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Can this high-flying sequel surpass the original film that opened over 30 years ago? Can its star ascend new heights in popularity? Can the draw of pleasant nostalgia combined with unrelenting action get folks back in the theater? 

“Life. Style. Live!” Entertainment Contributor Patty Spitler joined us Friday with some answers during “Patty’s Picks” as she talks Tom Cruise’s new movie, “Top Gun: Maverick.” 

It’s an action/drama film that cost 170 million to make. It was supposed to be released two years ago, but that Covid thing shut it down. Tom Cruise put his foot down and said, “No.” to streaming. He insists, “I make movies for the big screen.” 

Some items of note: Cruise did all his own stunts, except for one. They also wouldn’t let him fly a 70-million-dollar jet fighter in one scene. 

Marverick returns as a top naval aviation test pilot who turns down advancement in rank because that would ground him.  

The movie is wild, warm and always totally wonderful. I loved the nostalgia, but even if you haven’t seen the first one, they do some flashbacks to enlighten. Maverick the man, has some flaws and some ego issues. There is a love interest Jennifer Connelly, and that’s the only negative press he’s getting, for not including Kelly McGillis in this sequel. Val Kilmer appears in a brief scene, but his presence is felt throughout. The stunts and fly sequences are totally amazing. 

Patty gives it 5 out of 5 jet fighters!  

Rated PG 13, action/drama, runs 2 hours and 11 minutes

Fun Fact: Patty has spoke to Cruise many times during his career. Even in 1986 with the first “Top Gun” launched him into the acting stratosphere. Watch the video above to see part of that interview.

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