Called to Duty Review: An Uninspired and Painfully Boring Adventure

Called to Duty, directed by Ashley L. Gibson, claims to take audiences on a thrilling adventure, following a squadron of female Navy air show pilots as they find themselves thrust into combat alongside a male fighter pilot. However, beneath the shiny veneer of military aviation, this film suffers from a painfully generic and tedious plot that does little to engage or inspire. To make matters worse, “Called to Duty” shamelessly rips off Top Gun: Maverick in both content and marketing, leaving viewers with a sense of deja vu and disappointment. Starring Susannah Jane, Brandi Mosko, Cabrina Collesides, Toni Ann Gisondi, and Joseph Baena, the performances fail to elevate the lackluster material, leaving audiences yearning for something more.

The Bad:

From the opening scene, it becomes painfully evident that Called to Duty brings nothing new to the table in terms of plot. The premise of a group of talented pilots overcoming challenges and forming camaraderie in the face of adversity has been done countless times before. Regrettably, the film makes no effort to reinvent this cliché, resulting in a narrative that feels predictable and uninspired. The character arcs are disappointingly shallow, with no real growth or development throughout the film. We’re left with a group of one-dimensional characters who do little to evoke any genuine emotional investment.

Adding to the film’s lack of originality is its obvious parallel to Top Gun: Maverick. From the core concept of military aviators forming close bonds to the theme of determination and sacrifice, Called to Duty appears to be a mere copycat, without the charm or charisma of the original. Even the poster design is strikingly similar, a blatant attempt to ride on the coattails of its predecessor’s success. This lack of creativity leaves one wondering if the filmmakers had any original ideas at all or if they were merely trying to capitalize on the nostalgia of the Top Gun franchise.

While the cast does its best with the material given, their efforts cannot save the film from its inherent mediocrity. Susannah Jane, Brandi Mosko, Cabrina Collesides, Toni Ann Gisondi, and Joseph Baena all demonstrate talent, but the poorly written script provides them with limited opportunities to shine. Their interactions lack chemistry, and the dialogue feels forced, contributing to the overall lack of engagement in the film.

Furthermore, the film’s action sequences fail to impress. For a movie centered around Navy air show pilots engaging in combat, one would expect gripping and intense aerial sequences. However, the action scenes in Called to Duty feel lackluster and unconvincing, lacking the adrenaline-pumping excitement that should accompany such moments. The CGI effects are subpar, and the cinematography does little to enhance the overall visual experience. In comparison to Top Gun: Maverick, which boasts state-of-the-art aerial cinematography, Called to Duty falls woefully short.

Beyond its unoriginality and uninspired performances, Called to Duty suffers from pacing issues that make the film feel longer than necessary. Scenes drag on without adding anything substantial to the plot, making the audience feel increasingly detached from the characters and their struggles. The lack of a coherent and engaging story arc leaves the film meandering aimlessly, with no clear sense of direction or purpose.

The Good:

On a positive note, the film does attempt to highlight the accomplishments of female Navy air show pilots, shedding light on a group often underrepresented in mainstream cinema. However, this small glimmer of good intention cannot salvage the film from its overall lack of creativity and poor execution.


Called to Duty is an unoriginal and tedious film that fails to deliver on its promising premise. From a generic plot to unconvincing action sequences, the movie lacks the excitement and originality it so desperately needed. Additionally, its blatant similarity to Top Gun: Maverick only serves to highlight its lack of originality. Despite the efforts of a talented cast, Called to Duty remains an uninspired and forgettable addition to the military aviation genre. Save your time and money, and opt for a more innovative and gripping film experience instead.

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  • Acting - 2/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 1/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 1/10
  • Setting/Theme - 1/10
  • Watchability - 1/10
  • Rewatchability - 1/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.