Top Sailing – Top Gun: Maverick

Being a lady of a certain age it didn’t take me long to book tickets for the sequel to Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick. I grew up in the 1980’s along with permed hair, leg warmers and Tom Cruise, so a Top Gun trip back in time was always going to be on the cards.

Cruise reprises his role as ace top gun Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and that’s about as much as I’m going to tell you about the plot. Cruise does not disappoint and the film has everything the original had, and more, in spades. Fast jets, fast bikes, fast yachts (J/125), an absurd plot involving uranium (a hallmark of most 1980’s action films), leather biker jacket with patches, adrenaline and romance all wrapped up in a cinematic marvel. With cinemas in the UK lurching along since lockdown, we needed a blockbuster to burst onto our screens. Kosinski, Bruckheimer, Cruise et al have achieved this in supersonic style.

Even the sailing scene doesn’t pull any punches with some top sailing. Jennifer Connelly is at the helm of a beautiful J/125, guard rails in the water.  It will quicken the hearts of many sailors watching (the J/125 that is, sorry Jennifer!).  As with most sailing scene’s on the big screen they don’t get it quite right, but I’ll forgive them, the footage is realistic enough even if the skipper’s instructions do seem a little strange.  Seeing Maverick out of his comfort zone on the water provides some comedy gold moments and provides some light relief from the high octane jet fighter sequences. Rumour has it the sailing scene had to be filmed twice. The first time the crew chose San Diego Bay as their backdrop but with light winds common in the bay it was producing too many dolphins and not enough action. A switch to San Francisco provided the more challenging conditions required to satiate Cruise’s need for speed.

Better than the original I would most wholeheartedly recommend Top Gun: Maverick, you’ll leave the cinema/movie theater grinning from ear to ear and wondering whether your finances (and nerve) will run to a vintage Kawasaki GPZ 900!

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