As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Code-named "Maverick", Pete Mitchell, the impetuous daredevil Navy-pilot ace, is accepted into Miramar's elite Fighter School, also known as "Top Gun". There, as the impulsive pilot competes with the best of the best, not only will he meet Charlie, the flying school's curvaceous astrophysics instructor, but also the brilliant and highly competitive fellow student, "Iceman", with whom right from the start, he will engage in a reckless contest. As Maverick is haunted by his father's mysterious death, will he be able to suppress his wild nature to win both the prestigious Top Gun Trophy and the girl?Written by
Top Gun it can be argued is the perfect Reagan Era film and is is definitely the film that cemented Tom Cruise's stardom. It's probably now the film that most people will identify him with.
Cruise plays Pete Mitchell aka Maverick who gets recommended for the Navy's elite Top Gun fighter pilot school. The best of the best train here at what they euphemistically call Fightertown, USA. The problem Tom has is he's the best and he knows it. That doesn't near and endear him to his fellow pilots.
You can add Top Gun to a list of films that goes all the way back to Task Force where the story of the development of the aircraft carrier was told, to The Bridges at Toko-Ri which was a film that told about the first jet air war in Korea. What Gary Cooper flew in Task Force and what William Holden piloted in The Bridges at Toko-Ri are as ancient to Cruise's generation as what Eddie Rickenbacker flew in the first World War was to Holden and Cooper.
One thing that has not left is that war in the air still is the glamor service because it allows a record of individual achievement. And with flying combat at the speeds they do, one has to make less than split second decisions. The men are better now than they were in the previous wars simply because they have to be.
Cruise is ably assisted by such folks as Tim Rossovich, Barry Tubb, Clarence Gilyard, Whip Hubley, and Adrian Pasdar as fellow pilots at the Top Gun school. Val Kilmer turns in a nice performance as Cruise's number one rival to be number one in the class.
Best in the film besides Tom is Anthony Edwards as his co-pilot and best friend. His death scene with Cruise is particularly poignant as is Edwards's wife Meg Ryan's scene with Tom as he breaks the news.
Romance for Cruise is provided by Kelly McGillis who certainly had her choice of hunks to fall for, but this film doe seem to make a point that women like confidence in their men even if it can be overbearing at times to those around. McGillis is a civilian instructor so the romance does not bring Tom or her under military fraternization infractions.
Top Gun is a film every bit as good as the ones I mentioned before. Tom Cruise was never more appealing on the screen. And this review is dedicated to the fighter pilots of the United States Navy, some of the best and brightest of the younger generation who are defending freedom for old codgers like me.
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