A reckless fighter pilot is assigned to an elite U.S. Navy fighter
school where students compete to be the very best in the class.
Top Gun (1986)
Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.
Starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer,
Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside,
Rick Rossovich, Barry Tubb, James Tolkan
Oscar Wins - Best Original Song (Take My Breath Away)
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound,
Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing
Top Gun is the quintessential 1980's cheeseball movie that every film connoisseur should watch at least once. From the glistening chests of the homoerotic beach volleyball scene to the clack of Val Kilmer's teeth, this film is positively ridiculous in every sense of the word. And yet, there's something to like about it that transcends the film itself. It's like we're watching a Navy pilot's fever dream. I think Top Gun falls firmly into the coveted category of "So Bad, It's Good" because no other brainless action film has a soundtrack this good.
It's safe to say everybody made their opinion of Tom Cruise a long time ago, but there's no denying his serious talent when it comes to certain roles. Unfortunately, Top Gun is not one of those. His iconic turn as Maverick is so one-note and dull that it's a wonder this is remembered as one of his best films. The supporting cast isn't any better, especially Val Kilmer in a typical "80's bad guy" role. The only one I liked was Goose (Anthony Edwards) and he got killed halfway through. The real star of the film is the aerial shots of the F-14 fighter jets. Incorporating actual jets into the film gives it a great deal more clout and helps the nonexistent story be fairly more interesting.
Top Gun may not have wowed me, but I can see why it's become such a cult favorite. It's endlessly quotable and corny as hell, but has a sort of witless charm that just makes you smile. Who doesn't get a kick out of "I feel the need - the need for speed"? I'm glad I can finally cross this film off my list, but I don't consider myself impressed. If it's your favorite movie, fine, keep on keeping on. I'm just gonna keep listening to "Danger Zone" without the gratuitous takeoff shots.