Top Gun: Maverick Blu-ray Review: A High-Flying Sequel That’s Worth The Wait.
Paramount Pictures has released “Top Gun: Maverick” for your home entertainment enjoyment. The highly successful sequel, starring Tom Cruise, was praised by critics for bringing back the summer blockbuster after theaters were shuttered for the better part of two years and audiences fell in love with joining Maverick in the skies. As such, the film went on to gross a very impressive $1.4 billion worldwide.
With over 110 minutes of bonus content, the “Top Gun: Maverick” blu-ray takes audiences on the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, which includes the cast’s training program, the camera work needed to capture the breathtaking aerial sequences, the future of aviation, and a couple of music videos as well as a Masterclass led by Cruise.
After more than 30 years of service as a top naval aviator, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot. Yet, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past when he returns to TOP GUN to train a group of elite graduates and comes face-to-face with Lt. Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former wingman, “Goose.” Bitter rivalries ignite as the pilots prepare for a specialized mission, which will require the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
Joseph Kosinski takes us on a cinematic ride unlike any other by putting audiences alongside Maverick and reminds us about the power of the summer blockbuster. And with over 30 years in between the two films, it utilizes newer technology to make the sequel more prominent than the last and bring audiences to places the predecessor could not get to.
But this isn’t just another long-awaited sequel for a film released over 30 years ago. “Top Gun: Maverick” ruminates on the idea of nostalgia as it focuses on Maverick reflecting on his past, his past friendships, and past relationships while bringing excitement with its high-stakes action sequences and beautiful cinematography. In a way, the sequel is a vast improvement over the original in bringing Pete’s story full circle while also giving the fans what they want.
As for the bonus features, there’s a lot to go through, especially if you are interested in many of the behind-the-scenes action that helped make “Top Gun: Maverick” worth the wait.
In “Cleared for Take Off,” Cruise explains why the wait for a sequel took so long. “I wasn’t ready to make a sequel until we had a special story worthy of a sequel and where we could delve deeper into the experiences of a fighter pilot,” Cruise said. And writer Christopher McQuarrie echoed those sentiments by disclosing the actor’s love for aviation along with capturing that love. So, of course, the aerial sequences had to be perfect, and the only way to do that was to make it real.
So, Cruise goes into how he worked with a Top Gun flight school on how to shoot it practically with the F-18s. None of the cast could anticipate being a part of the actual flying sequences, as Tom had high expectations for the long-awaited sequel. And so we see the actors going through a grueling training regimen that puts the actors through different simulations, real-life flight, and water survival training. It can be intense at times and not one for those who are claustrophobic.
After that, they went straight into flight training, starting small with the Cessna to help with their special awareness and gradually moving up towards the F-18. And it was a grueling experience, and the cast was on the verge of losing consciousness or their lunch. Let’s not forget the physical demands of shooting this, along with handling all of the g-force and proper ways to breathe.
In “Breaking New Ground: Filming ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’” the featurette looks at Cruise’s efforts to capture the audience’s attention with the new cinematic technology at their disposal. The actor talks about how he studied aviation, camera angles, and aerial photography to immerse the audience in those fighter pilot experiences in a very cinematic way. So it was necessary for Cruise that the sequel would be as practical as possible, which meant that putting the camera into a Navy F-18, wasn’t going to be easy.
Kosinski reveals that he and Cruise had worked with the Navy for over a year to get the angles they wanted to get while not interfering with any of the functions of the aircraft. So they had to build cameras specifically for the film. As Kosinski puts it, “these aren’t Go-Pros.” These are the kind of cameras that capture images that have not been captured in this kind of environment.
Not only that, but there were also air-to-air scenes, which meant they needed more than just the usual helicopter, but a cineajet that helped get impossible shots like a shot of the canopy. In a way, the actors in the cockpit had to be their own directors. It’s an incredible feature to watch for those interested in learning about aviation filming and pushing the limits on current camera technology.
In “Forging the Darkstar,” we learn about the Darkstar, a supersonic aircraft capable of traveling at the speed of sound. So Kosinski talks about teaming up with Skunkworks, a division of Lockheed, to be testing a plane at the beginning of this movie. As such, we see the power of this aircraft as it can rip off the roofs of check-in points as it lifts off.
Kosinski and McQuarrie talk about how important it was to keep Pete as a test pilot for the Navy because it’s the only life and family he’s ever known. “Maverick has been in the Navy for 30 years and has answered the question, ‘how would someone stay in the Navy this long and remain where he is,” McQuarrie asked. “What mattered most to Maverick is that he always finds a way to fly.”
So it was a dream partnership for Kosinski to work with Skunk Work and design an experimental aircraft while making it grounded and realistic.
Lastly, “Love Letter to Aviation” is just as it reads, Tom expressing his undying love for all things aviation. We see him fly an actual P-51, with the cast respecting his passion for flying. At the same time, the featurette teaches us about some of the excitement and dangers of the cinematography and camera work of capturing this aircraft mid-flight.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is available on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital now.
Here’s the bonus content that’s available on the
TOP GUN: MAVERICK Digital* Bonus Content
Cleared For Take Off—Witness the most intense film training program as the cast prepare themselves for filming while pulling multiple G’s in a fighter plane.
Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick—Prepare to take flight as you go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick on a journey to capture the most spectacular aerial sequences ever!
A Love Letter To Aviation—Tom Cruise shares his passion for aviation as he pilots his aircraft, a vintage World War II P-51 Mustang, which would have been the Top Gun aircraft of its day.
Forging The Darkstar—Pushing the limits beyond Mach-10, the future of aviation is unveiled through an impressive experimental aircraft specially designed for the movie.
Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival—Tom Cruise discusses his incredible career at the flagship event of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
“Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga Music Video—Watch Lady Gaga’s music video for her standout lead single hit on the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack.
James Corden’s Top Gun Training with Tom Cruise
“I Ain’t Worried” – OneRepublic Music Video—Check out the music video to the original new song from OneRepublic.
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