It certainly wouldn't hurt, just to get your bearings straight. "Top Gun: Maverick" plays catch-up with the past, but focuses a lot on the relationship between Tom Cruise's Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and Miles Teller's Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw, son of Maverick's former flying partner Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards). And if you don't know or don't remember what happened to Goose (how could you forget??), yep, it's time to either watch "Top Gun" again or for the first time.
Do any familiar faces from the original show up?
Indeed. Val Kilmer plays a small but key part in the film, which proves he wasn't joking about that whole wing man thing the last time around. Kilmer, who has battled throat cancer in recent years and has relied on the assistance of a tracheostomy tube to speak, reprises his role as Tom 'Iceman' Kazansky; to say more would be to give too much away. Those holding out for a Kelly McGillis or a Meg Ryan cameo should temper those expectations, though.
Who are the new faces?
We mentioned Miles Teller who plays Rooster, Goose's son. Jennifer Connelly plays Maverick's love interest, Penny. Jon Hamm is Cyclone, who along with Ed Harris' Rear Admiral Cole is there to bust Maverick's chops and attempt to keep him in line. Among the young pilots are Glen Powell, familiar from Richard Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some!!," along with Lewis Pullman (yes, he's the son of actor Bill Pullman) and Monica Barbaro.
What's it about?
Still his own worst enemy (but a killer pilot), Maverick has had no career advancement over the last three decades. He suddenly gets the call to return to Top Gun, where he is tasked with guiding a new crew of pilots on dangerous but somewhat ambiguous mission, which will test their resolve, their teamwork and their ability to be the best.
So ... do they play beach volleyball?
Nope, it's beach football this time around, which may or may not be a low-key tip of the hat to "Point Break."
Is it worth seeing on the big screen?