Top Gun: Maverick (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Top Gun: Maverick defied the odds and flew past all doubters on its way to becoming the biggest movie of summer 2022. Could it hold for year’s end? It’ll be tough with Black Panther and Avatar supplying large challenges in the closing months of the year. In old school fashion, it arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray after a healthy theatrical run with good legs and notably enough still in the box office top 10. This will include a Dolby Atmos track and a nice array of extras to keep you in the cockpit well after viewing the film. You can order yourself a copy of the film (and hopefully watch it properly on your TV as Tom Cruise would like) for when it arrives November 1st using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.



After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Training a detachment of graduates for a special assignment, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who choose to fly it.

It was a movie that many doubted and felt a desperate reach to finally bring a sequel to Top Gun. And then a pandemic hit and an insistent this wait and play in theaters while also having a larger than required window before home video. And well, Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick proved us all (in the critic/pundit sphere) fools as it wound up with high praise, the largest box office of the year and being the latest film to be handed the moniker of saving theaters. And if you ask any doubter, we are always overjoyed to be proven wrong.

The original film had a vibe and an attitude that could never be duplicated, only aped from and knocked off. And Maverick seems to know we have to certainly have some of that, but its focus seems more engaged on improving in other areas that could top the original film; the technical craft. While it knows it needs to bring a certain kind of character in the fold and modernize it, it only really brings a couple familiar “types” and lets them sort of do their own thing surrounding it. Top Gun Maverick proves a bit more interested on its main man, the film’s mission and executing it in a way the original couldn’t.

Sure, the basis of the mission is very similar to Star Wars Death Star run, but the fact that you can clearly understand that and know the situation from conversation as well as visually has its heads and tails over the original. We once again have an unpronounced enemy, giving this film a bit of longevity in the long run by not vilifying any country, allowing us to keep out tabs on worry for our protagonists 100% through. The biggest player in Top Gun: Maverick is the photography, editing and attention to geography that really straps you in and has you part of the fold, fully understanding and fully embracing the missions at hand. There are some absolutely stunning sequences on display in the film that fully captivate and really take front in center as the star of the movie.

Tom Cruise is back in full form and really has a nice performance and look at what he’s sort of become and where he should go throughout the film. I wasn’t personally a fan of the character of Maverick in the original film, but I’m into this journey he takes he which almost strengthens the first film with its addition. This work of good character development and depth, to go with the outstanding technical prowess and clarity of its mission and action take this sequel above the original for me and sits as one of the best theater going experiences from last summer.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are provided courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment and are  not from the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1, 1.90:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail: Top Gun: Maverick comes with about the most stellar presentation you could have expected from the format. Considering the star and producer of the film as well as its writer are the ones who pushed for “filmmaker mode”, you can rest assured this looks incredible. The film has such crazy amounts of detail in its sharp, crisp image that features lovely colors as well as great depth of field and confident movement. It also shifts aspect ratios to honor the IMAX shot scenes for the movie.

Depth: This is a very not 3D but feels like 3D without glasses looking movie, especially in the aerial and motorcycle footage on display. Scale is quite enormous even at home with the big open sky and the rather large planes flying in them. Motion is smooth and natural, impressively handling a lot of rapid action, cuts and camera pans with not jitter or blur issues.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and hit natural levels to top out a masterful work here that’s on display from the opening scene of the film. Contrast helps the HDR give a pop to the colors and you’ll see it with the green in the cockpit from that open all the way to dark bars and the like. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are very well saturated and quite gorgeous. While there’s a lot of desert and beige uniforms making up the film, there are plenty a Hawaiian t-shirt, flashy fabric or signs, display and jet fire that the HDR gives a nice glow.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are clear as day. If there’s a bead of sweat or a hair just starting to grow on a chin, you’ll see it.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Audio Description, Czech 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin American) 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Hungarian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Polish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Czech, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin America), French (Canada), Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Roman, Simplified Chinese, Slovakian, Finnish, Swedish, Thai

Dynamics: The perfect co-pilot to the great transfer is this excellent Atmos track. It rip roars all across your room with wonderful accuracy and power. This is a fun and well thought out mix with lots of depth and layering to it to make for plenty going on at all times and nice quiet scenes as well. Importantly, this thing is loud as hell and rocks the room!

Height: From above you get…you guessed it…Frank Stallo-PLANES, you get planes! They zoom, zig and zag. Gunfire, wind and more push through with some good force and accuracy in travel.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer captures all the wooshing going on as well as engines, bass and drum in the music, crashes and much more. There is a forceful pound with each effect’s expression.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is an immersive 360 degree experience here where every tiny detail is mapped out. Plenty of though as to how to make it fun as well. Ambiance is great and accuracy to onscreen depictions never misses a beat. The force of travel rolls effortlessly in any direction around the room.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are crisp and clean.


Top Gun: Maverick comes with a redeemable digital code.

Cleared For Take Off (HD, 9:15) — “How do we tell this story in a manner that is pushing our art form”. This featurette talks about how they were going to pull off the fighter pilot sequences and to push the limits of the film. “Tom wanted it to be as close to reality as possible.”

Breaking New Ground: Filming Top Gun: Maverick (HD, 7:56) – “Once I was satisfied with what the story was, it was time to figure out how to take it to the next level”. Tom Cruise talks not only was the story important but the audience immersion and pushing the technological limits of film, too. “I’m not going to make this film unless we can accomplish that. A pretty quick making of that’s very focused on the piloting of the movie.

A Love Letter To Aviation (HD, 4:48) – Tom Cruise shares his love of the “majesty” to flying and defying nature. They showcase how one of Tom Cruise’s own planes is featured in the movie.

Forging The Darkstar (HD, 7:31) – This focuses on the aircraft that Joseph Kosinski came up with and designed for the opening sequence of the movie.

Masterclass with Tom Cruise: Cannes Film Festival (HD, 49:04) – This is the full presentation with Tom Cruise from the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.

“Hold My Hand”: Lady Gaga Music Video (HD, 3:52)

“I Ain’t Worried”: OneRepublic Music Video (HD, 2:37)


Top Gun: Maverick provided the ultimate summer movie and did the impossible by soaring past its predecessor and becoming the biggest movie on the planet this year. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release from Paramount has a top flight presentation in both audio and video complimented with some nice bonus features. An easy pick up and one that’ll likely be in most stores to grab in person!

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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