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Wick's Review

Created Jul 08, 2022 06:15AM PST • Edited Jul 10, 2022 07:57PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick succeeds spectacularly in four interconnected ways: as big screen blockbuster, sexy romp, thrill ride and patriotic paean. That it arrives nearly four decades after its origin movie matters not a whit. This long aborning sequel stands on its own. Hell, it builds on plot antecedents that weren’t actually in Top Gun and assumes we remember them, when they didn’t even exist! That’s fighter-jock-confidence brought to the big screen. Plus, Maverick is a much better movie overall.

    Coproducer Cruise is surrounded by proven moviestars: Jennifer Connelly an upgrade from Top Gun’s Kelly McGillis, Glen Powell an incipient superstar, Ed Harris an icon of gravitas, Val Kilmer a blast from the past. Even Miles Teller is a legit moviestar, while Anthony Edwards ended up a TV star, despite playing Teller’s father in Top Gun. Each gets a meaty role, with character development and silver-screen moments.

    All this big screen goodness and a heaping helping of Leftie angst1 make Top Gun: Maverick the Great American Movie of 2022. Thank you Tom Cruise. Thank you Naval Aviation. Thank you America.

    1 Reality commentary below

  3. Great 4.0

    Tom Cruise is now the greatest moviestar in history, is he not? After four decades as an above-the-title star, whose movies are reliably worth watching, we fans are in we’re not worthy mode. Reprising Maverick wasn’t a stretch for him, notwithstanding being buff at an advanced age. Hell, he no longer needs to prove he can act. His performance as the vampire Lestat in Interview with the Vampire proved that for eternity. All he has to do from now on is make Tom Cruise Movies and a grateful world will be justifiably satisfied.

    Big Name Costars Deliver

    • Miles Teller as Rooster, his fighter-jock godson
    • Jennifer Connelly as the love interest from Central Casting
    • Jon Hamm does little more than fulminate. It’s now clear that handsome Hamm peaked as Don Draper in Mad Men.
    • Glen Powell jumps offscreen as an über cocky fighter jock. When is Powell going to top-line a movie? It’s been six years since he lit up Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!.
    • Ed Harris reprises his Top Gun role and proves that great actors can make fulmination interesting.
    • Val Kilmer is touching as a debilitated Iceman.
    • Monica Barbaro doesn’t jump offscreen as a female fighter jock. Then again neither do any of the other young generation, other than Glen Powell.
    • Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, and Kelly McGillis appear in flashbacks to the origin movie.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Great 4.0
  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Great 4.0
  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.9

    It’s a thrill ride, with some deftly chaste love scenes thrown in for your Date Night pleasure.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.7
  16. Violence Fierce 2.3
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Glib 1.9

    Much has been written elsewhere about the lunacy of the martial tactics and flight dynamics, hence my CircoReality and PhysioReality ratings of 2.1x normal, aka Surreal.

    Of more interest are the real cultural reactions that Top Gun: Maverick has triggered, especially on the Left. For instance, the deftly Lefty Politico magazine featured an article titled ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Is America’s Cry for Help on June 3, 2022. It includes this unintentionally revealing quote: “Navy recruiters infamously lurked outside of theaters showing the original Top Gun.” Notice the Leftie phrasing: “infamously lurked”. Patriotic Americans react with revulsion to self-defeating lunacy like that.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.1
  20. Biological Glib 1.6
  21. Physical Surreal 2.1


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