Top Gun: Maverick should be your next thriller!


Sophia Pendergast, Staff Reporter

Fighter jets hold a special place in the hearts of most Ridgecrest residents. Students know the familiar rumble as they fly over campus, sometimes so low it feels like you can reach out and touch them. While watching “Top Gun: Maverick,” viewers will feel a familiar sense of home as Top Gun pilots fight for their freedom. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” occurs 36 years after the original. Lt. Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick, returns to the Top Gun training academy to prepare a select group to destroy an enemy nuclear plant. Maverick’s rebellious ways get him in trouble, but he perseveres. 

The action in “Top Gun: Maverick” is excellent. Viewers will be kept on the edge of their seats multiple times throughout. Near the climax of the movie, the pressure is so intense that you feel as if you are a fighter pilot yourself, fighting alongside the others. The film was immersive and led to a very engaging viewing experience. 

In addition to being an action-packed film, this was a fun film to watch. Although leading a rigorous training program, Maverick added his own twist through football games on the beach and flight-training sessions. The light-hearted banter provided some comical relief among the tense scenes. 

I especially enjoyed the continued storyline between Maverick and Bradley Bradshaw, aka Rooster, son of Maverick’s late best friend.  I found it amusing to see how writers involved Maverick’s late best friend while still keeping the storyline original. Including Rooster provided a great homage to his father Goose, while also developing a new character. Having this development as a major plot point helped give the film a sense of emotional depth. Rooster wasn’t the only character carried over from the first film. The sequel also featured Penny Benjamin as Maverick’s love interest. Though she wasn’t a physical character in the original “Top Gun,” her name was mentioned multiple times throughout. I found it to be a unique yet subtle continuation between the two films. 

Despite having an action-packed plot, comical relief, and heartfelt relationship development, my favorite aspect of the film was the overall familiarity of the setting. Although it takes place in San Diego, the film features many scenes shot in barren desert plains. It felt as if the movie took place in the Indian Wells Valley, reminding me of home. Most viewers from Ridgecrest will be able to appreciate this detail, beginning from the opening sequence, as it adds to the immersive experience. The added detail of being a military-based film further captures the sense of home for viewers in Ridgecrest, as many residents have careers on base and may have been involved in the filming. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” is available for purchase on most streaming channels. 

 Thrill-seeking viewers looking for an edge-of-your-seat action film, look no further. “Top Gun: Maverick” is the film for you!