Top Gun: Maverick

image for Top Gun: Maverick

Short takes

Not suitable under 12; parental guidance to 14 (violence, coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Top Gun: Maverick
  • a review of Top Gun: Maverick completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 June 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not suitable due to violence and coarse language.
Children aged 12–14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and coarse language.
Children over the age of 14 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Top Gun: Maverick
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Violence and coarse language
Length: 130 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It has been thirty years since Captain Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) ‘Maverick’ became a hero and he has gone on to serve in the US navy as one of its top pilots. Maverick is recalled to teach the young aviators his skills, in particular to destroy an underground nuclear site which has become a present threat.

Amongst the new set of pilots is Lt Bradley ‘Rooster’, the son of Maverick’s old friend, Goose. Maverick is reluctant to put Bradley’s life in danger, but he 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, in which the likelihood of success is very low. It involves flying at speeds reaching Mach 10 (10 times the speed of sound). Having completed the task, getting away without being shot down by enemy fire is also highly probable. Nevertheless, Maverick leads his heroic team out at great risk to all of them, with Rooster as his wingman.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War; Aerial dogfights; Heroes.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • There is a lot of intense aerial combat with explosions and planes being 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 amongst the pilots but no one is seriously hurt.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing further for this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The training sessions are very intense. Pilots are seen under great duress as they make the planes go faster and faster. The planes shudder and the pilots’ breathing is very heavy. At one point, one of the pilots blacks out and his plane goes into a nose-dive. Maverick comes to the rescue, however, and the pilot manages to regain consciousness just in time.
  • The soundtrack in the movie is very loud – there are many explosions and sonic booms.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • There is a cameo of Admiral Tom (Iceman) Kazansky (Val Kilmer), who is dying from throat cancer (as he actually is in real life) and cannot speak. He communicates by sending messages on his computer. He later dies in the movie and a military funeral is held for him.
  • A character is shown unconscious on the ground in enemy territory, having parachuted out of his plane. It appears that he is dead but isn’t.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Budweiser.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Maverick and Penny kiss and they are seen in bed together but she is fully clothed.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Sex is implied but not shown.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Drinking in a bar.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Piss
  • Shit/Holy shit
  • Arse
  • Goddamn
  • Son of a bitch
  • Dickhead
  • Jesus
  • Oh my God
  • What the fuck (once).

In a nutshell

Top Gun: Maverick is a fast moving, adrenaline-filled action movie. The story is somewhat hackneyed and the romance is tokenistic. However, the filming of the modern fighter aircraft in combat is quite spectacular and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Due to the intensity of the movie, the violent content and the coarse language, it isn’t suitable for children under 12 and parental guidance is recommended to 14.

The main messages from this movie are that all things are possible with the right training, knowledge and discipline and to learn from previous mistakes.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Forgiveness and redemption
  • Heroism
  • Gender equality – one of the pilots is a female.
  • Self-sacrifice
  • The importance of teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Maverick is still somewhat defiant of authority but often for a good reason. Is it sometimes necessary to question what we are told to do?