Top Gun: Maverick (2022) | Transcript

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell finds himself training a detachment of TOP GUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen.

* * *

[Jet engines starting]

[Indistinct radio chatter]

[“Danger zone” playing]

♪ Revvin’ up your engine listen to her howlin’ roar ♪

♪ metal under tension beggin’ you to touch and go ♪

♪ highway to the danger zone ♪

♪ ride into the danger zone ♪

♪ headin’ into twilight ♪

♪ spreadin’ out her wings tonight ♪

♪ she got you jumpin’ off the deck ♪

♪ shovin’ into overdrive ♪

♪ highway to the danger zone ♪

♪ I’ll take you right into the danger zone ♪

[Engine roaring]

[Reporter on radio] Today, we’re looking at some of the hottest weather…

[Chattering continues on radio]

[Ratchet clicking]

[Grunts]

[Blows]

[Motorcycle engine starts]

Hey.

What is it?

What?

We’ve been ordered to stand down.

They’re scrapping the program.

They say we fell short.

The contract threshold is mach 10.

Mach 10 is supposed to be in two months.

Today’s test point is mach 9.

Well, that’s not good enough.

Says who?

Admiral Cain.

[Hondo] The drone ranger.

He wants our budget for his unmanned program.

He’s on his way to kill the test and shut us down personally.

[Chuckles]

Well, he isn’t here yet.

They want mach 10, let’s give ’em mach 10.

[Monitor beeping]

[Inhales]

Now remember, the contract threshold is mach 10.

Not 10.1. Not 10.2. Mach 10.

That should keep the program alive.

I don’t like that look, Mav.

It’s the only one I got.

[Maverick] Control, this is dark star. How do you read?

Dark star, control. Loud and clear. How me?

Loud and clear. Takeoff precheck’s complete. Ready for apu start.

[Instruments chime]

[Hondo] Ready left engine start.

Ready right engine start.

Thumbs for taxi.

We are ready for taxi.

Tower, this is dark star. We are taxiing with information Alpha.

[Traffic controller] Dark star, you are clear to taxi.

Runway 21. Winds 210, 10.

Fuel temps are looking good.

[Hondo] Control concurs.

[Maverick] Battery’s holding at 95%. Cabin pressure looks good.

[Hondo] Control concurs. Tower, this is dark star. We’re ready for takeoff.

Requesting an unrestricted climb to 600 and above.

[Traffic controller] Dark star, the runway and skies are yours.

[Guard] Rear admiral Chester Cain.

[Hondo] Maverick, Cain just pulled up to the gate.

It’s not too late to stop, buddy.

You know what happens to you if you go through with this.

I know what happens to everyone else if I don’t.

Dark star is ready for takeoff.

Everyone, go for takeoff, starting with engine.

Engine, go. Thermals, go.

Fuel, go. Electric, go.

Control surfaces, go.

[Hondo] Dark star, control. You’re cleared for takeoff.

All right, sweetheart, one last ride.

[Engines power up]

[Hondo] Dark star, you are cleared above 600. Increase to mach 3.5.

Cleared above 600. Increase to mach 3.5.

[Door slams]

Admiral.

Uh, just in time, sir. I’m early. So are you.

You care to explain?

Transitioning to scramjet.

[Engines roaring]

[Hondo] Uh, Mav, admiral Cain is asking…

Ordering. Ordering that we bring her down.

[Maverick imitates audio distortion] Op… oop… Alpha…

three, oh…

as sing… ach… Ive… 4, and…

within six…

This is where we’ve had trouble with comms, sir.

It’s the earth’s curvature. It’s called “earth bulge.”

Did anyone offer you a coffee?

Okay.

[Beeping]

He’s at mach 7, pushing 8.

Flight data? Receiving. Data is good.

Temperature’s climbing. Response is still stable. We’re feeling good.

[Beeping]

[Operator] Mach 8.8.

8.9.

Mach 9.

He’s the fastest man alive.

Talk to me, goose.

Mach 9.1.

9.2.

[Jet accelerating]

Mach 9.3.

9.4.

Approaching high hypersonic.

[Beeps]

Windshield hot caution.

[Alarm blaring] Surface temp rising.

Come on, sweetheart, just a little more.

Just a little. [Beeps]

Come on!

[Shouts] Come on!

[Beeps] [Gasps]

Mach 10! [All cheering]

Put that in your Pentagon budget!

Sir.

[Whispers] Oh, don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Just…

A little push.

[Beeps]

Holy shit.

[Alarm blaring]

[Breathes heavily]

[Cain] You got some balls, stick jockey.

I’ll give you that.

[Instruments beeping]

[Alarm blaring]

Oh, shit.

Maverick.

Maverick!

[Explosion]

[Horn honking]

[Bell jingling]

[Country music playing over speakers]

[Jingling continues]

[Jingling continues]

[Maverick gulping water]

[Whispers] Thank you.

Where am I?

Earth.

[Cain] Maverick.

Thirty-plus years of service.

Combat medals.

Citations.

Only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years.

“Distinguished.”

“Distinguished.” “distinguished.”

[Clock ticking]

Yet you can’t get a promotion, you won’t retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die.

You should be at least a two-star admiral by now, if not a senator.

Yet here you are: Captain.

Why is that?

It’s one of life’s mysteries, sir.

This isn’t a joke. I asked you a question.

I’m where I belong, sir.

Well, the Navy doesn’t see it that way.

Not anymore.

[Jet passes overhead]

These planes you’ve been testing, captain, one day, sooner than later, they won’t need pilots at all.

Pilots that need to sleep, eat, take a piss.

Pilots that disobey orders.

All you did was buy some time for those men out there.

The future is coming, and you’re not in it.

Escort this man off the base.

Take him to his quarters.

Wait with him while he packs his gear.

I want him on the road to north island within the hour.

North island, sir?

Call came in with impeccable timing, right as I was driving here to ground your ass once and for all.

[Scoffs] It galls me to say it, but…

For reasons known only to the almighty and your guardian angel…

You’ve been called back to top gun.

Sir? You are dismissed, captain.

The end is inevitable, Maverick.

Your kind is headed for extinction.

Maybe so, sir.

But not today.

[Person] Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Your reputation precedes you.

Thank you, sir.

Wasn’t a compliment.

I’m admiral Beau Simpson. I’m the air boss.

I believe you know admiral bates. Warlock, sir.

Must admit, I wasn’t expecting an invitation back.

They’re called orders, Maverick.

You two have something in common.

Cyclone here was first in his class back in ’88.

Actually, sir, I finished second.

Just want to manage expectations.

[Sighs]

The target…

Is an unsanctioned uranium enrichment plant built in violation of a multilateral NATO treaty.

The uranium produced there represents a direct threat to our allies in the region.

The Pentagon has tasked us with assembling a strike team and taking it out before it becomes fully operational.

The plant sits in an underground bunker at the end of this valley.

Said valley is GPS-jammed and defended by an extensive surface-to-air missile array serving a limited number of fifth-generation fighters, which in turn are backed up by a plentiful reserve of surplus aircraft.

Even a few old f-14s.

Seems like we’re not the only ones holding on to old relics.

[Warlock] What’s your read, captain?

Well, sir, normally this would be a cakewalk for the f-35’s stealth, but the GPS-jamming negates that.

And a surface-to-air threat necessitates a low-level laser-guided strike tailor-made for the f-18.

I figure, two precision bombs, minimum.

Makes it four aircraft flying in pairs.

That is one hell of a steep climb out of there, exposing you to all the surface-to-air missiles.

You survive that, it’s a dogfight all the way home.

All requirements for which you have real-world experience.

Not in the same mission, sir.

No.

No, someone’s not coming back from this.

Can it be done or not?

How soon before the plant becomes operational?

Three weeks. Maybe less.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve flown an f-18, and…

I’m not sure who I’d trust to fly the other three.

But I’ll find a way to make it work.

I think you misunderstand, captain.

Sir?

We don’t want you to fly it.

We want you to teach it.

Teach, sir?

We’ve recalled 12 top gun graduates from their squadrons.

We want you to narrow that pool down to six.

They’ll fly the mission.

Is there a problem, captain?

You know there is, sir.

Yeah.

Bradley Bradshaw, aka “Rooster.”

I understand you used to fly with his old man.

What was his call sign?

“Goose,” sir.

Tragic what happened.

Captain Mitchell was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Goose’s death was an accident.

[Cyclone] Is that how you see it, captain?

Is that how goose’s son sees it?

With all due respect, sir, I’m not a teacher.

You were a top gun instructor before.

That was almost 30 years ago. I lasted two months.

It’s not where I belong.

Then let me be perfectly blunt.

You were not my first choice. In fact, you weren’t even on the list.

You are here at the request of admiral Kazansky.

Now, Iceman happens to be a man I deeply admire, and he seems to think that you have something left to offer the Navy.

What that is, I can’t imagine.

You don’t have to take this job.

But let me be clear: This will be your last post, captain.

You fly for top gun, or you don’t fly for the Navy ever again.

[People chattering]

[Person] Twenty bucks you can’t get three in a row.

[Cell phone vibrating]

[Bartender] Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.

[“Let’s dance” playing on jukebox]

Pete.

Penny?

[Chuckles] What are you doing here?

I should ask you the same thing.

Well, that is a long story. I doubt that.

Yeah.

Who’d you piss off this time?

Another admiral.

Exactly.

Are you mad at me? Oh, Pete.

I can never stay mad at you. That’s the problem.

Huh.

I got to say, north island is the one place I thought for sure I’d never run into you.

Mmm. How long you been here?

Bought this place about three years ago.

Three years? Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Not long after you got shipped off to the desert for pissing off that other admiral.

That was three years ago?

You must be in a lot of trouble.

No way you’d come back here willingly.

Well, you’ll sort it out.

No, I think, uh…

I think this is it. Come on, Pete.

You’ve been saying that as long as I’ve known you.

You said it after they busted you for taking me on a joyride in that f-18.

Then the next thing I know, you’re off to Bosnia.

Then Iraq. Both times.

You get yourself in trouble, Iceman makes a call, and you’re back in the air.

Penny, this is different.

Pete, trust me, as improbable as it seems right now, somehow you’ll be back in a fighter plane with your tail on fire.

Penny… Too late.

What?

You were about to ask me what time I get off.

Don’t give me that look.

I’m not giving you any look. I swear.

It always ends the same with us, Pete.

Let’s not start this time.

Okay.

Okay.

♪ Put on your red shoes and dance the blues… ♪

You look good.

[Bell rings] [Customers cheering]

[“Bang a gong” playing on jukebox]

Much appreciated, pal.

What am I missing?

“Disrespect a lady, the Navy, or put your cell phone on my bar…”

“And you buy a round.”

For everyone?

I’m afraid rules are rules. You’re lucky it’s early.

[Person] Oh, come on!

What do we have here?

If it ain’t Phoenix!

And here I thought we were special, coyote.

Turns out the invite went to anyone.

Fellas, this here’s bag man.

Hangman. Whatever.

You’re looking at the only naval aviator on active duty with a confirmed air-to-air kill.

Stop.

Mind you, the other guy was in a museum piece from the Korean war.

Cold war. Different wars, same century.

Not this one.

Who are your friends?

Payback. Fanboy.

Hey, coyote. Hey.

Who’s he? Who’s who?

[Coyote] When did you get in?

Oh, I’ve been here the whole time.

The man’s a stealth pilot. Literally.

Weapons systems officer, actually.

With no sense of humor.

What do they call you?

Bob.

No, your call sign.

Uh…

Bob.

Bob Floyd.

You’re my new backs eater? From Lemoore?

Looks like it. Yeah.

♪ Bang a gong, get it on ♪

Nine-ball, Bob.

Rack ’em.

Okay. [Chuckles]

[Hangman] Penny, my dear.

[Penny] Yeah.

I’ll have four more on the old-timer.

[“Tramp” playing on jukebox]

[Vocalist] That’s all right, mama. Uh, what’s up?

♪ And I’m the only son of a gun ♪

[Phoenix] Bradshaw!

Is that you?

This is how I find out you’re stateside?

Yeah, I just thought I’d surprise you. Hmm.

[Grunts]

I guess I surprised you back.

It’s good to see you. Good to see you too.

Here you go.

[Hangman] Thank you.

Much appreciated, pops.

[People chattering, laughing]

[“Tramp” continues playing]

How about ringing me up before the evening rush?

[“Slow ride” playing on jukebox]

[Hangman] Bradshaw.

As I live and breathe.

[Rooster] Hangman.

You look… good.

Well, I am good, Rooster.

I’m very good.

In fact, I am too good to be true.

So, anybody know what this special detachment is all about?

No, mission’s a mission. They don’t confront me.

What I want to know: Who’s gonna be team leader?

[Pool balls clatter]

And which one of y’all has what it takes to follow me?

Hangman, the only place you’ll lead anyone is an early grave.

Whoo!

[“Slow ride” continues playing]

Well, anyone who follows you is just gonna run out of fuel.

But that’s just you, ain’t it, Rooster?

You’re snug on that perch, waiting for just the right moment…

That never comes.

♪ Slow ride ♪

I love this song!

♪ Slow ride ♪

♪ take it easy ♪

Well, he hasn’t changed.

Nope. Sure hasn’t.

♪ Take it easy ♪

[Fanboy] Check it out.

More patches.

[Payback] That’s Harvard, Yale, Omaha. Shit, that’s Fritz.

What the hell kind of mission is this?

That’s not the question we should be asking.

Everyone here is the best there is.

Who the hell are they gonna get to teach us?

It’s been declined.

You’re kidding.

[Music stops]

[Customers protesting]

[Piano playing]

[Playing jazz]

Hey, guys. Come on.

[Piano playing continues]

[Maverick] How about…

That won’t cover it.

[Piano playing continues]

Uh, I’ll come by tomorrow and bring you the cash.

I’m afraid rules are rules, Pete.

[Bell ringing]

[All cheering, clapping]

[All chanting] Overboard! Overboard! Overboard!

Really?

Overboard!

[Chanting continues] Overboard! Overboard!

Overboard! Overboard!

Overboard! Overboard!

[All cheering, clapping]

Overboard!

Great to see you, Pete! Overboard!

Overboard! Overboard!

Overboard!

[All cheering]

Thanks for the beers! Come back anytime!

[Customers whooping]

[Rooster] ♪ you shake my nerves and you rattle my brain ♪

♪ too much love drives a man insane ♪

♪ you broke my will but what a thrill ♪

[All] ♪ goodness gracious great balls of fire! ♪

♪ I laughed at love ’cause I thought it was funny ♪

♪ but you came along and you moved me, honey ♪

♪ I changed my mind this love is fine ♪

♪ goodness gracious great balls of fire! ♪

♪ Kiss me, baby ♪

[Music fades]

[Both] ♪ goodness gracious great balls of fire! ♪

[Maverick] Altitude 8,000… 7,000…

Goose, I can’t reach the ejection handle.

Eject, eject, eject!

Goose! Oh, no!

God, he loved flying with you, Maverick.

[No audio]

[All singing]

[Customers chattering, singing]

[All] ♪ come on, baby you’re driving me crazy ♪

♪ goodness gracious great balls of fire! ♪

[Cheering]

[Person] Attention on deck!

[Chairs scraping]

[Warlock] Morning.

Welcome to your special training detachment.

Be seated.

I’m admiral Bates, NAWDC commander.

You’re all top gun graduates.

The elite.

The best of the best.

That was yesterday.

The enemy’s new fifth-generation fighter has leveled the playing field.

Details are few, but you can be sure we no longer possess the technological advantage.

Success, now more than ever, comes down to the man or woman in the box.

Half of you will make the cut.

One of you will be named mission leader.

The other half will remain in reserve.

Your instructor is a top gun graduate with real-world experience in every mission aspect you will be expected to master.

His exploits are legendary.

And he’s considered to be one of the finest pilots this program has ever produced.

What he has to teach you may very well mean the difference between life and death.

I give you captain Pete Mitchell.

Call sign: “Maverick.”

Good morning.

The f-18 natops.

It contains everything they want you to know about your aircraft.

I’m assuming you know the book inside and out.

Damn right. Damn straight.

You got it.

So does your enemy.

And we’re off.

But what the enemy doesn’t know is your limits.

I intend to find them, test them, push beyond.

Today we’ll start with what you only think you know.

You show me what you’re made of.

[Engines powering up]

[Maverick] Rooster.

Bradley.

Lieutenant Bradshaw!

Yes, sir.

Let’s not do it like this.

You gonna wash me out?

That’ll be up to you, not me.

Am I dismissed?

[No audible dialogue]

[“Won’t get fooled again” playing]

Good morning, aviators. This is your captain speaking.

Welcome to basic fighter maneuvers.

As briefed, today’s exercise is dog fighting.

Guns only, no missiles.

We do not go below the hard deck of 5,000 feet.

Working as a team, you have to shoot me down, or else.

Or else what, sir? Or else I shoot back.

If I shoot either one of you down, you both lose.

This guy needs an ego check. We’ll see to that.

What say we put some skin in the game? What do you have in mind?

Whoever gets shot down first has to do 200 push-ups.

Guys. That’s a lot of push-ups.

They don’t call it an exercise for nothing, sir.

You got yourself a deal, gentlemen.

Fight’s on. Let’s turn and burn.

Fanboy, you see him? Nothing on radar up ahead.

He must be somewhere behind us.

[Vocalist] Yeah!

Damn it! What the hell?

Shit!

♪ We don’t get fooled again ♪

[Maverick] Easy, Maverick.

Let’s try not to get fired on the first day.

Tally, tally, tally! Maverick’s coming in! Break left!

Breaking left.

Payback, where’s your wing man?

Rooster, where are you? I got your back.

I’m coming. Hang in there. Hang in there.

Hurry up, man! Hurry up!

Payback, break right. Breaking right.

Rooster just saved your life, fellas. But it’s gonna cost him.

Not this time, old man.

Don’t let him get to you, Maverick.

♪ Smile and grin at the change all around pick up my guitar… ♪

Rooster, you’re too low! Pull up! You’re hitting the hard deck!

[Automated voice] Altitude. Altitude.

[Rooster] Oh, shit.

♪ Get on my knees and pray ♪

[Maverick] That’s a kill.

Down! 109.

♪ we don’t get fooled again ♪

Down! 110.

[Breathing shakily]

That should be us down there.

[Hondo] 111!

But it’s not. Down!

And now you know a little something about rooster.

Whoo! Wow.

[Fanboy] Hold that tarmac down till we get back, brother, all right?

Get in there, boys.

[Camera shutter clicks]

[Laughs]

That’s a kill. Damn!

Smoked. Damn it.

It was all fun and games in that selfie, wasn’t it? Down!

[Hangman] Say, Phoenix.

How’s about we tell everybody

“Bob” stands for something?

Other than Robert, I mean.

[Phoenix] Don’t take the bait, Bob.

Want to know why we call him Hangman?

I got it. “Baby on board.”

[Chuckles]

Shit!

Greetings, aviators. Fight’s on.

[Hangman] All right, Phoenix, let’s take this guy out!

Watch your back, Phoenix.

Break right! Breaking right.

Where’s he going?

That’s why we call him Hangman.

He’ll always hang you out to dry.

Leaving your wing man.

There’s a strategy I haven’t seen in a while.

He called you a man, Phoenix. You gonna take that?

So long as he doesn’t call you a man.

Talk to me, Bob. Where’s Maverick?

[Bob] Jesus, his nose is already coming around!

Get him off me, Hangman!

[Hangman] For all you folks at home, this is how you Bury a fossil.

All right, Hangman. Time to teach you a lesson.

You’re out, Phoenix. Son of a bitch!

[Alarm blaring]

That’s it.

Let’s go, Mav. Let’s see what you got.

Come get me.

Evil be gone. Hangman’s coming.

Yeah, you’re good. I’ll give you that.

♪ Meet the new boss ♪

♪ same as the old boss ♪

Shit.

Phoenix, I can’t see him. How close am I?

Phoenix? I’m dead, dickhead.

See you in the afterlife, bag man.

[Chuckles]

Where is he? Where is he? [Gasps]

[Beeping]

[Maverick] That’s a kill.

Seventy-nine. Down. Eighty. Down.

[Maverick] Let’s go. Who’s next?

I got you, Omaha. Damn it!

Lights out, coyote. Copy kill.

Down. Fifty-one. Down. Fifty-two.

So, rooster, mind if I ask you a personal question?

Would it matter if I did?

What’s the story with you and Maverick?

It seems like he’s got you rattled. That’s none of your business.

Now where the hell is he?

[Maverick] Been here the whole time.

Holy shit.

[Maverick] You see me now?

Come on, let’s get it over with.

Fight’s on!

What is with these two?

[Breathing heavily]

All right, you put us here. How you gonna get yourself out?

You can bail out anytime.

How low you want to go, rooster?

I can go as low as you, sir! And that’s saying something.

What’s past is past. For both of us.

You’d like to believe that, wouldn’t you?

Hard deck is 5,000 feet, fellas. You are running out of room.

[Automated voice] Altitude. Your strategy is about to run us into the ground.

What’s your move?

[Automated voice] Altitude. Altitude.

Altitude.

Altitude. Altitude. Altitude. [Grunting]

Altitude. Altitude.

Pull up! Pull up! Pull up! Pull up!

Pull up! Pull up!

You got it. Don’t think, just do.

Come on, rooster, you got him! Drop down and take the shot!

It’s too low.

Too late. You had your chance.

That’s a kill. Knock it off.

Damn it!

Same old rooster.

Go see hon do about your push-ups.

All right, that’s enough.

Rooster. That’s enough, man.

[Grunts]

[Grunts]

[Grunts]

[Phoenix] Breaking the hard deck, insubordination. Are you trying to get kicked out?

Don’t worry about it.

Look, I’m going on this mission.

But if you get kicked out, you leave us flying with Hangman.

Talk to me. What the hell was that? He pulled my papers.

What? Who? Maverick.

He pulled my application to the naval academy.

Set me back four years.

Why would he do that?

[Jet approaching]

[Cyclone] The hard deck is 5,000 feet above ground level.

A parameter is set not just for the safety of our pilots, but for the safety of their aircraft.

5,000 feet is not just a rule. It is a law, as immutable as gravity.

The hard deck will be much lower for the mission, sir.

And it will not change without my approval!

Especially not in the middle of an exercise.

And that cobra maneuver of yours? That could’ve got all three of you killed.

I never want to see that shit again.

What exactly do you suppose you were teaching, captain?

That as good as they are, sir, they still have something to learn.

You are talking about the best fighter pilots on the planet, captain.

And they’ve been told that their entire career, while they’ve been dropping bombs from a high altitude with little to no dog fighting.

The parameters of this mission call for something they have never encountered.

Okay, you have less than three weeks to teach them how to fight as a team and how to strike the target.

And how to come home.

And how to come home, sir.

Every mission has its risks.

These pilots accept that.

I don’t, sir.

Every morning, from this day forward, you will brief us on your instructional plans in writing.

And nothing will change without my express approval.

Including the hard deck, sir? Especially the hard deck, captain.

[Maverick] Sir.

What is this?

It’s a request to lower the hard deck, sir, to practice a low-level bombing run per the mission parameters.

You could learn a thing or two about timing, captain.

[Hangman] Yo, coyote.

Take a look at this.

[Coyote] The man, the legend. There he is.

No, no, no. Next to him.

He look familiar to you?

What have we here?

[Hangman] Bradshaw.

As I live and breathe.

[Panting]

[Maverick] Hey, Theo, you got big.

[Child] Hey, Mav.

[Soft rock playing over jukebox]

Amelia?

I know. I got big.

[Chuckles] Yes.

Bar opens at 5:00.

No, I just came by to pay off a debt.

[Amelia] Mom!

Hey, how’s your dad? With his wife, in Hawaii.

Mom!

Mav says he owes you money.

Oh. Don’t worry about it. I insist.

[Sighs]

Thank you, captain. Consider your tab closed.

Captain? Still?

A highly decorated captain.

Finish up.

We have to get the boat to the yard.

I can’t go. What do you mean, you can’t go?

Test tomorrow. I have to study. They only told us today.

Well, I can’t sail her alone.

Just use the engine.

Why are we taking her to the yard?

[Both] To fix the engine.

Mm-hmm. I can help.

[Penny] Little rougher than I was expecting. You don’t say.

Pull on the back stay. We’ll de-power the sails.

Okay.

What does that mean?

You’re supposed to be in the Navy!

I don’t sail boats, penny. I land on them.

It’s sort of like raising the flaps on an airplane.

So how do I do that?

[Chuckles] You pull on that green line up there.

Green line.

Yep. Pull it hard.

Yep. Crank that winch right there, tighten the jib.

Crank it. You okay? Yeah.

Good.

Now, you ready?

For what?

The afterburner.

Now you’re in the Navy.

[Engine turns off]

Thanks for helping out today.

I’m not exactly sure I helped.

Hmm.

Don’t give me that look.

What look?

That one.

Good night, Pete.

Night, penny.

[Exhales]

[Chuckles]

[Sighs]

[Amelia] Mom, is that you?

[Penny] Yeah, it’s me.

I’ll make you dinner.

[Amelia] Okay.

Time is your greatest enemy.

Phase one of the mission will be a low-level ingress attacking in two-plane teams.

You’ll fly along this narrow canyon to your target.

Radar-guided surface-to-air missiles defend the area.

These sams, they’re lethal.

But they were designed to protect the skies above, not the canyon below.

That’s because the enemy knows no one is insane enough to try and fly below them.

That’s exactly what I’m gonna train you to do.

On the day, your altitude will be 100 feet maximum.

You exceed this altitude…

[Radar beeping] Radar will spot you and you’re dead.

[Beeping intensifies]

Your airspeed will be 660 knots minimum.

Time to target: Two and a half minutes.

That’s because fifth-generation fighters wait at an air base nearby.

In a head-to-head with these planes in your f-18s, you’re dead.

That’s why you need to get in, hit your target and be gone before these planes even have a chance of catching you.

This makes time your greatest adversary.

You’ll fly a route in your nav system that simulates the canyon.

The faster you navigate this canyon, the harder it’ll be to stay under the radar of these enemy sams.

[Grunting] The tighter the turns, the more intensely the force of gravity on your body multiplies… [Grunts]

Compressing your lungs… [Exhales]

Forcing the blood from your brain… [Grunting]

Impairing your judgment and reaction time.

So for today’s lesson, we’re gonna take it easy on you.

Max ceiling: 300 feet. Time to target: Three minutes.

Good luck.

[Breathing heavily]

[Bob] Time to target is one minute 30.

We are two seconds behind. Increase to 480 knots.

We got to move, coyote.

Copy. Increasing speed.

Oh! [Grunts]

Oh, shit!

[Beeping]

Why are they dead?

We broke the 300-foot ceiling, and a Sam took us out.

No. Why are they dead?

I slowed down and didn’t give her a warning. It was my fault.

Was there a reason you didn’t communicate with your team? I was focusing on…

One that their family will accept at the funeral.

None, sir.

Why didn’t you anticipate the turn?

You were briefed on the terrain.

Don’t tell me. Tell it to his family.

Hangman, ease up. The canyon’s getting tighter.

Negative, payback. Increase your speed.

You’re going too fast, man. No harm in being ahead of schedule.

Damn it, slow down! I can’t stay on the course!

You’re gonna hit the wall! Watch out! Watch out!

[Radar beeping]

What happened?

[Hangman] I flew as fast as I could.

Kind of like my ass depended on it.

And you put your team in danger, and your wing man’s dead.

They couldn’t keep up.

[Yale] Rooster, we’re 20 seconds behind and dropping.

[Rooster] We’re fine. Speed is good.

Increase to 500 knots.

Negative, Yale. Hold your speed.

[Yale] Rooster, we’re late!

We’re alive. We’ll make up time in the straightaway.

[Yale] We are not gonna make it.

Just trust me. Maintain your speed. We can make it.

Why are you dead?

You’re team leader up there.

Why are you, why is your team dead?

Sir, he’s the only one who made it to the target.

A minute late. [Sighs]

He gave enemy aircraft time to shoot him down.

He is dead. You don’t know that.

You’re not flying fast enough. You don’t have a second to waste.

We made it to the target.

And superior enemy aircraft intercepted you on your way out.

Then it’s a dogfight. Against fifth-generation fighters.

[Rooster] Yeah. We’d still have a chance.

[Maverick] In an F-18.

It’s not the plane, sir, it’s the pilot.

Exactly!

There’s more than one way to fly this mission.

[Hangman] You really don’t get it.

On this mission, a man flies like Maverick here, or a man does not come back.

No offense intended.

Yet somehow you always manage.

Look, I don’t mean to criticize.

You’re conservative, that’s all. Lieutenant.

We’re going into combat, son, on a level no living pilot’s ever seen.

Not even him.

That’s no time to be thinking about the past.

What’s that supposed to mean? Rooster.

I can’t be the only one that knows that Maverick flew with his old man.

That’s enough. Or that Maverick was flying when his old man…

Lieutenant, that’s enough!

[All clamoring, shouting]

That’s enough. You son of a bitch!

Hey, come on!

[Chuckles] I’m cool, I’m cool. Hey, hey.

That’s enough.

[Hangman] He’s not cut out for this mission.

That’s enough! You know it.

[Breathing heavily]

You know I’m right.

You’re all dismissed.

[Cell phone vibrating]

[Sighs]

[Children laughing, chattering]

Maverick.

It’s come back?

No one knows.

There’s nothing else they can do.

Even speaking is painful now.

Sarah, I’m so sorry.

[Iceman coughing]

[Coughs]

[Coughing]

Admiral.

How’s my wing man?

[Typing]

Please, don’t worry about me.

What can I do for you?

[Sighs]

All right.

[Chuckles]

Well, rooster’s still angry with me about what I did.

I thought eventually he would understand why.

I hoped he’d forgive me.

[Typing]

The mission is less than three weeks away.

The kid’s not ready.

[Typing]

He doesn’t want what I have to give.

Ice, please, don’t ask me to send someone else to die.

Please don’t…

Don’t ask me to send him.

Send me.

I don’t know how.

[Sighs]

I’m not a teacher, Ice.

I’m a fighter pilot.

A naval aviator.

It’s not what I am.

It’s who I am.

How do I teach that?

Even if I could teach it, it’s not what rooster wants.

It’s not what the Navy wants.

That’s why they canned me the last time.

The only reason I’m here is you.

If I send him on this mission, he might never come home.

And if I don’t send him, he’ll never forgive me.

Either way, I could lose him forever.

[Sighs]

I know.

I know.

[Exhales deeply]

[Grunts]

[Coughs]

[Hoarsely] The Navy needs Maverick.

The kid needs Maverick.

That’s why I fought for you.

That’s why you’re still here.

Thank you, Ice, for everything.

One last thing.

Who’s the better pilot?

You or me?

This is a nice moment. Let’s not ruin it.

[Laughing]

[“I ain’t worried” playing]

[Whistling]

♪ I don’t know what you’ve been told ♪

♪ but time is running out no need to take it slow ♪

♪ I’m steppin’ to ya toe to toe ♪

[Indistinct chatter, shouting]

All right, all right.

[Whistle blows]

♪ Keepin’ dreams alive 1999 heroes ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it right now ♪

♪ swimmin’ in the floods ♪ touchdown!

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[Cheering]

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[Whistle blows]

Yeah!

♪ I don’t know what you’ve been told ♪

[Whooping] ♪ but time is running out so spend it like it’s gold ♪

♪ I’m livin’ like I’m nine zeros ♪

♪ got no regrets even when I’m broke ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it right now ♪

♪ keepin’ dreams alive 1999 heroes ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it right now ♪

♪ swimming in the floods dancing on the path, hero ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[Booing]

[Whistle blows]

[Chattering continues]

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[Exclaiming, cheering]

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

Sir.

What is this? This is dogfight football.

Offense and defense at the same time.

Who’s winning?

I think they stopped keeping score a while ago.

This detachment still has some training to complete, captain.

Every available minute matters. Yes, sir.

So why are we out here playing games?

You said to create a team, sir.

There’s your team.

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[Chanting]

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it right now ♪

♪ keepin’ dreams alive 1999 heroes ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it right now ♪

♪ swimming in the floods dancing on the path, hero ♪

♪ I ain’t worried ’bout it ♪

[No audible dialogue]

Should I go? Before Amelia gets back?

She’ll be at her friend’s house tonight. Oh, good.

You and Amelia, you seem…

A lot closer than when I last saw you.

Yeah. Yeah, we are. How do you manage?

Well, you know, she always wanted more freedom than I thought she was ready for.

Hmm. Where’d she get that from, I wonder?

I guess I realized I also had to trust her.

Let her make some of her own mistakes sometimes.

Not an easy choice. Mmm.

Is that what happened with rooster?

I pulled his papers from the naval academy.

Took years off his career.

Why?

His mother never wanted him to fly, not after what happened to goose.

She made me promise before she died, so…

Does rooster know that?

He will always resent me for what I did.

Why should he resent her too?

Not an easy choice. Hmm.

I was trying to be the father he lost.

I just… I wish I would’ve done it better.

But the truth is…

I didn’t think he was ready.

Is he ready now?

[Door closes downstairs]

[Amelia] Mom, I’m home!

I thought you were staying at Karen’s tonight.

[Amelia] Karen’s sick. And I’ve got homework to do.

[Whispers] I should go.

[Sighing] You should go.

Have you had dinner yet?

[Amelia] Not yet. You wanna go out?

No, it’s okay. I’ll make you something.

I’ll be down in a sec!

Wait! Not that way. What?

Look, I have an example to set.

I can’t be bringing guys home on a first date.

This is not our first date.

You know what I mean.

Okay.

Fine.

But this is the last time I go out your window.

We’ll see.

No. No, I mean it.

I’m never gonna leave you again.

Oh, shut up.

Go on, get out of here.

[Grunts softly]

Just don’t break her heart again.

[Warlock] Good morning.

The uranium enrichment plant that is your target will be operational earlier than expected.

Raw uranium will be delivered to the plant in ten days’ time.

As a result, your mission has been moved up one week in order to avoid contaminating the target valley with radiation.

Sir, no one here has successfully flown a low-level course.

Nevertheless, you’ve been ordered to move on.

Captain.

[Maverick] We have one week left to focus on phase two.

It’s the most difficult stage of the mission.

It’s a pop-up strike with a steep dive, requiring nothing less than two consecutive miracles.

Two pairs of f-18s will fly in a welded wing formation.

Teamwork. Precise coordination of these aircraft is essential to both the mission’s success and your survival.

As you know, the plant rests between two mountains.

On final approach, you’ll invert directly into a steep dive.

This allows you to maintain the lowest possible altitude and the only possible attack angle.

Your target is an impact point less than three meters wide.

The two-seat aircraft will paint the target with a laser bull’s-eye. [Beeping]

The first pair will breach the reactor by dropping a laser-guided bomb on an exposed ventilation hatch.

This will create an opening for the second pair.

That’s miracle number one.

The second team will deliver the kill shot…

[Target lock beeps]

And destroy the target.

That’s miracle number two.

If either team misses the target…

That’s a miss. [Maverick] The mission is a failure.

Damn it!

[Maverick] Egress is a steep high-g climb out to avoid hitting this mountain.

A steep climb at that speed, you’re pulling at least eight g’s.

Nine, minimum.

The stress limit of the f-18’s airframe is 7.5.

[Maverick] That’s the accepted limit.

To survive this mission, you’ll pull beyond that, even if it means bending your airframe.

You’ll be pulling so hard, you’ll weigh close to 2,000 pounds, your skull crushing your spine… [Grunting]

Your lungs imploding like an elephant’s sitting on your chest,

fighting with everything you have just to keep from blacking out.

[Grunting, gasping]

And this is where you’ll be at your most vulnerable.

This is coffin corner.

Assuming you avoid crashing into this mountain, you’ll climb straight up into enemy radar while losing all of your airspeed.

Within seconds, you’ll be fired upon by enemy sams.

You’ve all faced sustained g’s before, but this…

This is gonna take you and your aircraft to the breaking point.

Sir, is this even achievable?

The answer to that question will come down to the pilot in the box.

[Sonic boom]

Talk to me, Bob. We are 12 seconds late on target.

We gotta move! We gotta move! Copy. Try to stay with me.

[Radar beeping]

Huh? Wait, who’s that?

[Maverick] Blue team, you’ve been spotted.

Shit, it’s Maverick. What the hell is he doing here?

I’m a bandit on course to intercept. Blue team, what are you gonna do?

He’s 20 miles left. Ten o’clock. 700 knots closure.

Your call. What do you want to do?

Continue. We’re close. Stay on target.

He’s swinging around to the north! Stand by for pop-up.

Be ready on that laser, Bob. Copy. I’m on it.

Blue team, bandit is still closing.

Popping now.

[Grunting, gasping]

[Grunts]

Talk to me, Bob. Where’s Maverick?

He’s five miles out. He’s coming fast.

Target’s in sight. Where’s my laser, Bob?

Dead eye! Dead eye! It’s no good. Sorry, I can’t get a lock.

We’re out of time. I’m dropping blind.

Damn it, missed!

[Gasping]

[Gasping]

[Target lock beeps]

[Maverick] That’s tone.

Maverick’s got missile lock on us. Shit! We’re dead.

Blue team, that’s a fail.

Level out, coyote.

[Echoing] Coyote? Do you copy?

[Normal] Coyote, come in.

Coyote, level wings.

Oh, god. He’s in g-loc.

[Echoing] Coyote? Coyote?

He’s gonna burn in! I’m going after him.

Come on. Give me tone, give me tone, give me tone.

[Target lock beeping] Snap out of it, coyote. Come on! Come on!

Come on, coyote, come on. Come on!

Damn it! Coyote! Coyote!

[Automated voice] Pull up!

[Maverick] Coyote! Coyote!

[Automated voice] Pull up! Pull up!

Coyote, you okay? You okay?

[Breathes heavily] I’m okay. I’m good.

Good. Good. That’s enough for today.

That was close.

[Sighs] Too close.

Bird strike! Bird strike!

Bird strike!

[Alarm blaring]

Phoenix, left engine’s on fire! Climbing.

Throttling back. Shutting off fuel to left engine.

Extinguishing fire.

[Alarm continues] Right engine is out!

It’s still spinning. Trying to restart it.

[Engine powers up]

Phoenix, it’s on fire.

Don’t start… throttling up.

Oh, my god.

We’re on fire! We’re on fire! Damn it!

[Automated voice] Engine fire. Right. Extinguishing right engine.

Phoenix, Bob, punch out, punch out!

Warning lights everywhere! Hydraulic failure!

Flight controls. I can’t control it.

[Bob] We’re going down, Phoenix! We’re going in! We’re going in!

You can’t save it. Eject, eject!

Eject, eject, eject!

[Automated voice] Altitude. Altitude.

They’ll keep Phoenix and Bob in the hospital overnight for observation.

They’re gonna be okay.

That’s good.

I’ve never lost a wing man.

You’re lucky.

Fly long enough, it’ll happen.

There will be others.

Easy for you to say. No wife.

No kids.

Nobody to mourn you when you burn in.

Go home.

Just get some sleep.

Why’d you pull my papers at the academy?

Why did you stand in my way?

You weren’t ready.

Ready for what?

Huh? Ready to fly like you? No.

Ready to forget the book.

Trust your instincts. Don’t think, just do.

You think up there, you’re dead. Believe me.

My dad believed in you.

I’m not gonna make the same mistake.

[Door opens]

[Warlock] Maverick.

[Bugler plays “taps”]

[Officer] Ready, aim, fire.

Ready, aim, fire.

[Gunshots]

Ready, aim, fire.

[Gunshots]

I can only imagine what you must be feeling right now.

Take some time. Whatever you need.

I appreciate that, sir, but there is no time. The mission…

I’ll be taking over the training from here.

Sir?

We both know you didn’t want this job, captain.

Sir, they’re not ready. It was your job to get them ready.

Sir, they have to believe that this mission can be flown.

And all you’ve managed to do is teach them that it can’t.

Sir… you’re grounded, captain.

Permanently.

Sir… that is all.

I heard.

I’m sorry.

What are you gonna do?

Ice is gone.

What choice do I have?

You’ll have to find a way back on your own.

No, penny.

I’m out.

This is over.

Pete.

If you lost your wing man up there, you’d keep fighting.

You wouldn’t just give up.

Those are your pilots.

If anything happens to them, you’ll never forgive yourself.

I don’t know what to do.

But you’ll find a way.

I know you will.

[Cyclone] Captain Mitchell is no longer your instructor.

And as of today, there are new mission parameters.

Time to target is now four minutes.

[Beeps]

You’ll be entering the valley level at reduced speed.

Not to exceed 420 knots.

Sir, won’t we be giving their planes time to intercept?

Well, lieutenant, you have a fighting chance against enemy aircraft.

What are the odds of surviving a head-on collision with a mountain?

You’ll be attacking the target from a higher altitude, level with the north wall.

Gonna be a little harder to keep your lase on target, but you will avoid the high-g climb out.

We’ll be sitting ducks for enemy missiles.

[Monitor beeping]

Who the hell is that?

[Maverick] Maverick to range control. Entering point Alpha.

Confirm green range.

[Range control] Uh, Maverick, range control, uh, green range is confirmed.

I don’t see an event scheduled for you, sir.

[Maverick] Well, I’m going anyway.

Nice.

Setting time to target: Two minutes 15 seconds.

2:15? That’s impossible.

Final attack point. Maverick’s inbound.

[Breathing heavily]

[Beeping]

[Breathing heavily]

[Grunting]

[Rapid beeping]

[Grunting]

Popping in three, two, one.

[Target lock beeps]

Bombs away.

[Grunts]

[Grunting, gasping]

[Beeping]

Bull’s-eye! Holy shit!

[Cheers]

[Bob] Yes.

Damn.

[Breathing heavily]

[Cyclone] You have put me in a difficult position, captain.

On the one hand, you have demonstrated that this mission can be flown.

Perhaps the only way it can be survived.

On the other hand, you did it by stealing a multimillion-dollar military aircraft and flying it in such a manner that it may never be airworthy again.

Iceman is no longer here to protect you.

I have everything I need to have you court-martialed and dishonorably discharged.

So what do I do?

Risk the lives of my pilots and perhaps the success of this mission or…

Risk my career by appointing you team leader?

Sir… I think the admiral’s asking a rhetorical question, captain.

[Ringing]

[All cheering]

[No audible dialogue]

Talk to me, goose.

[Warlock] Captain Mitchell!

You’re where you belong.

Make us proud.

It has been an honor flying with you.

Each one of you represents the best of the best.

This is a very specific mission.

My choice is a reflection of that and nothing more.

Choose your two foxtrot teams.

Payback and fanboy.

Phoenix and Bob.

[Cyclone] And your wing man.

Rooster.

The rest of you will stand by on the carrier for any reserve role that’s required.

Dismissed.

Your target is a clear and present threat.

A secret uranium enrichment site under rogue state control.

It’s an underground bunker, tucked between these two mountains.

Your route of ingress is heavily defended by surface-to-air missiles backed up by fifth-generation fighters.

Once your f-18 strike team crosses the border, tomahawk missiles from the USS Leyte Gulf will launch a synchronized strike on the enemy’s airfield here.

This will knock out their runway.

But you’ll have to contend with any planes already in the air.

The moment those tomahawks hit, the enemy will know you’re coming.

Your time to target will be two minutes and 30 seconds.

Any longer than that, and you will be exposed to any aircraft the tomahawks may have missed.

This is what you’ve all been training for.

Come home safely.

[Indistinct radio chatter]

[Engines powering up]

[Helicopter whirring]

You give ’em hell!

Sir.

Sir?

I… I just want to say… [Loud radio chatter]

We’ll talk when we get back.

Hey, Bradley! Bradley!

Hey.

You got this.

[Hondo] Maverick.

Maverick?

Hey, you with me?

I don’t like that look, Mav.

It’s the only one I got.

Thank you.

If I don’t see you again, hon do, thank you.

It’s been an honor, captain.

Dagger one, up and ready on catapult one.

Dagger spare standing by.

Dagger four, up and ready.

Dagger three, up and ready.

Dagger two, up and ready.

[Comms officer 1] Support assets airborne.

Strike package ready.

Standing by for launch decision.

Send them.

[Comms officer 1] Dagger two away.

Dagger three away.

Dagger four away.

[Radar beeping]

Comanche, dagger one. Standby check in.

[Comanche] Comanche 11, set.

Picture clean. Recommend dagger continue.

Copy. Daggers descending below radar.

[Breathing rapidly]

[Radar beeping, stops]

[Comms officer 1] Daggers now below radar. Switching to e-2 picture.

Here we go. Enemy territory up ahead.

Feet dry in 60 seconds. Comanche, dagger one. Picture.

Comanche. Picture clean. Decision is yours.

Copy.

[Breathing heavily]

Dagger attack.

[Comms officer 2] Tomahawks airborne.

No turning back now.

Daggers, assume attack formation.

Daggers set. Proceeding to target.

Two minutes and 30 seconds in three, two, one, Mark.

Two Mark. Three Mark.

Four Mark.

[Exhales] Going in.

[Engines shrieking]

First Sam site overhead.

Looks like we’re clear on radar, Mav.

Let’s not take it for granted.

More sams! Three o’clock high!

[Breathing heavily]

We got two minutes to target.

[Payback] Copy.

We’re a few seconds behind, rooster. We got to move.

[Comms officer 2] Thirty seconds to tomahawk impact on enemy airstrip.

[Radar beeps]

[Comanche] Dagger, comanche.

We’re picking up two bandits. Single group, two contacts.

Where the hell’d they come from? Long-range patrol?

Comanche, what’s their heading?

[Comanche] Bull’s-eye 090, 50, tacked southwest.

They’re headed away from us. They don’t know we’re here.

The second those tomahawks hit the air base, those bandits are gonna move to defend the target.

We have to get there before they do. Increase speed.

We got you, Mav. Don’t wait for me.

[Breathing heavily]

[Comms officer 1] Sir, daggers two and four are behind schedule.

Time to target, one minute 20.

[Comms officer 2] Tomahawk impact in three, two…

Impact. Enemy runway is destroyed.

They know we’re coming now.

[Comanche] Bandits are switching course to defend the target.

Rooster, where are you?

[Payback] Come on, rooster. Bandits inbound.

We got to make up time now. Let’s turn and burn.

[Panting]

Heads up, Phoenix.

Whoa!

[Comms officer 1] Sir, bandits are two minutes from target.

Daggers are one minute from target.

Come on, rooster. Move it or lose it.

Guys, we’re falling behind. We really gotta move.

If we don’t increase our speed right now, those bandits are gonna be waiting for us when we reach the target.

Talk to me, dad.

Come on, kid, you can do it.

Don’t think, just do.

[Exhales deeply]

Jesus, rooster, not that fast!

That’s it, kid, that’s it. All right, let’s go.

Damn, rooster, take it easy.

[Comms officer 1] Sir, dagger two is reengaging.

All right, now hit your target and come home.

Thirty seconds to target. Bob, check your laser.

Air-to-ground check complete. Laser code verified, 1688.

Laser is a go!

Watch your heads.

Holy shit! Shit!

Payback, you with me? Right behind you.

Phoenix, stand by for pop-up strike.

Dagger three in position.

Popping in three, two, one.

[Grunting]

[Grunts]

Get me eyes on that target, Bob. Dagger three.

Stand by, Mav. Come on, Bob, come on.

Stand by.

[Target lock beeps]

I’ve got it. Captured! Target acquired. Bombs away.

[Grunts]

[Grunting]

[Gasping]

[Grunting]

We’ve got impact! Check, direct hit! Direct hit!

That’s miracle number one.

Dagger two, status.

Almost there, Mav. Almost there.

Fanboy, where’s my laser?

Rooster, there’s something wrong with this laser!

Shit! Dead eye, dead eye, dead eye!

Come on, guys, we’re running out of time. Get it online!

[Fanboy] I’m trying! Come on, fanboy!

Nearly there! Nearly there!

[Gasping]

[Grunting]

Come on, fanboy, get it online. There’s no time. I’m dropping blind.

Rooster, I got this! No time. Pull up.

[Payback] Wait!

[Rooster] Bombs away! Bombs away!

[Panting]

[Grunting]

[Comms officer 1] Bull’s-eye, bull’s-eye, bull’s-eye!

[Cheering]

Miracle number two.

Now they’re in coffin corner.

We’re not out of this yet.

Here it comes.

Radar warning! Smoke in the air. Phoenix, break right.

Emergency jettison. Dagger three defending.

Here comes another one!

Dagger one defending.

Rooster, status.

Oh, my god.

Smoke in the air! Smoke in the air!

Break right, payback! Breaking right.

[Fanboy] Oh, my god, here they come!

Sam on your six, rooster!

Deploying countermeasures.

Negative contact.

Dagger one defending.

Talk to me, Bob. Break right, Phoenix! Break right! Mav!

Nine o’clock! Nine o’clock!

Rooster, two more on your six.

Dagger two, defending.

Payback, Sam on your nose. Dagger four defending.

Rooster, tally, seven o’clock! Talk to me, Bob!

On our six! Dagger two defending.

Phoenix, break right!

[Phoenix] I see it!

[Overlapping radio chatter]

Dagger two defending.

Shit, I’m out of flares!

Rooster, evade, evade!

I can’t shake ’em! They’re on me! They’re on me!

[Shouts]

[Grunts]

Mav! No!

Dagger one is hit! I repeat, dagger one is hit!

Maverick is down.

[Rooster] Dagger one, status.

Status!

Anyone see him? Does anyone see him?

Dagger one, come in! I didn’t see a parachute.

We have to circle back.

[Comanche] Comanche. Bandits inbound. Single group, hot.

Recommend dagger flow south.

One minute to intercept.

Get ’em back to the carrier now. All daggers flow to ecp.

You have bandits headed for you. What about Maverick?

Tell him there’s nothing he can do for Maverick, not in a goddamn f-18.

Dagger spare request permission to launch and fly air cover.

Negative, spare.

Launch search and rescue.

Negative. Not with bandits in the air.

But, sir, Maverick is still out there.

We are not losing anyone else today.

Get ’em home now.

Dagger, you are not to engage.

Repeat, do not engage.

[Comms officer 1] Dagger two, return to carrier. Acknowledge.

Acknowledge.

Rooster, those bandits are closing.

We can’t go back.

Rooster, he’s gone.

Maverick’s gone.

[Breathing heavily]

[Muffled whirring]

[Guns powering up]

Oh, no, no.

[Warning alarm beeping]

[Comms officer 2] Dagger two is hit.

Dagger two is hit.

[Comms officer 1] Dagger two, come in.

Dagger two, do you copy?

Dagger two, come in.

You all right?

Yeah, I’m good. You all right?

[Rooster] What the hell? What are you doing here?

What am I doing here? You think I took that missile so you could be down here with me?

You should be back on the carrier by now!

I saved your life!

I saved your life. That’s the whole point.

What the hell were you even thinking?

You told me not to think!

[Both panting]

Well,

it’s good to see you.

It’s good to see you too.

So what’s the plan?

[Alarm blaring]

You’re not serious.

[Alarm continues]

[Rooster] You’ve got to be shitting me.

An F-14?

I shot down three migs in one of those.

We don’t even know if that bag of ass can fly.

Let’s find out. Mav!

Okay.

[Alarm continues]

[Indistinct shouting]

There’s guys up there, Mav. Yeah.

[Rooster] There’s more over there.

[Maverick] Okay.

[Maverick] Let’s start running.

[Rooster] Yeah, run. Run.

Once… once I give you the signal for air, you’re gonna flip this switch until the needle gets to 120.

When the engine starts, you got to pull out the pins and disconnect everything.

You understand? Yeah.

[Powers up]

Yes!

Once I’m up, stow the ladder.

Okay. Wow.

It’s been a minute, huh, Mav?

[Electronics beeping, whirring]

[Beeping]

Oh, my god. This thing is so old.

All right.

Canopy? Clear.

Both runways are cratered.

How we gonna get this museum piece in the air?

Why are the wings coming out, Mav?

Mav, this is a taxiway, not a runway.

This is a very short taxiway, Mav.

Just hang on.

Holy shit!

Come on, come on, come on.

Needle’s alive. Come on.

Mav? That’s it. Come on, come on!

All right.

Mav! Here we go.

Holy shit.

Sir, we’re receiving a signal from rooster’s esat.

But there seems to be a malfunction.

Have you lost him? No, sir.

He’s supersonic.

He’s airborne.

In what? Sir.

Over watch reports an f-14 tomcat is airborne and on course for our position.

Can’t be. It can’t be!

Maverick.

Okay, rooster, get us in touch with the boat.

I’m working on it.

Radio’s out. No radar. Everything’s dead back here.

What do I do? Talk me through it. Okay, first the radio.

Throw the, uh…

The uhf-2 circuit breaker. Try that.

There’s 300 breakers back here. Anything more specific?

I don’t know. That was your dad’s department.

I’ll figure it out.

Mav, tally two, 5:00 low.

What do we do?

Okay, listen. Just be cool.

If they knew who we were, we’d be dead already.

Well, here they come.

What’s your plan? Just put your mask on.

Remember, we’re on the same team.

Just wave and smile.

Just wave and smile.

What’s that signal? What’s he saying?

No idea. I have no idea what he’s saying.

[Rooster] What about that one? Any idea? No, never seen that one either.

Oh, shit. His wing man is moving into weapons envelope.

All right, listen up.

When I tell you, you grab those rings above your head.

That’s the ejection handle.

[Rooster] Mav, can we outrun these guys?

Not their missiles and guns.

Then it’s a dogfight.

An f-14 against fifth-gen fighters?

It’s not the plane, it’s the pilot.

You’d go after ’em if I wasn’t here.

But you are here.

Come on, Mav.

Don’t think.

Just do.

[Grunts]

Tell me when you see smoke in the air.

[Target lock beeps]

Smoke in the air! Smoke in the air! Hang on.

Yeah, Mav! Splash one! Splash one!

[Target lock beeps]

Here comes another one. [Grunts]

Rooster, flares! Now, now, now!

Splitting the throttles.

Coming around.

Give me tone, give me tone. [Target lock beeps]

You got him, Mav! You got him! Taking the shot.

What the…

Holy shit! What the fuck was that?

Hang on. We gotta get low.

The terrain will confuse his targeting system.

Here he comes!

[Beeping]

[Grunts]

Talk to me, rooster. Where is he?

[Rooster] He’s still on us!

We took a hit! We took a hit! Damn it!

Come on, Mav. Do some of that pilot shit. Brace yourself.

[Grunts]

[Groans]

Holy shit.

[Target lock beeping] I got tone. Taking the shot.

Damn it!

Out of missiles. Switching to guns.

Come on, Mav, come on.

You got him, Mav! It’s not over yet.

One last chance. You can do this.

[Maverick] Come on, Maverick.

[Alarm blaring]

Yes! Splash two!

[Breathes heavily]

[Beeping]

Mav, I got the radio on. Outstanding.

Get us in touch with the boat. Copy that.

[Alarm blaring]

Oh, my god.

Where the hell is this guy?

He’s on our nose.

[Clicking] Damn it, we’re out of ammo.

Smoke in the air! Rooster, flares!

That was close.

We’re out of flares, Mav.

Shit, he’s already on us.

[Groans] This is not good.

[Grunts, panting]

We took another hit! No, no, no, no, no!

We can’t take much more of this.

We can’t outrun this guy. We got to eject.

What? We need altitude.

Pull the ejection handles the second I tell you.

Mav, wait! Rooster, there’s no other way.

Eject, eject, eject!

[Grunting] Rooster, pull the handle! Eject!

It’s not working!

[Beeping]

Mav! [Breathing heavily]

[Whispers] I’m sorry.

I’m sorry, goose.

[Target lock beeps]

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

This is your savior speaking.

Please fasten your seat belts, return your tray tables to their locked and upright positions…

[Laughs]

And prepare for landing.

Hey, Hangman, you look good.

I am good, rooster. I’m very good.

I’ll see you back on deck.

[Breathing heavily]

Maverick is downwind. No front landing gear.

No tail hook. Pull the cable and raise the barricade.

Foul deck! Foul deck! Raise the barricade!

Go!

Please don’t tell me we lost an engine.

All right, I won’t tell you that. Okay.

[Panting]

You good?

Yeah. I’m good.

[Cheering]

Chalked yourself another kill. That makes two.

Mav has five.

Makes him an ace.

Captain Mitchell! Captain Mitchell!

Sir.

Thank you for saving my life.

It’s what my dad would’ve done.

Hey, Mav.

Jimmy.

Is, uh…

Is penny around?

Uh, she took Amelia on a sailing trip.

Did she say when she’d be back?

[Jimmy] You know, she didn’t.

Can I get you anything?

Get in there.

[“Hold my hand” playing]

♪ Hold my hand ♪

♪ everything will be okay ♪

♪ I heard from the heavens that clouds have been gray ♪

♪ hold me close ♪

♪ wrap me in your aching arms ♪

♪ I see that you’re hurtin’ ♪

♪ why’d you take so long ♪

♪ to tell me you need me? ♪

♪ I see that you’re bleeding ♪

♪ you don’t need to show me again ♪

♪ but if you decide to ♪

♪ I’ll ride in this life with you ♪

♪ I won’t let go till the end ♪

♪ so cry tonight ♪

♪ but don’t you let go of my hand ♪

♪ you can cry every last tear ♪

♪ I won’t leave till I understand ♪

♪ promise me just hold my hand ♪

♪ Hold my hand, hold my ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my hand ♪

♪ I’ll be right here hold my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my hand ♪

♪ I’ll be right here hold my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand ♪

♪ my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my hand ♪

♪ hold my hand, hold my hand ♪

♪ I heard from the heavens ♪

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