“Top Gun: Maverick” blasted off at CinemaCon, where Paramount Pictures held the tentpole’s first public screening and generated rave first reactions. Journalists in attendance are hailing the long-awaited “Top Gun” sequel as “the perfect blockbuster” and “terrific in every conceivable way.” The film will screen at the Cannes Film Festival in May before Paramount releases it in theaters over Memorial Day weekend.
Paramount Pictures president Brian Robbins introduced the CinemaCon screening of the film and said star Tom Cruise has earned his reputation as the most daring actor in Hollywood. Cruise was not in attendance but did send along a pre-recorded video in which he told the audience, “Please enjoy, and, hey, let’s try to have a great summer!” Several moments in the film had the audience cheering, and Paramount executives were thrilled with the way theater owners were responding to the movie.
Tom Cruise reprises his role of test pilot Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who is now put in charge of training a group of younger Top Gun graduates played by the likes of Miles Teller, Glen Powell and more. Teller stars as Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, a pilot trainee who is the son of Maverick’s late best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw. Also starring in the film are Jennifer Connolly, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer, the latter of whom reprises his role of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky from the original movie.
Paramount and Lady Gaga stirred up buzz for “Top Gun: Maverick” ahead of CinemaCon by confirming the Oscar and Grammy winner wrote an original song for the movie. The single, titled “Hold My Hand,” will be released May 3.
“Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski recently told Empire magazine that he shot approximately 800 hours of footage for the movie. The filmmaker put that number into perspective by saying the sequel “shot as much footage as the three ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies combined.” Kosinski reunited with his “Oblivion” star Cruise for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which takes place over 30 years after Tony Scott’s 1986 classic.
In order to shoot scenes set inside the cockpits, Kosinski and the filmmaking team had to teach the actors how to use the equipment themselves since the space is far too small to fit a crew. As Cruise said, “We had to teach the actors about lighting, about cinematography, about editing. 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.”
Paramount Pictures will release “Top Gun: Maverick” in U.S. theaters on May 27. Check out the first reactions to the movie from CinemaCon below.
Folks, trust me when I say this is a legitimately GREAT film. Whatever your plans are for Memorial Day weekend, make #TopGunMaverick a part of them. I think I cried the whole friggin’ movie because I’m such a dork. Loved the cast, and it’s another classic @TomCruise performance. pic.twitter.com/NpHFUhdTHC
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) April 28, 2022
TOP GUN: MAVERICK is the perfect blockbuster. Not only did it feature dazzling aerial combat sequences, but I actually cried, it’s that emotional. And call me crazy, but I humbly predict that it WILL land a Best Picture nod next year. It’s not just THAT good, it’s VERY good. 😉
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 28, 2022
Top Gun Maverick is going to completely blow away fans of the original and may even make some new ones along the way. Truthfully, even though the plot is very dependent on that of the original, I found the film to be better than the original in almost every way. #TopGunMaverick pic.twitter.com/t7P4VLxMeU
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) 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
Top Gun: Maverick: Just because something is predictable doesn’t make it any less satisfying. It has a near-identical structure to the original, but with some added drama between Maverick and Goose’s son. Absolutely killer air action. It’s exactly what fans will want.
— Ben Pearson (@benpears) April 28, 2022
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
#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
#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
#TopGunMaverick offers interesting parables for Tom Cruise asserting his movie star dominance in a changing industry, and some strong aerial footage. Alas, it’s otherwise a deeply generic/formulaic follow-up that’s dependent on “80s hit = cultural myth” nostalgia. #Cinemacon2022 pic.twitter.com/ROSKTVZZ33
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) April 28, 2022