Tag Archives: (Jennifer Connelly) – Penelope “Penny” Benjamin

TOP GUN: MAVERICK (2022) – My rating: 10/10

Top Gun Maverick Poster.jpgTop Gun: Maverick is an action drama directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren KrugerEric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie. The movie is from a story by Peter Craig and  Justin Marks. 10 years in the making, Maverick is the sequel to the 1986 original film, Top Gun. The film concentrates on the current life of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who is some 30 years older.  I had heard Top Gun: Maverick is the film to see so I did and it was absolutely the best. The sequel has actually turned out to be, in my humble opinion, better than the original Top Gun (1986).

Over three decades after the events of the first film, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is serving as a U.S. Navy test pilot who has avoided promotion to continue flying. As Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris) approaches the base with the intentions of shutting down the hypersonic “Darkstar” scramjet program and redirecting the funds to drone programs, Maverick flies the prototype to its speed objective, then pushes further into high-hypersonic speed, destroying it. Cain wants to ground Maverick for his recklessness but instead sends him to NAS North Island as a TOPGUN instructor, as ordered by Maverick’s friend and former rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Maverick is ordered to train an elite group of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aviators assembled by Vice Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm) and Rear Admiral Solomon “Warlock” Bates (Charles Parnell) for an urgent mission: to bomb a foreign country’s unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant. The assignment is possibly a one-way mission. Because of Maverick’s attitude, advanced training, and experience, he doesn’t see the mission in the same way as his superiors.  His style of training will be to bring the troops home.  Maverick’s return to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (also known as U.S. Navy-Fighter Weapons School-“TOPGUN”)  places him in a position to meet up with old friends, as well as rekindle a former love relationship with Penelope “Penny” Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly).  Among the trainees is Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), who is the son of Maverick’s late best friend, RIO Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.

Top Gun: Maverick is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.  Aside from the special effects, which were outstanding, the acting was brilliant.  The stares, the attitudes, egos, and cockiness were totally believable.  The story was great and the directing was top-notch. I so enjoyed this sequel that I didn’t want it to end. I also learned some new jargon as well as a newfound respect for military involvement in keeping America free and protected.  FYITo create the illusion that the actors were actually piloting the jets during flying scenes, the producers paid the Navy $11,374 per flight hour for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and pilots to fly them. As of June 9, 2022, Top Gun: Maverick has grossed $343.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $278 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $623.3 million.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 395 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in a wildly entertaining style.” Tom Cruise’s work in the film was widely acclaimed, with some critics calling it the best in his career.  Top Gun: Maverick is currently showing in theaters — Check It Out!