It’s 36 years since the original iconic Top Gun (1986), the longest time between the first and second film for a franchise in the movie history.
(NOTE: NO spoilers in this review).
At the insistence of Tom Cruise, there are no green screen or CGI aerial shots in the film, and even the close up cockpit shots are taken during real in-flight sequences. This meant that much of the cast had to undergo extensive G-force training sessions, to withstand the physical demands of the G-force pressures during flights.
Cruise designed a unique bootcamp for the actors, going through three months of training – underwater evacuation, aerial aviation and the preliminary training to build spatial awareness inside the aircraft, and flights. Bruckheimer said that “The actors also had to learn how to run the cameras because when they’re up in the jet they have to direct themselves essentially. They also needed to be taught about the lighting, cinematography and editing, as it is the once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Val Kilmer, who was battling with throat cancer, reprised his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. He typed his conversation with Cruise in the film.
Val Kilmer was once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ could be his last role
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporters’ chief film critic, wrote in his review that “Top Gun: Maverick’s” most “moving element comes during the brief screen time of Kilmer’s Iceman, whose health issues reflect those suffered by the actor in real life, generating resonant pathos.”
Iconic Scenes Reboot:
From F-14A Tomcat (1986) to F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The Stealth aircraft in the trailer is absolutely stunning. It is either the SR-72, the mach 6 successor to the SR-71, or more likely, it is the SR-91 Aurora. Both are rumored aircraft, but it is most likely the Aurora due to its wider wedged shape.
Same competition scenario.
The bike that maverick race against the jet fighter is a Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon 2019. This is a homage to the first movie where maverick also rides a 1985 Kawasaki Ninja, 900/GPz900R, then the fastest production motorcycle in the world. Tom Cruise had never ridden a motorcycle until the first film.
From original hot girl Kelly McGillis (she is 3 inches taller than Cruise, at 5’10”/ 178 cm) riding on a fast bike (with no helmets, not advisable of course but it’s Hollywood) to Jennifer Connelly, a cool mother with a cute daughter, who teaches Maverick how to sail.
The shirtless beach football montage sequence is being used very heavily to promote the movie after a similar beach volleyball scene in the original film became super iconic and an audience favorite. Ladies, feast your eyes!
Singing “Great Balls of Fire” by the piano.
Tom Cruise looks so stunning in the white uniform!
Nothing beats the instantly memorable original ballad song “Take my breath away” by Berlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx51eegLTY8 (it won 1987 Academy Award for The Best Original Song) and “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siwpn14IE7E. “Take My Breath Away” was originally considered for the soundtrack of 9½ Weeks (1986).
“Hold my hand” lyrics by Lady Gaga are very powerful. During the video, Gaga is wearing the original aviation bomber jacket that Cruise wore as Maverick in the original Top Gun film. When the song hits its climax, Gaga switches the tank-top underneath the aviator bomber jacket for a nude gown that explodes off the singer and into the wind. The dress was created by Ukrainian designer, Lessja Verlingieri for her brand Lever Couture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2CIAKVTOrc
The other notable song is “I Ain’t Worried” by OneRepublic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNEUkkoUoIA
In memory of Tony Scott, Director of original Top Gun:
Tony Scott was hired to direct on the strength of a commercial he had done for Swedish automaker Saab in the early 1980s, where a Saab 900 turbo is shown racing a Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet.
On 19 August 2012, at approximately 12:30 pm PDT, Scott died by suicide by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the San Pedro port district of Los Angeles. Scott was the younger brother of film director Sir Ridley Scott. Tom Cruise was with Scott just two days prior to the director’s suicide, scouting locations for a sequel to Top Gun, scheduled for production in 2013.
In popular culture:
● Bomber jacket and Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses sales increased.
● Top Gun, along with A Few Good Men, is recognized for being an inspiration for the TV series JAG and the subsequent NCIS franchise in turn.
● Two Chinese war films, 2011’s Jian Shi Chu Ji (“Skyfighters”) and 2017’s Kong Tian Lie (“Sky Hunter”), were based on Top Gun. On January 23, 2011, China’s state broadcaster China Central Television published a TV news story about the alleged efficiency of Chinese fighter pilots which incorporated footage from the Top Gun action sequences. Chinese internet users noticed the plagiarism, whereupon the broadcast was immediately withdrawn.
● Film producer John Davis said that Top Gun (1986) was a recruiting video for the Navy, that people saw the movie and said, “Wow! I want to be a pilot.” The Navy had recruitment booths in some theaters to attract enthusiastic patrons. After the film’s release, the US Navy stated that the number of young men who joined wanting to be Naval Aviators went up by 500 percent.
“Don’t think. Just do!”
“It’s not the plane. It’s the pilot!”
Rear Admiral: Thirty-plus years of service. Combat medals. Citations. Only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years. Yet you can’t get a promotion, you won’t retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die. You should be at least a two-star Admiral by now, yet here you are. Captain. Why is that?
Maverick: It’s one of life’s mysteries, sir.
Rear Admiral: The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction.
Maverick: Maybe so, sir. But not today.
Maverick: You think up there, you’re dead, believe me.
[from the original]
Maverick: I feel the need…
#RobrenReview: 9 | 10 It’s better than the original!
At around the half way point I thought hmmm… it will not be as good as the first. But it got better and best. You are sitting at the edge of your seat. Every time you thought “Oh that must be the end… there’s no way out in this suicide Mission Impossible (pun intended)”… but it keeps going, and going. You’ll appreciate later the plot, plot twists, characters and story build up, etc.
The fighter jet dogfighting is obsolete in today’s drone warfare. So enjoy this dogfighting bygone era.
Top Gun Maverick is more of a reboot, than a sequel. A damn good reboot.
Watched it a day in advance Malaysia’s official release date of 26 May 2022.
US release date: 27 May 2022.
Met 2 US AirForce Pilots at the end, on duty in KLIA.
Published: 26 May 2022.
Updated: 27 May 2022.
Link to this article: tinyurl.com/TopGunII