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Joseph Kosinski
Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller
Writing Credits:
Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie

After 30 years, Maverick still pushes the envelope as a top naval aviator, but he must confront ghosts of his past when he leads Top Gun's elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.

Box Office:
$170 million.
Opening Weekend:
$126,707,459 on 4735 screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, 1.90:1 (varying)
Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos
English Audio Description
Czech Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
French Canadian Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
French Canadian
Latin Spanish
Simplified Chinese
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish
Simplified Chinese

Runtime:130 min.
Price: $37.99
Release Date: 10/31/2022

• “Cleared For Takeoff” Featurette
• “Breaking New Ground” Featurette
• “A Love Letter to Aviation” Featurette
• “Forging the Darkstar” Featurette
• “Masterclass With Tom Cruise” Featurette
• 2 Music Videos


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Top Gun: Maverick [4K UHD] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 24, 2022)

Back in 1986, Top Gun became a major hit and helped escalate Tom Cruise to the status of A-list actor he still enjoys. Given its success, one would expect a sequel.

And one got a sequel… 36 years later. Actually, Top Gun: Maverick went into formal development all the way back in 2010, and after fits and starts, the studio intended to release it in July 2019.

However, various production issues delayed that, and then 2020’s COVID pandemic pushed the movie’s release even more. Paramount probably would’ve shifted it to streaming but apparently Cruise insisted that it run theatrically.

Good call, Tom, as Maverick became a massive smash. With a take of nearly $1.5 billion worldwide, the film found an even bigger audience than the 1986 original. Cripes, the movie stayed in the US top 10 for 21 weeks, a positively Titanic-like span.

One assumes this means we’ll get a Top Gun 3. We probably won’t have to wait until 2058 for it, but given his semi-agelessness, a 95-year-old Cruise would probably still fit the role.

After more than 30 years as a Navy aviator, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise) comes back where his career started: the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as “TOPGUN”. Though he worked as an active pilot for his entire career – one who resisted promotions and a desk job – Maverick now receives a new assignment as instructor.

When a foreign nation illicitly develops an enriched uranium program, the US military plans to send fighter pilots to destroy it. Maverick gets the job to train them for this, a task complicated by the presence of one particular aviator: Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller).

Years earlier, Maverick partnered with Lt, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw - Rooster’s father - and Maverick still feels guilt over Goose’s death. Maverick must overcome these emotions and get the necessary skills for the risky mission.

When I reviewed 2017’s Mummy, I noted that Cruise tends to simply play the “Tom Cruise Character” in every movie now: a charismatic, self-confident “Type A” who shows heroic prowess. Of course, Maverick from the original Top Gun acted as the archetype for this, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain that the sequel’s Maverick tends to feel like just another Tom Cruise Character.

However, whereas the 1986 Maverick might exist as the origins of the Tom Cruise Character, he still seems more three-dimensional than the 2022 Maverick – or his role in Mummy or recent Mission: Impossible or Jack Reacher movies. It really does become difficult to distinguish among these roles, as their “Tom Cruiseness” becomes their defining trait.

The Cruise Character inevitably becomes the only one who can save the day. He must act as the focus of all that happens.

In a different world, Maverick would've used Maverick solely as teacher and passed the torch. However, Cruise couldn't allow that to happen.

Instead, he needed Maverick to remain the best of the best and he must be the sole person who can save the day. This seems ridiculous, honestly, and it pushes credulity.

The film’s stabs at development feel superfluous and irrelevant. Jennifer Connelly plays Generic Love Interest Penny Benjamin, a character who exists just for token romance. You could cut out all of her scenes and never miss them.

The same goes for the inclusion of Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer). Maverick’s rival in the first film, he appears for nostalgia and cheap sentiment, so the story doesn't require his presence.

No one will call the original film a deep character study, but at least Maverick got an arc. Here he just comes in as the hero who proves himself heroic once again.

I find the choice to add Goose’s kid as an aviator to feel tacky and gratuitous. This becomes a cheap stab at emotion without any importance to the plot, as it fails to bring real dramatic impact.

The movie's action scenes fare pretty well, and even with its flaws, the film remains fairly entertaining. If one just wants some remarkable aerial shots, then Maverick fits the bill.

However, it really does seem shoddy in terms of story and characters. Honestly, the film comes across like a feature-length version of the Death Star attack from the original Star Wars - right down to the cocky loner who saves the day.

Perhaps someday Cruise will challenge himself again and play something other than the Tom Cruise Character, but Maverick isn't that movie. Even with some excellent action, Maverick becomes an empty vessel.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio A/ Bonus C

Top Gun: Maverick appears in a variable aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 and 1.90:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. About an hour of the movie used the IMAX 1.90:1 ratio, with the rest at 2.39:1.

Expect the split to involve the nature of the material, as in general, action went IMAX and character/dialogue scenes opted for 2.39:1. Whatever the case, this turned into an excellent Dolby Vision presentation.

Sharpness worked well. At no point did I discern any softness, so the film was accurate and well-defined.

I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects. The film also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, the movie opted for a low-key mix of amber and teal much of the time. These felt well-rendered given their intentions, and the disc’s HDR added emphasis and impact to the colors.

Blacks came across nicely. Dark tones were deep and rich, without any muddiness or problems.

In addition, low-light shots gave us smooth, clear visuals. HDR contributed range and power to whites and contrast. All in all, this became a terrific presentation.

I felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Maverick. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these.

Given all the aerial material, the mix filled the speakers on a frequent basis. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.

Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end.

Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film and acted as demo material.

A few extras appear, and Cleared For Takeoff runs nine minutes, 15 seconds. It brings comments from writer Christopher McQuarrie, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Joseph Kosinski, Naval Aviation technical advisor/aerial coordinator Captain Brian Ferguson, and actors Tom Cruise, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Lewis Pullman, Miles Teller, Greg Tarzan Davis, Danny Ramirez, and Glenn Powell.

“Takeoff” looks at the execution of the movie’s aerial sequences and actor training. Like material for any Tom Cruise movie, some of the usual hyperbole arrives, but we still find some good information, mainly about how the actors dealt with various challenges.

Breaking New Ground spans seven minutes, 56 seconds and delivers material from McQuarrie, Cruise, Bruckheimer, Kosinski, Ellis, Barbaro, Teller, Pullman, Powell, Top Gun commanding officer CDR Chris Papaioanu, aerial coordinator Kevin LaRosa Jr. and 1st assistant photographer Danny Ming,

“Ground” examines technological challenges related to the flight sequences. It mixes production facts with promotional hyperbole.

With A Love Letter to Aviation, we locate a four-minute, 48-second piece that offers notes from Cruise, Barbaro, Bruckheimer, McQuarrie, LaRosa, instructor/technical advisor Steve Hinton, director of photography Claudio Miranda, and actors Charles Parnell and Jennifer Connelly.

The featurette looks at some of the planes used on the movie as well as aerial photography. Some decent info arrives, but a lot of this tours Cruise’s bravado and skills.

Forging the Darkstar for seven minutes, 31 seconds and features Cruise, Kosinski, Bruckheimer, McQuarrie, Lockheed Martin engineer Becky Janshego, Skunk Works VP of Customer Requirements Jack O’Bannon, lead vehicle designer Daniel Simon, art director Ron Mandell, production designer Jeremy Hindle, and actor Bashir Salahuddin.

Here we look at the movie’s depiction of Maverick as well as the design of the “Darkstar” craft. Expect another combination of insights and happy talk.

Next comes Masterclass with Tom Cruise, a 49-minute, four-second live audience with Cruise. Conducted by journalist Didier Allouch, Cruise discusses aspects of his career as well as the Top Gun movies.

Few in Hollywood can talk so much and say as little as Cruise. On the surface, he will seem honest and insightful, but in truth, his remarks here just promote the Legend of Tom Cruise, so don’t expect much real substance.

Two music videos finish the disc: Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” and Onerepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried”. I bow to few in my adoration for Gaga but “Hand” becomes a pretty lousy attempt to create an 80s ballad vibe. The video bores, as it just mixes shots of Gaga in Maverick-related locations and actual film shots.

As for “Worried”, the song seems catchier than “Hand”, though I expect a lot less from that band than I do from a massive talent like Gaga. The video uses a similar format and seems equally mediocre.

Audiences loved Top Gun: Maverick, but beyond 1980s nostalgia, I admit I fail to grasp the reason for its immense popularity. While it offers some excellent aerial action scenes, the story and characters seem so thin and banal that they drag down the impact of the positives. The 4K UHD offers excellent picture and audio but supplements tend to seem superficial. Though reasonably entertaining, the inherent lack of substance makes Maverick a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.909 Stars Number of Votes: 11
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