Probably the cinematic release of the year, if not the last three years is hitting cinemas later this week, and having seen it last night, all I can say is – book your tickets now. Top Gun Maverick is a sequel that comes and is set 30 years after the original but feels like it was made just after the blockbuster success of Top Gun in 1986.

I was lucky enough to get a preview screening thanks to the legends at Laser Corporation, Aussie tech company who themselves are offering a fantastic Top Gun Maverick prize in the month of May – just buy a product to be in the running.

Of course, there are far better movie critics out there to seek out for the true sense of how this movie shapes up in the current day, and what it means in relation to the original. However, having watched the original just a week ago for our podcast The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen and having absolutely loved that, was tense about how good a follow up might be, let alone one done more than 30 years on.

So as not to spoil this movie, there are a few important things to say to anyone contemplating booking tickets, turning up to a cinema or waiting for it to hit rent, buy and stream options in the months ahead.

Top Gun Maverick is a Cinema movie.

You can tell why Tom Cruise and the producers of this movie wanted to hold the release of this movie through the pandemic until we could head back into Cinemas. It’s as true to the original as you can imagine – real fighter jets in dog fights, aircraft carrier and the thrust of jet engines, the cinematography is sensational.

I know it will look great at a time I can watch it on my Big Screen at home, but no way is it anything like how this looked and felt in a real cinema.

Missing out on that experience is something you will regret if you choose to see it first on a smaller screen.

Frankly, Top Gun Maverick is a five star example of why Cinema still exists and can continue to do so in a world of choice.

The Plot of Top Gun Maverick

No surprises thanks to the trailers that Tom Cruise is back as Maverick, and there’s a generational nod to the original with the son of Goose making an appearance.

However, I’ve gotta say this movie was utterly unpredictable. Anything you might have scripted isn’t there, and even when watching it you’re constantly surprised.

Maverick and the next generation Top Gun pilots – together they must train for a real-world mission of a lifetime, one that is as dangerous as any before.

Bottom line, it’s a return to Top Gun for us as viewers, and a return to the Top Gun academy for Maverick, but why he’s there is something you can fund out for yourself.

A fantastic cast around Tom Cruise make Cruise look good, not that he needs it, but it adds a real weight to the story to have some well known faces and some new fresh faces on the screen.

While there is a love interest here, this movie is entirely family friendly, I’ve got no issues booking seats to take my 10 year old to see it.

What I loved most was the unpredictability of the story. While there are times I felt “this” was going to happen, if it did it was more than I expected, if it didn’t they threw something else at us.

More than anything, Top Gun Maverick is as true to the original as you could imagine.

Limited use of CGI and Green Screen (that I could tell), and some real co-operation with the US Navy for sure.

It hits you in the feels with storylines around Ice (Val Kilmer), and Goose’s son “Rooster”, but don’t worry, Maverick hasn’t toned himself down, he’s still Maverick by name and Maverick by nature.

Nods to the original Top Gun

Perhaps the best indicator that this is a great sequal are the many nods to the original in both the way it’s shot and the props in the movie. Keep your eye our for Tom’s motorbike which is special, but also the opening and closing credits will trick you into thinking you’re actually watching the original Top Gun. That, plus the music – just epic.

Damn this was a great movie, and I think like many others I’ll be seeing this one a few times at the Cinema.