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SMR 394: Top Gun: Maverick

Rod and Karen review the long awaited sequel, Top Gun: Maverik. We also discuss a few trailers and your feedback for Train to Busan.


  1. rodimusprime

    Dear Rod and Karen,
    So glad to get back into your SMR. I saw Top Gun: Maverick in the theaters last week after praise from my 15 year old daughter and Dom Riviera. I knew I wanted to see Maverick when they first announced it 3 or 4 years ago because I’ve been a huge fan of Tom Cruise since I was 12 in 1984. (Yes, Tom Cruise was my first huge celebrity crush for several years. I carried his picture in my bus pass wallet. lol. Did I write a Tom Cruise fan fic about his football movie, All the Right Moves? Maybe. lol.) But, once the pandemic hit, I had to make a choice if Maverick was worth the coronavirus. For me, yes it was.

    It truly was a film that filled me with all of the nostalgia of going to the movies and renting all the B-movies from the hood video rental store during the 80s with my brother. Democracy falling apart, Western United States on fire, and a pandemic that has more remixes than Pete Rock was temporarily forgotten with 2 hours of Tom Cruise being a fucking movie star. His scene with Val Kilmer did make me choke up. Maverick hit all the points. It would have probably felt more paint by numbers with a lesser star.

    My theater was half Gen X and half Zennials. The Zennials really walked out of that theater clapping and in awe. THey were pleasantly surprised. My kid went with her teen friends, and they had never seen a Tom Cruise movie before. They loved his impossible white man-ness. Some, both boys and girls, started crushing on him. Maverick, I think, was just a wholly unproblematic movie and telefon king Tom Cruise is just generally unproblematic. Scientology aside, you never heard Tom Cruise be accused of sexual assault, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, or homophobia. Sure there was that jumping on the couch moment and him not being a fan of anti-depressants. When’s the last time there was someone in the public eye that wasn’t divisive?

    Finally, if Dom and Andy hadn’t pointed it out, I wouldn’t have noticed that there wasn’t any jingoism, flag waving or a clear enemy in the movie but it makes sense since Tom Cruise IS the number 1 box office draw in the world. Most of his movies now are financed by overseas companies.

    One more finally, I can’t believe they are Avengers-endgaming Mission Impossible but I’m not mad. TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

    Still a Tom Cruise fan girl,
    Kisha, BrooklynShoeBabe


    Top Gun: Maverick is running on two things: Nostalgia & Updated cinematics. I did really, really fuck with it, though. Having finished the original before seeing it in unparalleled Dolby Digital, I have to say I quite enjoyed the original Top Gun. There’s barely a story, it’s dated & low stakes, I like the energy from that cast. Also, the better Scott brother, Tony (RIP), directed the joint. Maverick is that & more to me, because one of the writers on it, Chris McQuarrie, was able to give it something to matter. Pete’s conflict, recklessness, Rooster being held back because of Pete’s guilt & the additional casts from stellar performers like Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Ed Harris & Lewis Pullman. Even Val Kilmer got his flowers here w/Cruise & it was genuine & earnest. The story is simple, but, at least for me, I couldn’t helped but be enthralled by its spectacle.

    As I mentioned, I first watched this in Dolby, so I think viewing experiences vary on how its watched, I saw it a second time on a standard screen & it somewhat affected my experience sans the wider screen, booming seats & sounds.

    It’s truly an experience meant for premium screens. Sort of like Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear, No Way Home & The Batman to name a few. Probably’s gonna be a blast on 4K & surround sounds at home. With CruiseDAWG being stingy about streaming, this shit won’t be on Paramount+ after 45 days.

  3. Teamwombraider

    Although I enjoyed the film. I believe it’s due to nostalgia. Enjoyed all the eighties songs. The ariel views from the cockpit. The middle aged relationship with Penny & how he was left behind instead.
    The misses hadn’t seen the first one so I rented prior to watching this film.
    Overall, how can I not enjoy old Tom, running real hard all over the place. He’s like the American version of Jackie Chan, just running .
    Thank you for the review.

    Runnin 76

  4. trojanscooter

    I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Seeing Val Kilmer being the elder statesman of Top Gun and protecting Pete was good. The scene where Pete went to visit Ice at home was emotional. Seeing Pete flying the experimental plane left me with this question: who would you rather fly your million dollar plane: Pete “Maverick” Mitchell or Hal Jordan?

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