gun? Check out all the takes down below as Maverick hits screens on May 24.
A rousing flight into the sequel zone
CNN's Brian Lowry admired the work on display in Maverick. He likens it to a real-life magic trick.
"Nimbly mixing nostalgia and full-throttle action, Top Gun: Maverick soars higher than it has any right to, constructing a mostly terrific sequel 36 years later (including a Covid release delay), using a good but not great movie as its jumping-off point. That might not be enough to take your breath away, but as brawny summer entertainment goes, it comes shockingly close."prevnext
A thunderously enjoyable blockbuster
GamesRadar's Jamie Graham had an absolute blast with Maverick despite the presence of so many callbacks to the original. This one flies high.
"'It all comes down to the man or woman in the box,' says Maverick of the importance of aviators, and Cruise is simply the best of the best when it comes to tentpole thrills. Along with director Joseph Kosinski and producer/partner/pal Christopher McQuarrie, he's fashioned an expertly crafted, thunderously enjoyable and surprisingly emotional blockbuster."
One of the Best Blockbusters in Years
Collider's Russ Bonaime says that this sequel will manage to take your breath away. It's absolutely in the lineage of Top Gun, but manages to really thrill and surpass the original.
"In Top Gun: Maverick, the staggeringly great sequel from director Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion, TRON: Legacy), Maverick has been living in the shadow of the choices that younger Maverick made, and now, 36 years later, this character is back, ready to confront the danger zone of a past that has haunted him since the first film."prevnext
A higher-flying sequel to remember
IGN's Matt Donato acknowledges the "80s of it all" present in Maverick. But, commends the movie for sticking to its guns and providing a refreshing trip to the cinema this summer.
"Top Gun: Maverick is an out-of-bounds blast of afterburner fumes and thrillseeker highs that's sure to please audiences looking for a classic summer blockbuster. Director Joseph Kosinski doesn't lose the '80s nostalgia of movies that were light on reason and huge on chest-beating heroism."
"Maverick takes to the skies, sticks to the formula"
"As insanely cool as the aerial dogfight scenes were in the original, the sequel's action sequences level them up with unreal camera angles and nonstop tension. Kosinski aims to make moviegoers feel what it's like to have your head squished by gG-forces and wonder where in the blue blazes the bad guys are coming from. Toss in the unmistakable Harold Faltermeyer theme and it's like you're 10 years old again, watching Maverick rule the air the first time around."
Refueled and Ready For Takeoff
"'It's not the plane, it's the pilot,' we hear more than once. And Cruise leaves no question that he's the pilot, despite hiring a pro craft team and a solid ensemble cast who were put through extensive flight training. Even the relic F-14 Tomcat, Maverick's tactical fighter plane of choice in the first movie, gets fired up for a glory lap, a salute to aged movie stars and old technology in one."
Most Satisfying Summer Action Movie Since 'Mission: Impossible — Fallout
IndieWire's David Ehrlich is also all about the technical feats of Maverick as it runs like an Ace Combat video game brought to life.
"Watching Cruise pilot a fighter jet 200 feet above the floor of Death Valley, corkscrew another one through Washington's Cascade Mountains, and give one of the most vulnerable performances of his career while sustaining so many G-forces that you can practically see him going Clear in real-time, you realize — more lucidly than ever before — that this wild-eyed lunatic makes movies like his life depends on it. Because it does, and not for the first time."
A Barrier-Breaking Sequel
Variety's Peter Debruge thinks that the film absolutely soars. It's no small feat to justify the existence of a sequel so many years after the fact. But, unbelievably, Maverick manages to do just that.
One could argue that our new, post-Cold War world didn't need a "Top Gun" sequel. (Tom Cruise himself once insisted as much.) But one would be wrong to do so. Building on the three-parts-steel-to-one-part-corn equation that director Tony Scott so effectively set 36 years earlier, the new film more than merits its existence, mirroring Cruise's character, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, in pushing the limits of what the machine could do — the machine in this case being cinema, which takes to the skies as no blockbuster has before.