It’s 30 years since Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) became a hero. He has since served in the US navy as one of its top pilots. Maverick is now called on to teach young aviators his skills, with the aim of destroying an underground nuclear site that has become a threat.
Among the new pilots is Lieutenant Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s old friend, Goose. Maverick is reluctant to put Bradley’s life in danger, but Bradley has other ideas. Maverick also meets up with an old girlfriend, Penny (Jennifer Connelly), who now has a young daughter.
The mission to destroy the nuclear site is an extremely dangerous one, with a very low likelihood of success. It involves flying at speeds reaching Mach 10 (10 times the speed of sound). Even if the pilots complete the task, it’s probable that they’ll be shot down by enemy fire afterwards. Nevertheless, Maverick leads his heroic team at great risk to all, with Rooster as his wingman.
War; aerial dogfights; heroes
Top Gun: Maverick has some violence. For example:
- There is a lot of intense aerial combat. There are explosions and planes are hit. Lives are often in danger, and someone has to parachute out. No-one is seen to die, however, and there is no blood and gore.
- A fight breaks out among the pilots, but no-one is seriously hurt.
Top Gun: Maverick has some sexual references. For example, Maverick and Penny kiss. They’re shown in bed together, but she’s fully clothed.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Top Gun: Maverick shows characters drinking in a bar.
Nudity and sexual activity
Top Gun: Maverick shows some implied sex.
The following products are displayed or used in Top Gun: Maverick: Budweiser beer.
Top Gun: Maverick has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Top Gun: Maverick is a fast-moving, adrenaline-filled action movie. The story is fairly predictable, and the romance is tokenistic. But the filming of the modern fighter aircraft in combat is spectacular and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The movie is quite intense, and it has some violent content and coarse language. Therefore it isn’t suitable for children under 12, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 12-14 years.
These are the main messages from Top Gun: Maverick:
- All things are possible with the right training, knowledge and discipline.
- Try to learn from your past mistakes.
Values in Top Gun: Maverick that you could reinforce with your children include forgiveness, redemption, heroism, gender equality, self-sacrifice and teamwork.
Top Gun: Maverick could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of an anti-authoritarian attitude. For example, Maverick still defies authority but often for a good reason. Is it sometimes necessary to question what we’re told to do?