When you think of films of the 1980s “Top Gun” is certainly one of the first that comes to mind. Tom Cruise’s star shone even brighter after this film that was cooler than cool…at the time. He jumped from an up-and-comer to an A-list star. The brown leather bomber jacket, the high profile soundtrack, the Ray Ban sunglasses, and the death defying flying done all hit the ‘danger zone’ with the youth of the time. Only an actor of such cockiness as Tom Cruise could have pulled off this film/role. We needed his brashness in order to swallow the paper thin story. Though it pains me to admit the choice of Cruise was spot on for this role. We also get introduced to Meg Ryan, Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, Val Kilmer and Adrian Pasdar in this film.
I am sure there was a severe spike in the amount of men who tried to enlist in the Navy pilot program after this film came out. What director Tony Scott (True Romance, Crimson Tide) is good at is making films that are popular with the masses. He is not looking to make ‘art’ he is putting pure entertainment on film. Most critics will hate this film, but the public loved it and they are truly whose opinion counts. Critics hated the film because of its jingoism, excess and in your face Americanism, but Scott purposely used these tricks in order to get the viewer involved in the film. All this made “Top Gun” the highest grossing film of the year (1986) at the box office. What loyal American citizen could in all good consciousness turn their back on what this film represented? Yes, the entire movie is one cliché after another, but, hey, cheesy can be fun. So sit back, pop some popcorn, don’t overanalyze, and allow yourself to be transported back to the crazy 1980s.
Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise – Mission:Impossible, All the Right Moves) is training to be a Navy pilot and amongst all the other pilots in this prestigious post, Mitchell is looking to be number one. Much to his surprise, a woman he had hit on previously turns out to be his flight instructor. This does not stop Maverick from hitting on her. Charlie (Kelly McGillis – Witness, The Accused) initially resists but eventually succumbs to Mavericks advances. Not everyone is taken in by Maverick’s confident ways as fellow pilot Iceman (Val Kilmer – Batman Forever, Heat) thinks he is the top pilot and that Maverick is in the way of his path to glory. Circumstances will force the two to work together towards the same goal, but we all will hold our breath wondering if it possible.
- Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun (six-part documentary)
- Multi-Angle Storyboards with optional commentary by Tony Scott
- Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun
- Music Videos:
- Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
- Berlin – “Take My Breath Away”
- Loverboy – “Heaven In Your Eyes”
- Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens – “Top Gun Anthem”
- TV Spots
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Survival Training Featurette
- Tom Cruise Interviews