Opinion: ‘Top Gun’ sequel misses mark

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Friends, I’ve recently returned from a trip down Memory Lane, specifically the magical summer of 1986. I was 14 then, had hair that resembled the lead singer from A Flock of Seagulls and was well on my way to an unremarkable freshman year in high school. I didn’t have a boyfriend but was confident my mile-high bangs and cobalt-blue eyeliner would have their desired effect momentarily. Basically, I was living my best life while waiting for real life to begin.

What prompted this nostalgic journey? My husband Doo and I went to see “Top Gun: Maverick” the other night, and as soon as that iconic synthetic tolling began, I was immediately transported to Louisville’s Showcase Cinemas, watching the original for the fifth time. Yes, five. And I would end up owning the cassette tape, vowing to become a naval aviator, and obviously buying a pair of Ray-Ban aviators that I would wear religiously for the next three years (everyone else did, too, so stop judging me!).

Despite rave reviews, though, I was disappointed in this sequel. Sure, Tom Cruise still has that undeniable onscreen charisma, and, of course, the producers checked all the boxes that made the first one iconic, including a shirtless beach scene and breathtaking dogfights. But throughout the movie, I couldn’t help thinking, “This isn’t as good!” and “Where in the Kenny-Loggins minute are your motorcycle helmets?” Safety first, people!

I don’t know. Maybe the original wasn’t that spectacular, and it was just the time in my life that was amazing. Regardless, fist pumping to the “Danger Zone” reprise was a fun moonwalk down ‘80s Memory Lane.

Peace out.


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