Top Gun: Maverick Has Finally Screened, Read The First Reactions To Tom Cruise’s Long-Awaited Legacyquel

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Skydance Media)

Were the world to have run its intended, pandemic-free course, Top Gun: Maverick would have already gone through theaters and burrowed itself into the hearts and home video libraries of its fans. Unfortunately, that’s not how things worked out, and Tom Cruise’s long awaited legacyquel to Tony Scott’s 1986 classic eventually became an eagerly awaited part of the 2022 movie releases as time went on. Today, the pattern is no longer full, and Captain Pete Mitchell has buzzed the tower at CinemaCon with the first screening of Top Gun: Maverick having just taken place.

As part of Paramount’s presentation at this year’s CinemaCon, director Joseph Kosinski’s follow-up was shown in its entirety for attendees to enjoy. With those initial reactions now flooding the internet, it seems that we’re now officially a far cry from last year’s 15-minute reel of Top Gun: Maverick shown to the masses. Our own Sean O’Connell was already blown away by what he saw in 2021, and after seeing the whole movie, he is absolutely a believer. Here's what he had to say: 

Yes. So much yes. #TopGunMaverick is a masterful adrenaline rush. Tom Cruise is our greatest movie star. This delivers EVERYTHING you want in a blockbuster. Aerial scenes are jaw dropping. Character work is fantastic. Pure action with massive heart. A must see!

Meanwhile, the fellow Tom Cruise devotees over at Light The Fuse Podcast were also on hand to see the second coming of Capt. Mitchell first hand. Promoting a dedicated episode that's dropping tonight, the show's official Twitter praised the finished product as follows: 

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is everything we wanted it to be and more. So many laughs, so many tears, and your heart rate will be through the roof. Absolutely thrilling.

Continuing the wave of good tidings being bestowed upon the film, Fandango's Erik Davis is another beaming participant in Top Gun: Maverick's big debut. Though it sounds like he's advising us to bring some tissues along for the ride in his reaction below:  

One word: Wow! #TopGunMaverick is absolutely terrific in every conceivable way. The action & flying is crazy intense & continually changes & evolves. You’re on the edge of your seat. I was not prepared for how emotional it was, too. The crowd cheered a dozen times. It’s real deal

Jeff Snider, "TheInSneider" himself, is also flying high on the film's promise, and goes so far as to make one of the greatest claims about Top Gun: Maverick's charms that can be. One could say he sees the film as a golden opportunity: 

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is the perfect blockbuster. Not only did it feature dazzling aerial combat sequences, but I actually cried, it’s that emotional. And call me crazy, but I humbly predict that it WILL land a Best Picture nod next year. It’s not just THAT good, it’s VERY good.

If you're someone who isn't exactly a Top Gun fan, and you're worried that Maverick's mileage may vary, there's good news. io9's Germain Lussier took that very thing into account with his contribution to this premiere screening. As such, here's why he feels that grizzled veterans and fresh rookies will be perfectly fine in the Danger Zone: 

Full disclosure. I’m a huge Top Gun fan. But I think even if I wasn’t, I would have LOVED Top Gun: Maverick. The action is intense & gorgeous, characters and relationships rich & rewarding, then it tugs on the heart strings too. It’s a special sequel & I’ll be its wingman anytime

Last but not least, it's time to address the question a lot of you are probably asking: is Lady Gaga's song for Top Gun: Maverick a "total banger?" Some might look at you funny for that being one of your first questions, but this is something we've heard rumors about, at least before they were confirmed. Scott Menzel of We Live Entertainment has us covered in this respect, as he had the following to say about this hotly anticipated track: 

Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand is a total banger and closes out #TopGunMaverick on a high note.

With an overwhelmingly positive response, Top Gun: Maverick just might be the movie of the summer. As the film's release has been delayed to provide the ultimate cinematic experience, it looks like that decision has paid off as much as the cast's brutal boot camp experience. So maybe it would be a good idea to stick the trailer to the newly named Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part I in front of this newly minted blockbuster. 

If you weren’t at the CinemaCon screening of Top Gun: Maverick, and you’re feeling the need for speed more intensely than ever, you’ll only have to wait until May 27th to take flight. That is, unless you’ve already got a seat booked for the huge screening set for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. At least you can take comfort in the fact that Lady Gaga’s big single connected to the film, “Hold My Hand,” will be dropping on May 3rd.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.