Top Gun: Maverick – how it captured our hearts and became 2022's biggest blockbuster

Top Gun: Maverick is soaring back into Cineworld for one last time in 2022. The triumphant blockbuster joyously restored Tom Cruise to his star-making role as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, blowing us away with its immersive spectacle and a surprising level of emotional depth.

The movie is screening in a host of formats at Cineworld to provide a spectacular festive treat for movie fans. And it gets better: 270-degree ScreenX tickets are just £3, allowing you to experience more of the movie for less this Christmas.

Before you book your tickets, here's why Top Gun: Maverick took our breath away and became 2022's definitive big-screen epic.


1. It's a sequel that's arguably better than the original

The original Top Gun is revered by many but, let's face it, the movie is little more than a series of set pieces glued together with hardware, testosterone and group karaoke. Don't get us wrong, Top Gun: Maverick sports all of those elements. However, it reconstitutes them into a proper story whereby the weight of the past hangs palpably over the events of the present.

Put simply, there's a dramatic momentum and poignancy to Maverick that was lacking in the original (barring Goose's death). For all of Maverick's high-flying action, it's the earnest one-on-one moments that hit the hardest, reminding us of the fallible human emotions that exist behind the controls of a Mach-5 fighter jet.

There are several memorable scenes along these lines, including Rooster's (Miles Teller) rendition of Great Balls of Fire, which calls to mind his late father Goose (Anthony Edwards). However, the tact and sensitivity on display in the scene where Ice Man (Val Kilmer) reappears help elevate the film beyond a mere military hardware epic. Kilmer's personal input into the scene grants it an emotional authenticity that then creates genuine dramatic stakes for Maverick. 

Top Gun: Maverick doesn't even need a glimpse of a cockpit to knock us back in our seats.

2. It redefined the capabilities of IMAX cinematography

Top Gun: Maverick is a feast for the senses, and no wonder. Director Joseph Kosinski and director of photography Claudio Miranda fully capitalised on Tom Cruise's desire for realism, his desire to put all of the actors in the jets for real.

The movie was filmed with Sony Venice IMAX-certified cameras for a truly breathtaking level of immersion. And it went a step further: said cameras were used inside the aircraft during filming, so it's hardly surprising that we could feel the G-Force rippling out from beyond the screen. The film's IMAX presentation features 26% more picture in select sequences throughout the film, allowing us to be engulfed by Maverick's latest daredevil mission.

In the following video, Cruise, Kosinski and Miranda are here to tell us how they did it. One look at this and you'll no doubt be ready to embark on another IMAX viewing of the movie at Cineworld.

3. We felt the impact when watching in 4DX and ScreenX

Feeling the wind in our hair? That's just the start of the Top Gun: Maverick experience in multisensory 4DX. Tom Cruise wanted the film's actors to be slammed back in their seats and, by extension, we the audience get the same impact as 4DX's moving seats jolt and react to the movie's quickfire aerial maneuvres. This isn't a movie to merely be watched. It has to be felt, and 4DX is a pure expression of the Top Gun F-14 Tomcat rollercoaster ride.

In a movie like Top Gun: Maverick, the sense of all-encompassing tension is of paramount importance. This is taken to the next level via the movie's ScreenX presentation. The state-of-the-art technology uses up to 12 additional projectors to extend the film onto the side walls of the auditorium, for an atmospheric, 270-degree experience. It's as if we're in the cockpit for real. Don't forget that ScreenX tickets are just £3 when it comes to seeing Top Gun: Maverick this December.

4. The soundtrack took our breath away

Top Gun: Maverick rolled out the big guns to distill that all-important sense of musical legacy. Oscar winner Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight) collaborated with Lorne Balfe (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) to assimilate and rework the classic Harold Faltermeyer themes from the original Top Gun. Just a few electronic notes are enough to powerfully evoke the past, but the composers are smart enough to leaven this nostalgia with enough new musical wrinkles to keep us grounded in the present day.

And Lady Gaga's climactic 'Hold My Hand' during the end credits? Celebratory is hardly the word. We may not have got a sniff of Berlin's Oscar-winning 'Take My Breath Away' from the original movie, but we didn't need it. The Maverick score bypassed our intellect to hit us square in the emotional feels.

5. It was nostalgic in all the right ways

From old characters mixing with the new to the familiar and the unfamiliar pieces on the soundtrack, Top Gun: Maverick didn't rest on its laurels. It's the rare blockbuster that understands how to engage an audience with a sense of legacy without ever using the past as a crutch.

Instead, it makes a strong case, via the character of Tom Cruise's Maverick, as to how to reconcile with what's gone before. By understanding what's gone before, the movie then allows us to anticipate a bold and exciting new future.


Are you ready to fly with Tom Cruise again? Then click here to book your tickets for Top Gun: Maverick, re-releasing at Cineworld on December 9th.