After recently reading news of a ‘Top Gun’ sequel, I thought that it would be interesting to watch the 1986 original once more. My memory of the film was quite vague. I remember that there were air-combats, a nice soundtrack and a lot of testosterone.
Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Tim Robins, Anthony Edwards and a great range of handsome men dressed in uniforms play the best of the best in the U.S. Navy Air force. The plot is as simple as it gets. The top ranked aviators of Navy Air Force are sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School – intending to be trained and become the best fighter pilots in the country. In their daily routine they practice air combat – while they are taught aerodynamics and tactics regarding how to fly and fight better.
When Maverick (Tom Cruise) attends with his co-pilot Goose (Anthony Edwards), they want to prove how good they are, while dealing with the other aviators’ attitude – a gang of men, full of arrogance, egotism, pride and stubbornness who struggle for the prestigious title of best naval aviator and the honor that comes with it. Maverick has the right characteristics to fill his role: honesty, bravery, loyalty, good looks and with the ghost of his father’s memory hanging over his own reputation.
‘Top Gun‘ is a film that has all the necessary elements of its era. In the mid-eighties, touching on the cold war was still both relevant and important while the war in Vietnam had taken its toll. Fighting is an essential part of the whole movie. The main theme of the never-give-up spirit along with always-give-the-good-fight enriches the pure martial approach of a film like this and successfully transforms it into a movie that is fun and enjoyable to watch.
Directed by Tony Scott and written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., ‘Top Gun’ manages to be more than just an action movie. Before the viewer gets bored, the romance kicks in and twists things around a bit. Obviously there are the necessary bittersweet moments and a predictable tragedy just to remind you how difficult and dangerous a job it is to serve in the Army.
‘Top Gun‘ is not a must-see. But it was a break-through in the eighties and managed to get a few Oscar nominations. What is perhaps more interesting about it is how it created an entire trend upon its release. Thanks to the film, Ray-Ban aviator style sunglasses started appearing everywhere, while men wondered around with their jeans, white tops and bomber jackets. The soundtrack of the movie won an Oscar for best music and ‘Take My Breath Away’ became a huge success.
‘Top Gun‘ is still considered a classic film, not for its quality but for the fact that it represents an era.