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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Top Gun: Maverick"

I am really starting to wonder if my #OldManRob is starting to take over.

I don’t know if I am getting pickier with my movies as I approach a half of a century of life on this earth or my thoughts on “Top Gun: Maverick” are just going against the grain. I mean, as I write this the rating on the gospel known as Rotten Tomatoes puts this film at 93%, so it’s not like I’m the only person that feels as if this film is not the end-all-be-all, but am I THAT far off?

This go ‘round, Tom Cruise’s Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has left teaching at Top Gun to be a research pilot in the Navy. He still is the same guy his namesake makes him out to be, but when he is called back to Fightertown, U.S.A. to report to Admiral Simpson (Jon Hamm), he finds out that he is not out to find out who the best is but instead to find out which of a group of previous graduates can get to that next level to eliminate a threat that could sway worldwide power in the wrong direction. And did I mention that the son of his best friend in “Rooster” (Miles Teller) is in that group, and Maverick is NOT on his favorite people’s list.

The thing about “Top Gun: Maverick” for me is that it SHOULD check a LOT of boxes for me: great action, enough references and homages to the first film to kick the nostalgia up, a fairly solid premise that just didn’t re-hash what was done a cinematic record thirty-six years ago (for the most part), and practical effects that are simply awesome to witness. However, it just didn’t give me that “holy cow, this was AMAZING” feeling that I was hoping for. Much of the story seems rushed, I never felt like I got to invest in the new generation of Naval Aviators that I wanted to, and the love story involving the amazing Jennifer Connelly seemed so shoehorned into the script that it may not have made a difference if it were there at all, but then again… would it be a “Top Gun” film without it? And her house looks an awful lot like Charlie’s in the first one.

Maybe I set the bar too high going into this screening based on what I had heard from people that I know well and trust the opinions of. (For the record, it’s not that I believe they are incorrect; I wonder if I had seen it a week earlier when they did if I would have had a different opinion.) By the same token, I have every intention on seeing “Top Gun: Maverick” again to see if some space from it gives me a better impression than it did the first time. Of course, I want to recommend it in a premium format (we saw it in the IMAX, which it was filmed for; I am also interested in seeing it in the Dolby Cinema as well), but heck… it’s the summer movie season, so let’s go watch stuff ‘splode!

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