MatthewLow1996’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maverick seems to think a lot for someone who encourages his students to never think.. joking aside I had a great time with this. To get the elephant in the room out of the way how does this compare to the original? From a filmmaking standpoint this is probably better, it has more character work and the set pieces are a cut above the original (we’ll get there don’t you worry) but I feel as though most of the best aspects of Top Gun are better than the best of Maverick. The original had more of a lighthearted albeit cheesy tone to it which is what makes it charming as an 80s time capsule and there are scenes here that try to replicate that tone but it doesn’t quite hit the same level charm. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing, despite its largely more serious tone, I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of this! It goes without saying Tom Cruise is still very much in cruise control and whilst the stunts are great, he still brings a very human wisdom to the character of Maverick, he didn’t come across as mr hot-shot like he did for much of the original, he’s a flawed human being that has things still to learn about leadership and I love the arc between him and Miles Teller which actually went a little deeper than I was expecting. Now onto the highlight of Top Gun Maverick and that is the aerial sequences/dogfights.. they are every bit as breathtaking as you’ve heard! I watched this in Showcase Xplus and when the sound design of the engines firing up kicks on, those original themes blare through the dolby atmos surround and when the seats begin to rumble, you can’t help but feel as though you are there! This is proof that sometimes you don’t need 3D or 4DX to really immerse you into an environment, a good pair of speakers will do the trick! Those sequences also had pretty solid tension especially in the third act. If I have any negatives beyond the earlier comparisons, the romance is fine, I miss Kerry Mcgillas but Cruise and Connelly still have pretty solid chemistry, it didn’t do much for me it just came and went. Also much of the pacing is great and I hardly felt the 2hr 10 minute runtime until the climax where it kinda keeps going where it probably could have been smoothed out a little bit. While Top Gun Maverick may not be perfect, it is still a sequel that more than justifies its existence, it has great character growth, phenomenal set pieces and a great understanding of what made the original so iconic even if this is somewhat more grounded. I really want to talk about my favourite scene but it’s something I don’t want to spoil so I may do a brief spoiler review on here at the weekend or I may attach it to my audio review which should be uploaded within the next 2 days. Now this is vitally important.. SEE IT ON THE BIGGEST SCREEN POSSIBLE WITH THE LOUDEST SPEAKERS!! You will not be disappointed.