“Top Gun: Maverick” is undeniably one of the summer’s most anticipated blockbusters, but it also comes with plenty of question marks. The sequel features some serious star power in the form of Tom Cruise and is almost certain to contain plenty of jaw-dropping flight sequences. But considering that 36 years have gone by since the original “Top Gun” hit multiplexes, many fans have wondered if the quintessential 80s franchise could adapt to be relevant in 2022.
The film will have quite the rollout, as it has been confirmed to play out of competition at Cannes next month, a longtime goal of the festival’s programmers. But before the film goes to France, it had to make a stop in Vegas. CinemaCon attendees got their first look at the full film, and reactions were across-the-board stunning for the first-ever screening, with praise for the movie’s throwback calls to the original, its aerial cinematography, and its heart-on-its-sleeve storyline. See a roundup of first reactions below.
The stunt-heavy film recently attracted attention when Joseph Kosinski revealed that the team shot over 800 hours of footage, more than all three “Lord of the Rings” movies combined. And Cruise, one of Hollywood’s biggest proponents of practical stunts, revealed that it was an all-hands-on-deck effort to get the complex shots.
“We had to teach the actors about lighting, about cinematography, about editing,” Cruise, who was not at CinemaCon, said in a recent interview. “I had to teach them how to turn the cameras on and off, and about camera angles and lenses. We didn’t have unlimited time in these jets. If they were going up for 20-30 minutes, I had to make sure that we got what we needed.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” was directed by Joseph Kosinski, working from a script by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie. In addition to Cruise, the film features Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman, Monica Barbaro, and Val Kilmer. Cruise’s Maverick is now working as a teacher at the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, helping train the next generation of fighter pilots as the military adapts to the increasingly complex world of drone warfare.
Paramount will release “Top Gun: Maverick” in theaters on May 27.
After hearing for a week about movies that need to be seen in theaters, Paramount delivered a big-screen spectacle in Top Gun: Maverick at #CinemaCon, a solid standalone actioner that gets its heart from the backstory of the original film.
— Chris Lindahl (@cmlindahl) April 28, 2022
Top Gun Maverick at CinemaCon first screening a triumph. Stirring, exciting, emotional, proud. Tom Cruise in a movie star performance for the ages, yes, this soars and so worth the long wait.
— Pete Hammond (@DeadlinePete) April 28, 2022
Absolutely loved #TopGunMaverick. Blown away by the cinematography and flying scenes and of course @TomCruise’s performance. Rest of the cast was great with special props to @Miles_Teller and @glenpowell. This is the kind of movie you want to see on the biggest screen possible. pic.twitter.com/PIfs2aGi2v
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 28, 2022
Our EIC @cbumbray just saw #TopGunMaverick and says it more than lived up to the original. A total blast and a throwback to old-school, character-driven Tom Cruise action flicks. Tony Scott would be proud.
— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) April 28, 2022
Yes. So much yes. #TopGunMaverick is a masterful adrenaline rush. Tom Cruise is our greatest movie star. This delivers EVERYTHING you want in a blockbuster. Aerial scenes are jaw dropping. Character work is fantastic. Pure action with massive heart. A must see! pic.twitter.com/c8WvoInUze
— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) April 28, 2022
One word: Wow! #TopGunMaverick is absolutely terrific in every conceivable way. The action & flying is crazy intense & continually changes & evolves. You’re on the edge of your seat. I was not prepared for how emotional it was, too. The crowd cheered a dozen times. It’s real deal pic.twitter.com/G1dacuZctz
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) April 28, 2022
#TopGunMaverick nails it. Huge, emotional, LOUD Hollywood moviemaking at its most rah-rah ridiculousness. Shirtless beach football, Kenny Loggins, Val Kilmer, final 30 minutes of pure action. Also extremely interesting geopolitical angle I’ll have to get into later… #CinemaCon pic.twitter.com/OrNW1VAYd2
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) April 28, 2022
Top Gun: Maverick soars! While the story relies heavily on the original as well as nostalgia, the film serves as the ultimate 80s throwback and is such a genuine crowd pleaser. Miles Teller and Tom Cruise are magical together. Another massive win for Paramount. #TopGunMaverick pic.twitter.com/Kl62KR9wIx
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) April 28, 2022
#TopGunMaverick is a profound cinematic experience and easily the best film of the year. What Kosinski, @chrismcquarrie, @eddiehamilton and of course @TomCruise have accomplished is epic and intimate, heart stopping and heartbreaking. However good you think it’ll be, it’s better. pic.twitter.com/gZ75xQYxDs
— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) April 28, 2022