I’ve Watched ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ And It Was Great! [No Spoilers]

Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick poster (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Don’t worry, no spoilers here: just a personal comment on the much-awaited Top Gun sequel.

It finally happened: 36 years after watching the first one, I’ve finally had the chance to watch “Top Gun: Maverick“. I approached the premiere with mixed feelings: on the one hand, I was thrilled to discover what had happened to Capt. Pete Mitchell since he had returned to Top Gun school in the then NAS Miramar and see how the aerial scenes, filmed with HD technologies available today, appeared on the big screen; on the other, I was pretty concerned that I could be deeply disappointed by the sequel, as happened many times with other movies whose sequels failed to live up to the expectations.

Moreover, I didn’t like the amount of CGI featured in the trailers, without forgetting that, as a consequence of the multiple delays due to the pandemic, we are watching these days a movie that was filmed some 4 years ago….

However, after watching it, I can affirm that “Top Gun: Maverick” did not disappoint me, quite the contrary.

I won’t say anything about the plot, cause I have too much respect for my readers, who most probably are as passionate about the original Top Gun as myself, to spoil any details: I’ll leave you all enjoy (or not) the story.

What I can say is that I liked it: I liked the “rhythm” of the movie, the locations, the acting [Tom Cruise was great!], the characters, the soundtrack, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the many references to the original movie: there are several new versions of some iconic scenes of Top Gun, most of those have already appeared in all the trailers. The good news is that they are not bad copies of the original ones, rather “classic” elements among those that have made Top Gun famous among fans and not. For this reason, it was a pleasure to see them in their more modern variant, as there are things that never get old, but have become part of the original movie’s heritage.

I’m not going to comment on the action you will see in the movie, nor will I tell you if certain things are realistic or totally made up, because, in my opinion, that is not the right way to approach a movie that was not meant to please the experts but be appreciated by non-experts, by the general public. And in this regard, the film will not let you down: most of the non-fans I spoke have told me they prefer Top Gun: Maverick to the original Top Gun!

One last comment: despite the CGI, it was great to see the actors in the actual cockpit of a Super Hornet during a real flight.

Concluding, I can’t say whether I prefer this one to the 1986 movie. I was 11 when I watched that one: two years younger than my eldest son and two older than my daughter (who were in the theatre with me and my wife today). Although I was already interested in anything flying, Top Gun was the spark that ignited my passion for military aviation. Hence, any comparison between the two, would be senseless and probably unfair. Still, what I can say is that, despite my initial skepticism, I loved “Top Gun: Maverick” more than I expected and I will probably watch it again (multiple times). I feel the need!

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.