Attention aviators. With Top Gun: Maverick touching down in Cineworld on May 25th, we're here with a selection of important scenes from the classic original.
Tom Cruise reprises his star-making role as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Joseph Kosinski's high-flying Top Gun sequel. Critics have praised Top Gun: Maverick as an exhilarating extension of the Top Gun mythology, boasting enough dynamic in-cockpit cinematography and IMAX-pushing visuals to take the breath away.
The following list is designed to both furnish the memory of Top Gun obsessives and bring franchise newbies up to speed. Are you in the danger zone yet?
1. Maverick and Goose are enlisted
A daredevil he may be, but that's exactly what the (sadly fictional) Top Gun Academy requires. In the course of being chewed out by their superior officer, Commander Tom 'Stinger' Jardian (James Tolkan), the renegade Maverick and his wingman Goose (Anthony Edwards) receive the news they've been waiting for.
Maverick's devil-may-care attitude is asserted when he escorts the shaken Cougar (John Stockwell) into land after fending off enemy MIGs. This reckless act infuriates Stinger: "Your ego's writing cheques your body can't cash." Nevertheless, Maverick and the "lucky to be here" Goose are sent off to Miramar to "train with the best" after Cougar turns in his wings. Cue the strains of Kenny Loggins' 'Danger Zone' and that beaming Tom Cruise smile.
2. "I was inverted"
Who can resist a cocky hero who rubs up against the might of the establishment? Tom Cruise became a grinning brand in his own right off the back of this cheekily enjoyable scene in which he outguns (figuratively speaking) the fearsome knowledge of astrophysicist (and eventual love interest) Charlie Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).
In truth, we're not really interested in the dry academic convo about inverted MIGs and physics. It's all about the lightining-in-a-bottle chemistry between Cruise and Anthony Edwards, plus the reaction shots of the side characters who are alternately revelling in and dismissing Maverick's bravado. It's a reminder that Top Gun, for all its eighties cheesiness, is an exceptionally well-cast film on all fronts.
This cocksure disregard for authority has trailed Maverick up to the events of the new movie, as Jon Hamm's humourless senior officer expresses serious reservations about bringing him in to train a squadron of new recruits. Judging from Mav's characteristic smile however, it doesn't keep him up at night.
3. Maverick's love life
It may be an incidental conversation but this fleeting moment from Top Gun hints at a character who comes to the fore in Top Gun: Maverick.
When Goose's wife Carole (a pre-fame Meg Ryan) makes a fleeting reference to "going ballistic with Penny Benjamin", we don't think too much of it, assuming that she's simply an old flame of Maverick's. (It occurs 28 seconds into the following clip.) However, the aforementioned Penny finally steps out of the shadows in Top Gun: Maverick as played by Jennifer Connelly.
A bar-owning single mother, Penny may well be the one to tame the older Maverick's heart. We can't wait to see how the weight of history comes bearing down on both characters.
4. Goose dies
Here's an important sequence that helps set in motion the dynamic of Top Gun: Maverick. In a devastating turn of events that cast an emotional pall over all the hardware and aviator shades, Goose dies. It falls to a stricken Maverick to cradle his body in the ocean where Goose has landed, before the emergency medical team is compelled to take him away.
Harold Faltermeyer's guitar-laden score strikes a note of sensitivity as Maverick bids a permanent farewell to his wingman. In Top Gun: Maverick, the emotional ramifications of this scene become clear when Maverick finds himself training the resentful Rooster (Miles Teller) aka Goose's son. Rooster continues to hold Maverick responsible for his father's death, so watching them navigate this emotional impasse will surely be more gripping than an inverted dive with a MIG-28.
5. Iceman becomes Maverick's wingman
The rivalry between Maverick and Iceman has fuelled many a bromantic, homoerotic conversation about the nature of Top Gun. In part fuelled by the off-screen behaviour of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer (Cruise reportedly refused to fraternise with his fellow actors outside of filming), we get a real sense of how the two characters despise each other.
Until that famous ending, however, in which the triumphant Maverick turns over a new leaf and hugs Iceman, the latter claiming "You can be my wingman anytime." One assumes that after the events of Top Gun, Iceman took the place of the dear, departed Goose.
Cruise famously held out for Kilmer's appearance in Top Gun: Maverick, and in the movie, it's revealed that Iceman has now graduated to the senior rank of Admiral. One imagines that Maverick himself could have attained that position, but clearly, riding his motorbike and jesting at authority was too irresistible.
Reviews have indicated that Kilmer's single-scene appearance in Top Gun: Maverick is genuinely moving and lends the movie some much-needed ballast. We can't wait to see the end result.
Has this got you suitably fired up? Then click here to book your tickets for Top Gun: Maverick, opening in Cineworld cinemas on May 25th.