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"Top Gun: Maverick" rousing, sexy and affecting, making a case for decades-late sequels

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) A belated legacy sequel to the last living blockbuster of the ‘80s sounds like a pretty long wait, and yet, after that length of time, we actually feel the need for one. Of course, we’re talking about 1986’s slick Tony Scott-directed “Top Gun,” which catapulted Tom Cruise to movie-star status, gave new wave band Berlin an Oscar for their breathtaking love song, and made us realize that more movies need homoerotic beach volleyball. If you have to make a sequel 36 years later, “Top Gun: Maverick” is the way to do it. It’s that rare one that hits the target and actually improves upon its beloved, quotable predecessor. Just like in the first “Top Gun,” director Joseph Kosinski (helmer of another decades-late sequel, 2010’s “TRON: Legacy” ) opens “Top Gun Maverick” with Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens’ instantly recognizable instrumental anthem between the credits and a sunset montage on the aircraft runway before segueing into the deathless Kenny Loggins class

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