Some of us, who shall remain nameless, started 2022 completely ambivalent to the upcoming Top Gun sequel. And then it was released, and people went completely loopy for it. Encouraging those hitherto unnamed people to suck up their pride, and go and see it.
While the box office numbers don't quite reach the heights of James Cameron movies or the MCU, it was a runaway hit. With people waxing lyrical that this is the movie you must see in cinemas this year. Boasting visuals that absolutely belong on the biggest screen you can find, it warranted that title.
It's now time for the home release, and prior to Top Gun: Maverick dropping on Paramount+ in December, you can pick it up on DVD, Blu-ray and 4k. Does it still work when watched at home?
Generally, and strangely, yes.
Top Gun: Maverick is flawed as hell. It's hyper-masculine, cheesy, has an incredibly thin plot with low stakes and, well, Tom Cruise. Doing what he does.
Despite having a plot that takes the final act of Star Wars: A New Hope and stretches it over two hours, it fills that time confidently. A strange beast of a film, it shouldn't work, at all, but it does.
Cruise is at his most shit-eating-grinniest. But he's likeable. Jennifer Connelly is a shockingly under-developed love interest and definitely too good for him, but you mostly buy it.
Most unbelievable though, amongst all the other unbelievable aspects, is that nobody dies. Despite plane crashes, one of which being at Mach 10 (they don't explain what this means – but it's ten times the speed of sound, thanks Wikipedia), everyone walks away miraculously unharmed. Adding this film firmly to the list of American blockbusters that conveniently doubles up as an advertisement for joining the military.
There is a fan theory, and it's quite compelling on the rewatch, that Maverick himself actually dies in the opening scene and the remainder of the film is just his death dream. The sheen, the way everything works out perfectly; it's a fantasy, and exactly how one imagines Cruise's Pete Mitchell would want things to go. So perhaps that is the best way to watch it.
Even with all this suspension of disbelief though, the action scenes are so well constructed and take up so much of the runtime that it's really easy to just not care.
Adding up to being the cinematic equivalent of a rollercoaster, don't be too surprised if it makes you want to upgrade your telly, or learn to fly a plane.
Top Gun: Maverick is available now to Download & Keep and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD.