By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Four Beers) –
When an act of bravery simultaneously impresses and angers his commander, Fighter Pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) and copilot Goose (Anthony Edwards) are assigned to attend Top Gun, a school for pilots to hone their arrogance skills. Here Maverick hangs around bars, falls in love with his instructor (Kelly McGillis), flies jet planes set to Kenny Loggins music, and rage fucks Val Kilmer in the shower room.
Director Tony Scott was an expert at the action scene, and Top Gun‘s are stellar. He teamed up with real U.S. Navy Pilots to shoot the flying sequences, resulting in unprecedented footage that is unthinkable today (CGI having long since replace fun). I give Scott a lot of credit for this, as he brings his distinctive style to this movie. The tropes started with Top Gun continue to be carried over into action and sports movies today.
The romantic subplot was poorly written and clichéd. Actress Kelly McGillis seems lost in trying to play a love interest to Tom Cruise. It isn’t totally her fault, the dialog is less “cinematic” and more “daytime soap opera” in quality. Her character seems shoehorned into the plot in order to keep the film from being, well…
I have a feeling that the screenwriters had a bet going that they could make a fill a movie with unsubtle gay references and metaphor, and it would still be a hit in the Red States. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with gayness (especially in the Navy), but when you also throw in a Romantic subplot with a female character, it feels like the filmmakers are just being indecisive.
The film’s “real” romance
After a major accident, Tom Cruise is put before a board of inquiry who clears him of any wrong doing. And Cruise manages to graduate on time, with his other classmates. Mind you, this occurs right after a scene where the narration states there are two weeks left till graduation. Am I the only one who wondered about the timeframe here? The Top Gun program is nine weeks long total. Did the U.S. Navy manage to review the wreckage, set up and complete a hearing in less than two weeks? Was 1980’s Bureaucracy that efficient?
Passable entertainment in the 80s, failing to make the cut by today’s standards.
Take a Drink: for Kenny Loggins music
Take a Drink: pick a pilot Call Sign, and drink any time it is used (Maverick, Goose, Iceman, Viper etc.)
Pour one out: for Goose… the film’s only 3-dimensional character