September 28, 2022
17 'Top Gun' callbacks to watch for in 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Tom Cruise is back in the cockpit as U.S. Navy airman Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, 36 years after he flew to superstardom in the 1986 hit “Top Gun.” He’s now an experimental test pilot hiding from the ghosts of his past while continuing to push limits, fly fighter jets and defy authority.

But Maverick’s not alone blasting his way back from the past. Along with a crop of new flying aces, he’s brought loads of fan service and flashbacks to the original film with him.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, “Maverick” is chock full of that lovin’ feeling for its predecessor. Though the sequel stands alone, and in certain respects — action scenes, absence of creepy behavior toward women in bars — is clearly superior to the original, “Maverick” often feels like an homage to the original. Here are some callbacks you might have missed.

The movie’s opening sequence may seem familiar. Watching the first minutes of “Top Gun: Maverick,” you would be excused for thinking you wandered into a time warp. There are the title cards explaining the origin of the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, a.k.a. Top Gun. There’s the crew readying the planes for takeoff. There’s composer Harold Faltermeyer’s synths lulling us into nostalgia zone. And that font.

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