Kii Belling’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's been a long time since I've been in an audience of people who were clapping, hooting, and reacting to a film like this. Or at least a film that wasn't part of the MCU. There was a cultural connection that I haven't felt since 2015. I doubt even the most ardent Top Gun fans could have predicted the box office smash this is about to be.
Joseph Kosinski is 2 for 2 when it comes to long belated sequels to irreplicable 80's time capsules. That's more than any other filmmaker and doubly impressive considering how different they are. Kosinski's background in architecture is such an asset, his cinematography has this emphasis on design and sleek precision that is just like crack to the eye.
The flight sequences in particular are really something else. There's this immediacy and immersiveness to them that you only get when you have a mad man like Tom Cruise spearheading new technology and pushing for entirely authentic piloting. He might be the worlds greatest leading man. And the inclusion of Val Kilmer hit me a lot harder than I expected, especially after watching his documentary. The bond between him and Maverick is legitimately heartwarming to see given the animosity between them in the previous film and both his and Cruise's real life circumstance.
And yes, like it's predecessor, the beach volleyball scene was my favourite. Great film.