'Top Gun: Maverick' First Reactions: 'Emotional' Sequel Sends Critics to the Danger Zone

Tom Cruise is still dangerous after all.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
Cockpit view of Tom Cruise's fighter pilot Maverick, flanked by three other jets flying eye-wateringly close.

Tom Cruise is back in the pilot's seat for Top Gun: Maverick.

Paramount Pictures

Gotta admit, I did not have much hope that Top Gun: Maverick would be any good. A long-delayed sequel to the most '80s movie ever, starring a new generation of actors trying to fill the cockpits of the original stars? But the Tom Cruise-starring sequel was just screened for the first time, and it took everyone's breath away.

Movie studio Paramount screened the film for press and industry types at the movie business event CinemaCon in Las Vegas Thursday. It's playing at the Cannes film festival before opening in theaters May 27 for Memorial Day weekend.

Cruise returns to the role of US navy fighter pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, faced with the prospect of training the son of his former co-pilot and best friend, Goose (y'know, the guy from ER who died in the first film). Miles Teller stars as the son. Also on board are Jennifer Connolly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer, who's still dangerous in the role of Iceman from the original 1986 flick.

Here's what critics had to say about the spectacular aerial combat and emotional storyline:

But the big question remains: Why is no one talking about the Lady Gaga song?

Thank you. 🙏 

Paramount's other Cruise-powered sequel was also mentioned at CinemaCon: Mission: Impossible 7 -- due for release in July 2023 -- was officially titled Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1.

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