Top Gun: #Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, from a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks. The sequel to Top Gun (1986) and the second installment in the Top Gun film series, the #film stars #TomCruise as Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell reprising his role from the original, alongside Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer (who also reprises his role). It follows Maverick confronting his past while training a group of younger TOPGUN graduates, including the son of his deceased best friend.
Over three decades after his time at #TOPGUN, Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell flies as a U.S. Navy test pilot. On the day Maverick was to test the hypersonic "Darkstar" scramjet to reach Mach 9, Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain wishes to shut down the program in favor of other drone programs. Maverick chooses to take off instead and fly the Darkstar to its main objective, Mach 10, but pushes further into high-hypersonic speed, resulting in its destruction. Hammer insists to ground Maverick for his actions but sends him to NAS North Island under the orders of his friend and former TOPGUN[c] rival, Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Upon arriving, Maverick is briefed by Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson and air boss Solomon "Warlock" Bates for a mission to bomb a unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant, which sits in a deep depression at the end of a canyon and is defended by surface-to-air missiles and fifth-generation Su-57 fighters[d] operating from a nearby air base. Maverick plans an attack with two pairs of Super Hornets which will fly through a canyon and destroy the plant, and finds out that he was to train a group of TOPGUN graduates for the mission rather than flying for it, which he reluctantly accepts.
The group initially rebuffs Maverick as they began training, particularly by Lieutenant Jake "Hangman" Seresin and Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Maverick's late best friend and RIO Nick "Goose" Bradshaw. But friction develops between the two, whom Rooster resents Hangman's cavalier attitude towards his wingmen, while Hangman criticizes Rooster's caution, which causes Maverick to halt the training.
Maverick confides with former girlfriend Penny Benjamin and later, Iceman, who has throat cancer and primarily communicates by typing on a computer, but reassures Maverick that he can train the group, particularly with Rooster as his application to the naval academy was pulled by Maverick which set his career back out of overprotectiveness. The group coalesces with Maverick to continue training days later, only to be informed by Warlock that Iceman has died, and Maverick along with the group attends the funeral where a missing man formation is observed. Cyclone then replaces Maverick with himself and sets new parameters that has higher risks of being engaged. However, Maverick makes an unauthorized flight of the simulated course with the original parameters, proving and convincing Cyclone otherwise, which he then reluctantly appoints as team leader.
Maverick assesses the pilots and pairs himself with Lieutenant Natasha "Phoenix" Trace and her WSO Lieutenant Robert "Bob" Floyd, while Rooster is paired with Lieutenant Reuben "Payback" Fitch and his WSO Lieutenant Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia. Hangman and the remaining pilots remain on standby. The team launches from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt while the guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf fires Tomahawk cruise missiles and destroys the air base. The team reaches the plant and destroys it shortly after, and gets engaged by surface-to-air missiles. Rooster runs out of countermeasures, and Maverick sacrifices his jet to ensure Rooster's safety and ejects. Believing Maverick to be killed in action, the remaining aviators are ordered to return to the carrier. But Rooster goes against the order and turns back to save Maverick from an Mi-24 helicopter gunship, but gets shot down by another surface-to-air missile and ejects nearby. The two reunite and head towards the destroyed airbase, where they board an undamaged F-14 Tomcat and sets a flight course back to the carrier. Maverick shoots down two intercepting Su-57s, but a third one follows suit as they run out of ammunition and countermeasures. Hangman arrives from standby and shoots down the third and the planes return to cheers on the carrier, where Maverick and Rooster reconcile.
Sometime after the mission, Maverick and Rooster work together on a P-51 Mustang at a hangar near the test facility where Maverick was previously stationed. Penny arrives with her daughter Amelia, and Maverick takes her for a ride in the P-51. Rooster walks to a photo board and acknowledges a photo of their mission's success, alongside a photo of his late father and a younger Maverick.