Stephen Arnell

Ten films to rival Top Gun Maverick

  • From Spectator Life
Image: Pinewood studios/Skydance

After over a year of delays, Tom Cruise’s keenly anticipated sequel to the iconic Top Gun (1986) is released on 25 May.

TG: Maverick’s seat-of-your-pants aviation sequences have whetted the appetite of both fans and non-fans for the picture, which has picked up almost universally positive reviews.

Not unexpectedly for Cruise, he handled some of the flying himself in the picture, returning as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a US air force test pilot and flight instructor, purposely stuck at the rank of captain to indulge his addictive ‘need for speed.’Cruise dials down the cockiness of the first picture to deliver a more mature, nuanced take on Maverick – although he retains his authority-bucking attitude.

When pal and onetime rival, Admiral Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky (Val Kilmer) assigns Mav to train an elite cadre of Top Gun graduates for a special mission, you can bet that the ageing enfant terrible isn’t going to sit this one out. Kilmer’s personal battle with throat cancer has been written into his role, where Iceman has been similarly stricken.

To get you in the mood for Top Gun: Maverick, here are ten motion pictures where the sky’s the limit – or not, in the case of The Right Stuff (1983).

Stealth (2005) NOW, Amazon Rent/Buy

2001: A Space Odyssey meets Top Gun in disgraced director Rob (The Fast and the Furious) Cohen’s notorious box office flop.

When stuck by lightning, unmanned AI Jet EDI (Extreme Deep Invader, voiced by Wentworth ‘Prison Break’ Miller) develops a unique personality with a set of goals very different from those intended by unbalanced programme leader Captain George Cummings (Sam Shepherd).

Lots of CGI aerial battles, explosions and earthbound skulduggery ensue until hot shot pilots Gannon (Josh Lucas) and Wade (Jessica Biel) convince EDI to change his homicidal ways.

Along with Hulk (2003) and 2006’s remake of the Poseidon Adventure, Stealth was part of a failed drive to catapult Lucas into big screen stardom; the actor now is best known for his role as the young John Dutton in hit TV series Yellowstone (2018).

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