Top Gun: Maverick Critics Dub the Tom Cruise Sequel One of the Summer's Best Blockbusters
Critics are loving Tom Cruise's return to the big screen in Top Gun: Maverick as many reviews describe the film as one of 2022's best.
After several years of substantial delays, the highly-anticipated sequel to Cruise's seminal Top Gun is earning plenty of praise for its stunning direction, committed performances and captivating cinematography. Writing for Variety, Peter Debruge complimented the film's dedication to the craft, pointing to the authentic shots of pilots pulled into their seats by genuine G-forces rather than CGI effects. Deadline's Pete Hammond notes that while the film boldly establishes a new chapter for protagonist Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, it's never ashamed of its roots, often harking back to the original 1986 movie to shed new light on the character's growth over the course of 30 years.
Cruise himself has been the focal point of many positive reviews as critics have hailed his commitment to the role of Maverick as singularly compelling. "Cruise is the anomaly, rejecting CGI and stuntmen to give audiences a fix they can’t get elsewhere," writes Total Film's Jamie Graham. The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney shared similar sentiments, noting that "no one is going to dispute that he works hard in this movie, justifying the labor of love."
Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise's titular character step out of the role of a young hotshot pilot and into the part of a wizened (yet still daring) teacher as he's set the task of training the next generation of ace pilots. Beyond Val Kilmer's return as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, a reprisal that Cruise says was essential to the film's production, the sequel adds a wealth of new faces to the franchise. Miles Teller co-stars as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw alongside fellow newcomers Jennifer Connelly, John Hamm, Ed Harris and Jean Louisa Kelly.
To prepare for the film, Teller explains that Cruise pushed the cast into a rigorous training regime to ensure they were able to effectively perform from within the cockpit of a fighter aircraft. "We were all mini Toms making this movie," Teller joked. "He put us through... I’ll just call it a 'Tom Cruise boot camp.' We were getting in killer shape. And also for the stunts and stuff that Tom does in movies, it’s usually a very specific type of training."
After several significant delays, Top Gun: Maverick blasts into theaters on May 27.