Top Gun (1986) Poster

(1986)

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TOP GUN rocks, plain and simple
Artdoag25 August 2003
I can't believe the reviews I have read about Top Gun being technically inaccurate, not enough character development, an overall simple and childish plot... gimme a freegin' break! This film was made to look cool, sound cool, and define cool. Yeah, okay, the MiG-28s are really F-5 Tigers; I've read the 'goofs' section before. And Tom Cruise's height. And about 'Maverick going supersonic - I'll be there in 30 seconds,' and the laws of physics preventing him from covering 200 or so miles from the carrier in that time. Whatever! So what! If Top Gun had tried to be accurate and true-to-life in every respect, it would have been some oh-so-serious flick like Courage Under Fire. Here's some examples of what I mean:

1 - what's the best way to evade cannon fire? Do a snazzy barrel roll. Problem solved!

2 - the MiG pilots have tinted visors. The good guys don't. Go figure.

2.5 - Russian planes are actually grey or green. The MiG 28s are black. The Tomcats are... yeah, you guessed it... white! Good vs. Evil.

3 - Modern air-to-air combat is usually fought at distances of tens of miles between aircraft. Top Gun uses much cooler spitting-distance WWI era tactics.

4 - "It's too close for missiles. I'm switching to guns!" Enough said.

5 - the generic guy carrying coffee who gets knocked over by the fuming air-control officer. We never see him get up. Classic.

6 - even the edited TV version is a few steps above normal-cool. "... you'll be flying a cargo plane [edit]... out of Hong Kong!"

7 - the way Iceman says, "Mayday, Mav's in trouble. He's in a flat spin, and heading out to sea."

8 - the graceful way Top Gun maintained a PG rating, without using the F-word once.

Top Gun came out in 1986. That's 1986. Seventeen years ago. It rocked then... it rocks now. Just watch it and have some fun.
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And all the Air Force got was "Iron Eagle" .....
ericjg6233 November 2002
If there's ever proof of the cachet of Naval Aviation, this is it. Those poor Air Force guys got a trio of "Iron Eagle" flicks that went from bad to horrible, whereas the Navy flyboys got this great 1980's classic. Sure, it's cheesy and corny, but it makes the cheese and corn taste pretty damn good. A cynic might argue that it's just a two hour long Navy recruiting ad (one that worked for me, two years later I found my ass in Pensacola sweating through AOCS, short for Aviation Officer Candidate School, the program immortalized in "An Officer and a Gentleman") but by making a pro-Navy movie, the filmmakers also got invaluable technical assistance from top Navy aviators, and it shows.

For starters, although this movie takes numerous liberties in order to entertain, the basic setup, in which fighter pilots from the fleet get sent to NAS Miramar, aka, "Top Gun" for intensive training, is 100% accurate. The Navy, back during Vietnam, was getting sick of losing too many pilots in air-to-air combat. The problem, they discovered, was their fighter jocks had been trained for purely long-range missile interceptions, meaning they'd lost their dogfighting skills. And, in Vietnam, several American planes were accidentally shot down by their own side by missiles, so, as a safety factor, enemy planes had to be visually identified, meaning American pilots were back to engaging the enemy at short range, hence the need for dogfighting. The "Top Gun" school was started as a result, and the rest is history.

Now, back to the movie. Tom Cruise is Maverick, a hotshot pilot but also somewhat unstable. If "Risky Business" launched his career as a movie star, then "Top Gun" cemented it. Guys wanted to be like him, and women of course lusted after him. The plot is pure formula, but executed with consummate professionalism. The team who put this movie together knew exactly how to push all the right buttons. But the crème de la crème is surely the flying. I don't think that any movie, before or since, has ever rendered air combat in a more convincing and dramatic fashion. For nearly 100 years fighter pilots have been the modern equivalent of olden knights, men who brought a sense of glamour and romance to the deadly art of war, and this movie gives them a fitting tribute.

8/10
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9/10
I always liked a bit of cheddar
punkmacinally30 April 2004
Absolute cheese on a stick, but Top Gun proves that that's not always a bad thing. This movie's got everything - an arrogant prodigy who'd be out on his arse if he wasn't so good, a sensible, uglier best friend, a love interest (although she's a bit of a mess), an arch nemesis and his dumb sidekick, a few cool high fives and catchphrases, an emotional death scene, a euphoric victory scene and of course, some unforgettable action scenes. What more could any red-blooded child of the eighties ask for!? And anyone born around 1980 will remember how everyone was doing that double high five and saying 'talk to me, goose' to the kid next to them in class. Certainly one of my all time favourites.
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7/10
One Of The 'Coolest' Movies Ever
nathey0411 January 2007
Top gun, loved and loathed by many alike. The film that launched Tom Cruise's career. I'm a student and watching Top Gun for me is an amazing uplifting experience. A 'feel good' movie that could lift the worse of moods.

The film executes cheese to perfection, yes there are some silly lines but there are some real good ones too! The aerial action sequences are truly amazing, and for 1986 nothing short of magnificent.

The reason why Top Gun appeals to me...Imagine yourself on a Saturday night, not painting the town red staying in for the night. You have your few cans of Budweiser, your nachos what more could you ask for.

From the amazing flight sequences, Mavericks motorbike, trashy romance and to the cool 80's soundtrack. Top Gun should be taken for what it is. An entertaining Film.
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Classic 80's movie: Tom Cruise at his best
GRL66619 January 2002
The fact that people are still writing about this film 15yrs after it was first released (and I'm not just talking about me!) really says a lot. I was dubious about writing a comment, seeing as it really has been ages since it was released and thinking that most people who wanted to see it probably already have. After recently watching it for the umpteenth time on TV, I felt compelled to write a quickie ;) I have to say, it's the first time I looked up Top Gun on the imdb and I was actually quite surprised that it only received a 6.4 rating. If you haven't seen the movie yet, don't judge it by the ratings, read a few user comments first and just rent it out, I guarantee you'll have a good time, especially with its amazing soundtrack! The best 80's songs ever written, I still get chills down my back listening to them ;) It's a simple plot but there's something about it that makes it a seriously enjoyable film and one you can watch time and time again. Go have fun! Enjoy!
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9/10
Beautifully fake
scott.west30 May 2000
There is a school of thought that says all movies should be compared on an absolute scale. It would say that movies must have a high level of credibility or familiarity in order to be "good" movies. People who fall into this category simply should not watch Top Gun. They won't enjoy it. Other people take the opposite, but no more valid approach of looking a each movie individually, disregarding all else but the movie. For these people, no outside reality or credibility is important, because for them, a movie exists to entertain in whatever way it chooses to. These people would enjoy Top Gun very much. It is extremely doubtful that the producers ever even considered making Top Gun as a portrait of a fighter pilot's life, and this is why it is entertaining. It is a rare type of movie, one that no one dares to make today, one that not only transcends reality, but wears it as a mask into the world of fantasy. Everything from the wild dogfights to the fake love to the over the top glamorized (or should I say canonized) characters lets you know that this is a good old American hero drama. That is why it is a horrible and fraudulent portrait of reality, and that is why I love it.
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6/10
Entertaining no brainer
Lt_Coffey_1823 November 2005
Top Gun is a high quality, visually stunning film that does all it can to take your breath away. It is the excellently choreographed dog fights that remain in the mind longer than anything as they are high octane, dazzling bursts of excitement which bring the film to life. However, fighter jet sequences do not make a film and it is the plot where Top Gun has some occasional problems.

Parts of the story are overly cheesy and clichéd. The proud to be American theme is dire, repetitive and anyone who dislikes over patriotism in films will despise this. The story line involving Tom Cruise and Tom Skerrit approaches boredom and is the pinnacle of Top Gun's cheese. 'Cheese' is OK, as long as it is not serious and that is where that specific story line falls flat. The fun cheesy parts are some of the films best moments. The volleyball scene is truly a classic and the four actors involved are genuinely enjoying themselves. The relationship between Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards is also very moving at times and the dynamic they have makes for great viewing.

The acting is what saves Top Gun from being Tinsel town garbage. Tom Cruise launched his career with this film. His cocky smile makes him perfect for this role and Cruise does fantastically at portraying a determined, passionate character. It is the emotional scenes where Cruise really sets himself apart from his peers. Cruise provides the few scenes where the audience are made to feel any emotion and he carries out his responsibility creditably. Anthony Edwards as Goose is also effective as the man who takes second spot to Cruise's Maverick. He is instantly popular with the audience with his wit, humour and charm. Val Kilmer and Rick Rossovich are great as the rivals. They play off each other really well and do a fantastic job to personify arrogance. Michael Ironside does what he does best and once again, manages to go through a whole film without smiling.

The story between Cruise and Kelly McGillis is very romantic and sensual. The heat between them is conveyed very well on screen and it is this that sets Top Gun above films such as Iron Eagle and Chuck Norris films.

Berlin's 'Take My Breath Away' is a song that still gets a good deal of airplay and suits this film to perfection; it's cheesy and its 80s. The music is very effective at setting the mood and complements the feel of the film.

Top Gun is a film that achieves its objectives, to entertain. If you're looking for intelligent writing or mass thought provocation, this film isn't for you. Top Gun is best suited to those who desire to switch off their brain and enjoy.
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9/10
"I Feel The Need, The Need For Speed"
bkoganbing9 January 2008
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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Polished and heartfelt
neilanderson30 July 2002
Top Gun is undoubtedly one of my favourite films, and one of those that has the ability to keep enthralling you even while watching for the tenth time. Director Tony Scott was chosen after the producers saw his work in advertising, and true to their judgement he has produced a visual masterpiece. It looks simply gorgeous, and the live action sequences have never been bettered. If there is one flaw in the film it is that it is somewhat shallow, with all of the people behind the film (and Tom Cruise) rather better at making visual spectaculars than an engaging story. However the story does work well in drawing you into the world of Maverick and his fellow naval aviators, Cruise forms an excellent rapport with Anthony Edwards as Goose, and the dialogue is snappy and eminently quotable. Everyone has at some stage used Maverick's line - "I couls tell you, but then I'd have to kill you", and the cover of the Righteous Brothers is unforgettable. The film is backed by one of the best soundtracks of the decade, and a very strong supporting cast. In my opinion, the film succeeds in everything it sets out to achieve. A cracking script, a gripping story, and simply stunning aerial photography. You have to see this film.
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8/10
The piece of crap that happened to be one of my favorite movies......ever!
Mahmoud Ahmad4 January 2015
To start, I watched thousands of movies, literally (The Godfather, Goodfellas, etc..). And from my perspective, Top Gun is an average popcorn flick. The plot is as cheesy as any movie. After you watch the movie for a while, the story will fade but something else will stick with you. That thing is what forced me to give this movie a 9/10. What is that thing? Well, the feel of the movie, the mode. The 80s fresh air. And the beautiful soundtrack. These things overcome all the flaws in this all-flawed movie. This is the weirdest review I have ever wrote, but it's true. You will like and detest this movie at the same time. The question is: what feeling will you choose? To conclude, this is a really terrible movie but one of my favorites. Give it a chance (on a big screen) and you won't be disappointed or will you?
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9/10
A film that holds a special place in my heart.
Rusty Ammerman30 May 2005
The following is an excerpt from a non-fiction story I wrote entitled "Eighteen Years from Olean." Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved.

The set up is that I'm 18 years old, and about one week after my graduation from High School. I've been having a one year, long distance romance with a girl named Tammy. I've driven 500 miles to surprise her, and here's what we did the first night I arrived…

Chapter 11 The Castle Cinema; Olean, New York; Summer 1986

We came back to her place, had dinner with her mom—I don't remember anyone else being there—and Tammy suggested that we see a movie. There was a new film playing in town that she really wanted to see and asked me if I would take her. Of course I would.

The local two screen cinema was called The Castle, and my memory tells me that it was—not surprisingly—built like a castle, with spires, and uneven brick around the top like Jack-O-Lantern teeth. She told me the name of the movie and I distinctly remember thinking what a stupid title. It sounded like a cheesy cowboy movie. I had not heard of it—it was very new—and was certain that it was going to suck. I despised westerns. But I would try to suffer through this horrible movie for her sake, knowing full and well that I would hate it.

The film was Top Gun.

Boy was I wrong.

Top Gun was the paradigm of 80's cinema. By that I mean it was a high-octane action/adventure film with a script filled with campy dialog, and a thin, formulaic plot that was driven by a kick-ass soundtrack. It was common of the motion pictures during that decade for the music to be the star; one long rock video, like the ones we watched on that new network MTV (back when they actually played videos).

I'm only a little embarrassed to tell you that Top Gun changed my life. I had already started skydiving by then and the visuals of aviation and the attitude of the pilots drew me in. I saw that movie not less than ten times while it was still playing in theaters, and countless times since on video and DVD. Even now I know every line by heart. It was the script for my generation, introducing such phrases as "Talk to me Goose," "It's time to buzz the tower", "Let's turn and burn", "call the ball" and "I feel the need…the need for speed." Obviously I wasn't the only one infatuated with this movie. Top Gun was the winner of the People's Choice Award for 1986, nominated for four Academy Awards (winning one), catapulting six of its songs to Billboard's Top 10, and, oh yeah, it grossed three-hundred million dollars world-wide. It was a popular film. On a practical note, my repeated viewings of Top Gun in theaters taught me an invaluable lesson about performance.

Throughout my time in theater, mostly plays, we were always told that there is no bad audience, only a bad performance. That's a lie.

A film doesn't change from performance to performance. Every line is delivered exactly the same way, with the same timing and the same inflection. The performance give by the actors is identical each time it's viewed; exactly as it was the instant it was captured on film. Yet, I noticed that each time I saw Top Gun in a cinema, the audience reacted differently.

Sometimes they would laugh at the humorous parts, other times not. A few times they cheered when Maverick shot the last MIG, and once or twice they actually chuckled when Goose hit his head on the canopy, breaking his neck. The live people in the audience never, in fact, responded the same way at any two showings of the film. Now since the movie changed not one iota, I came to the conclusion that there are indeed bad audiences.

On occasion, when I have a show that tanks, I reminded myself of the Top Gun rule, and it brings me comfort.

Sometimes.
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10/10
If you feel the need, the need for speed, Top Gun is what you need!
Oneman Andhisbike1 January 2016
A Legend in it's own time.

Timeless classic.

Really does get better with age.

Yep, all of the above are true and many more platitudes that are bandied about or discussed when this film is mentioned. I struggle to grasp why this has a sub 7 rating on here, especially considering some of the dire films that have been rated 9 or above on IMDb, this film deserves a much higher rating.

It's a great night in with "pizza and popcorn" movie, more fun if everyone has seen it before so you can play the Top Gun quote game. I'd love to see this on the big screen with the full sound system to hear the big adrenaline rush that comes with hearing the jets screaming around and the music pumping. Even though I happily watch it at home of a 40 inch TV with a 5.1 PC audio system which isn't exactly lacking in power or effect...

It's a fun if somewhat cheesy 80's film that is of course a formula film that was repeated several times (Especially with Tom Cruise starring in them!) with a soundtrack that is still as good today as it was in the late 80's when this film came out. The plot may be paper thin but the action, the music and the quotability and great fun of the film is what makes it so much fun to watch and gives it massive replay value.

It's fast paced action sequences and aerial cinematography are top notch, simply breathtaking and stunning for the most. The drama of the shooting is the backbone of this film, the adrenaline it can induce is spectacular and some of the shots are simply haunting.

The humour is laugh out loud funny and it featured some bloody good looking men and great looking women so the eye candy is never far away. The film has very few lulls and the action is never far away. It has emotion and feeling but always gets back into the Danger Zone pretty quick with characters that are likable and fun to watch. The casting was very well done and you can sense that the cast and crew must have had a riot while making this film (With The exception of Iceman/Val Kilmer, who actually kept himself apart from the crew for the most to allow for his character to be felt as a true outsider.)

As may be apparent I'm a Top Gun fan, have been since I first watched this film, I was gripped from the opening chimes of the epic Top Gun theme followed by that big haired 80's guitar riff and the initial sounds of engines winding up as the steam drifts across the deck of the aircraft carrier. I'm a firm believer that if this film doesn't get your stuff going at some point, your stuff is broken. It's not a film to be taken seriously, it's meant to be enjoyed with friends and laughed along with.

The film may have a few plot holes, there are about a million goofs, it spawned more than a handful of web sites to point out all the goofs and flaws in the film, dialogue and all other things Top Gun related but it's got a fan base the size of a massive army and for a reason, it's just a good movie because of all that.

The soundtrack and aerial footage really are the stars of this film, even though the cast was pretty huge, the Director Tony Scott really went all in and made a huge effort with Top Gun (Even at his own personal expense considering he ended up hiring a US Aircraft carrier to get a shot just how he wanted!)

It's just one of those films if you like it, whenever it is on, you can sit down and watch it no matter where you walked in, or turned over and found it was on. It's like a really comfortable pair of slippers that always feel good to slip on when you get the chance. I often wish I could turn back the clock to being a teenager again to watch it for the first time all over again and get the chills down my spine as each action sequence gears up; the rush as the roar of the F-14 engines scream and howl. I envy the people who have not seen this film as they have experience the roller-coaster ride that this film can offer.

It's funny as I was inspired to come write this review after meeting someone the other week who had not seen Top Gun, which for me has been a rare experience. In fact I don't know many people who do not own either a copy if the VHS or a DVD of Top Gun, and most of my friends have the OST in their music collection or the larger part of it as Singles/MP3's.

If you have not seen it, get on ebay or Amazon or wherever, spend a few quid and buy a copy, get some friends around for the night, snag some beer, popcorn, pizza or tofu if that floats your boat and have a great night in. If you don't take it too seriously you should have a good night.

If you have seen it and enjoyed it, get on here and give it some love and vote it up, if only to get it ranked above a lot of the rubbish ranked highly.

It's also worth watching the DVD extras/Making of Top Gun if you liked the film as it's pretty interesting stuff and very funny in parts, as some of the trivia about the film is fascinating.
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Jerry Bruckheimer delivers again.
witheld5 June 2002
Jerry Bruckheimer; the name strikes fear into my heart.

The man honestly cannot tell the difference between action and boredom. With him its hit or miss.

In this case, hit.

Big hit.

Tom Cruise's performance is stellar, playing a role that he would end up playing again and again as the overconfident 'Maverick' who eventually learns his lesson. And a ham-handed lesson it is, hammered home in the end by his constant "I'm not leaving my wingman!" yell.

Val Kilmer shines...heck, the whole supporting cast shines! Meg Ryan, Anthony Edwards, Rim Robbins, Micheal Ironsides, Skerrit--they all come through beautifully. The action scenes are some of the best aerial shots ever shot.

On to the complaints.

Jerry Bruckheimer loads the sap on with a cement truck, nearly drowning this movie in it. The dialogue is corny. Basically--the very things that made the entire movie 'Armageddon' horrible mar the corners of Top Gun. The ending is worse than corny; it's a clear case of deus ex machina. A very clear case. The deus almost knocked me out of my seat.

A satisfying movie, altogether. Four out of five stars.
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1/10
Dated US Navy Recruitment Flick
j30bell20 December 2004
Made when Ridley Scott still made good films and Tony Scott made, well, Tony Scott films - this one is based on the premise that a rampantly jingoistic aeroplane flick won't need add-on extras like a plot, characterisation or good dialogue.

Having dated rather less well than Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction, Top Gun remains problematic. Well toned, well oiled men wander semi-naked around the set while Jeffrey Kimball's camera lingers with lascivious attention on every protruding pectoral. Men like Goose and Slider sit behind Maverick and Iceman. Was the, presumably bored, scriptwriter having a laugh at the expense of a homophobic US military? I'm an optimist; I like to think so.

The "plot" centres on a pilot, scarred by the shabby treatment his father received at the hands of the military. Logically he would become an investigative journalist or something; try to clear his old pa's name. But then this is a Tony Scott film, a medium which logic has traditionally given a wide berth. Instead he becomes (surprise) a pilot, and tries to prove the old boy's innocence in a kind of modernist's trial by ordeal. During this quest he loses his tail gunner (ahem, navigator), forms a new and lasting relationship and even experiments briefly with heterosexuality.

The dialogue uses a device common to many modern books/films (c.f. Outbreak, John Grisham novels) - the guttural gruntings of the characters being liberally interspersed with technical jargon, thus relieving the writer of anything more challenging than regurgitating a textbook. Happily this also removes any feeling of nagging unease the audience could feel if confronted with long words they might be expected to know.

Nice flight sequences though, and rather like Microsoft Word, which has just tried to replace my use of "less well" with "fewer wells" - Top Gun can be, at times, unintentionally hilarious.
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6/10
"I feel the need - the need for speed!"
I B1 August 2010
Top Gun is a big piece of 1980s cheese. Definitely a Hollywood product, it was however very successful at the box office. The success is mostly due to the action and to Tom Cruise and his winning smile. The aerial combat shown in Top Gun is exciting, but it's not always logical or consistent (shooting down Soviet fighter planes would result in war in real life). What makes it better is the film's soundtrack. Catchy upbeat rock & pop songs back the action and the romance on screen. That's pretty much the film's appeal. There are plenty of faults, but in the end it's entertaining and makes one feel good. The fighter pilot life seems so appealing in Top Gun that registrations to join the navy in the USA went up significantly after the film was released. According to the film in order to become one of the top fighter pilots in America you have to be a) a male b) have an attitude c) be good-looking d) be a good fighter pilot. Oh, and you have to believe that America is always on the side of good. Come to think of it, was there even a brunette in the film? It seemed to me like all the women were blondes. Yeah, but at least the dogfights are some of the best in film history. There's no Top Gun program in reality though. Still, while you're there "playing with the boys" you feel cool and like you belong. Val Kilmer makes an impression, but it turns out he didn't want to be in the film. He had to play the role of Tom "Iceman" Kazansky because of contract obligations. Top Gun is not a bad film. Even if everything in it is by the numbers it's still a notable 1980s flick (in my opinion "Take My Breath Away" is an annoying and corny song). The film is bright, it's action-packed, it's sometimes touching, it's at times funny. I recommend it.
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2/10
Spectacular looking, but emotionally lifeless and intellectually vacant
mnpollio21 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There were a number of great films that came out in the 1980s, but Top Gun nearly single-handedly stigmatized that era as being one of utter crap. Released in 1986, the film was a massive blockbuster, but aside from marveling over its technicalities and surface glitz, it is a near indefensible film, even as far as popcorn summer flicks go.

The plot – if one chooses to lavish such a description on it – basically focuses on a group of crème de la crème aerial fighter pilots who attend an elite flight school in California and compete to see who will be Top Gun.

So much for the plot! The focal character is a cocky, swaggering air jockey named Maverick, played with exuberant arrogance by Tom Cruise. All of the pilots spend their days either doing absurdly risky aerial acrobatics or preening around like peacocks displaying their plumage. Maverick functions as a veritable checklist of clichés for the modern action hero. His dead father was a pilot legend, but with a cloud hanging over him, which gives Maverick major daddy issues. The new adviser at the school just happens to be Kelly McGillis, the sexy woman that Maverick tried to pick up at the local bar the evening before with an embarrassing Righteous Brothers serenade (only the film seems to think it is charming!). Maverick's best friend is a pre-ER Anthony Edwards, who is a funny and sensitive family man married to ditzy Meg Ryan. And given that he is stuck with the nickname of Goose when all the other guys have coy macho nicknames like Iceman, Wolfman and Viper, you get the correct impression that this will be the film's sacrificial lamb to give Maverick his crisis in swaggering. Maverick also has a rivalry with another flyer, played by Val Kilmer, but since that plot thread is forgotten almost as soon as it is introduced, it seems pointless to comment on it.

The film has been rightfully accused of heralding in the era of ADHD-action filmmaking, drowning in jingoism, featuring blatant homoeroticism and being little more than a feature length music video. The fact that there is some truth to all of those accusations may make the film seem like great dumb fun or a guilty pleasure, but that overlooks the fact that it is mind-deadeningly tedious.

Director Tony Scott provides slick direction and the cinematography is spectacular, but nothing can detract from the fact that the film is emotionally lifeless and intellectually vacant. There are literally entire passages that seem to be nothing more than extended music videos. The film is bookended by aerial dogfights against faceless unknown enemies. Who are they and what are their nefarious plans? The film doesn't care. This may well be the first action film ever that fails to feature either a villain or any identifiable central conflict. Which pilot will become Top Gun at the flight school? The film could also care less about that since it is treated as irrelevant. In fact, precious few things seem to matter in this morass of noise than the next flashing light, billowing flag or whizzing plane.

Bad film aficionados can laugh over the film's introduction of McGillis as our country's foremost expert aerial tactician, who has never set foot in a cockpit. Cruise and McGillis have a nonexistent sexual chemistry and spend the duration of the film lobbing their lines at each other like grenades and staring with such intensity that one fears a detached retina. Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with McGillis's acting here, but she is included in the film for only two cynical reasons. First, every action film must have "the girl". Second, because her character attests to the red-blooded heterosexuality of our leading man.

The second is apparently important because Scott often depicts the hunky pilots as sex objects. They are often parading around in tighty-whities or precariously balanced towels fresh from the shower trying to out-macho each other and filmed with the blatant sexuality of a Calvin Klein perfume commercial. One lengthy sequence depicting a volleyball game is completely pointless to the film unless it is needed to pad the time out or the film wishes to showcase the sweaty bodies of the guys in tiny shorts – you be the judge. Of course, since the film refuses to step outside of PG-rated territory lest they lose their target audience of intellectually stunted adolescents, there is no actual nudity. In truth, while all of the displays of male skin are initially enticing, like the film itself, it becomes an annoyingly empty tease after a while.

Although many have forgotten it, Cruise has demonstrated some great acting. While he is ideally iconic and definitely at his sexiest as Maverick, it becomes a thundering bore to watch him reduced to repeatedly strut across the screen with a smarmy grin plastered to his face and offer little else. Edwards turns in the film's best performance as Goose, largely because he is allowed to be affable and appealing without being saddled with the obnoxious posturing of some of the other characters. Tom Skerritt is on hand to provide a bit of maturity as a semi-mentor, but the remainder of the cast including Kilmer, John Stockwell, Tim Robbins, have literally nothing to do but function as scenery.

Arguably the film's greatest weakness is that we have no rooting interest in anything that transpires on screen. Nothing seems credible, threatening or of any urgency. The film seems placidly laid-back about everything – including its action sequences, which will fail to lift the pulse of the most non-demanding viewer. Although this has been elevated as a somewhat dubious icon of 1980s filmmaking, this may well be the first hit action film with a complete lack of humor and a dearth of any real action.
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1/10
Easily one of the worst films I've ever seen.
glassorange29 January 2002
"Top Gun" is simply one of the dumbest stories ever submitted to film. The movie lacks each and every characteristic of real entertainment that I can think of. The characters are unimaginably dull and dim-witted, the story is typical war movie crap played as a backdrop to a bunch of typical romantic crap, and the dialogue is sub-human. Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis have about as much romantic chemistry on screen as Jay and Silent Bob. None of the actors act the way real people act or talk the way real people talk.

The one thing that really killed me about "Top Gun" was the fact that the capabilities of its actors were so underestimated by director Tony Scott. Tom Cruise has easily proven himself to be one of the great American Actors of modern times, starring in "Born on the Fourth of July," "Jerry Maguire," and "Magnolia," for which he was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Meg Ryan has proven herself in "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally. . .," one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Val Kilmer didn't even want to do this movie, and who could blame him? He's done much better work in films like "Heat," "True Romance," and "Tombstone," in which he played an untouchable Doc Holliday. These are good actors trapped in a horrid film. This is typical, however, of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who brought us other cinematic duds such as "Pearl Harbor" and "Armageddon."
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10/10
Iconic Movie
TC-Batsy28 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"I feel the need, the need for speed!" Top Gun is without any doubt one of the iconic movies of the 80's and marked Tom Cruise's international stardom after Risky Business another successful picture. The late Tony Scott directed a brilliant film based on fighter pilots in the Navy who aspire to become the best of the best in this exciting action drama starring Tom as the charismatic Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and his love affair with his instructor Charlie Blackwood played by Kelly McGillis and let's not forget Tom Skerritt, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan who delivered unforgettable performances. The dogfighting scenes involving F-14A Tomcats are perfect and believable without today's visual effects, in addition to the movie's soundtrack with its great songs. Top Gun is a masterpiece movie for everybody.
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9/10
Indeed, there's no points for second best
varun_12014 March 2012
This movie was released even before I was born. Tom was also quite young in this movie. This movie was my favorite movie for a long time, it is still in my top 3 movies. In fact, this movie was responsible for Tom cruise's stardom. I heard in that year 1986, a lot of guys wanted to be pilots just because of this movie.

Top Gun is a story of pilot Pete Mitchell code name Maverick who is regarded dangerous pilot by the navy. Pete's father disappears in 1965 Vietnam war. So, his father was considered reckless pilot by everyone. Maverick knows his father was a great pilot and he didn't screw up. But still there's a stigma attached to his family name. So, Maverick always tries to endeavor very hard when he flies.

Top Gun is a film about emotion, passion and most importantly ego of Maverick. Top Gun shows all the flavors of emotions. It shows desperation of Maverick not to be second. Maverick has only one friend Goose. Goose is his family. Nobody likes Maverick, but Goose. Maverick doesn't want to risk Goose's job, by doing some unnecessary stints in the sky, but his desperation and ego to be better than others due what happened to his father, never listens to him.

Tom Cruise pulls off performance of his life in this movie. He is well complimented by Kelly Mcgillis (Charley), Val Kilmer (Iceman) and Anthony Edwards (Goose). My fad for Top Gun is such that I had Maverick as my username on my email id for years. I've sen this flick more than 50 times. I know every dialogue in this movie. This movie is a top notch and as far as movie characters are concerned, Tom Cruise will always be remembered as Maverick than any other characters he has played.
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8/10
This movie was really good!! And Tom Cruise was so HOT!!
iloveUGA12328 January 2012
This movie was surprisingly good, and I thought that it was a really good movie about Top Gun. There really is a Top Gun, and it is the best of the best, and this movie really showed the viewers that it was! I liked how there was a little bit of romance included in the movie because it made it a little bit better. Tom Cruise was the HOTTEST in this movie!!! Today he is still good looking for his age, but in this movie, there are no words to describe him!! The movie was really good, but the one thing that made it amazing was him in it!! In this movie, to me, he is hotter than Shia LaBoeuf and Alex Pettyfer (they are still really hot)! Even though he made the movie even better, overall the movie its self I would give and 8 out of 10 with or without him in it. I would definitely recommend watching this, especially if you're a girl because you will not be able to keep your eyes off of Tom Cruise!
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1/10
Bottom Gun
K-e-r-m-o-d-e24 February 2009
This film is about a man who likes to smile a lot.

One day, while smiling, he decides to join the air force. Why not? He hasn't smiled while in mid air before.

After signing up, he meets his fellow recruits and decides to smile at them. He also smiles at a sexy woman with big boobs...Nice.

While training, he subdues the nasty sergeant by smiling at him. The sergeant smiles back and everyone is happy.

The adventure takes to the air and Cruise must engage in aerial wargames with the enemy. He realises he has run out of missiles so decides to smile at his enemy, causing the enemy to crash dive to earth, exploding. All they found were his dentures.

Cruise meets the sexy girl and smiles. The End.
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The Best Of The Best
George Attwood5 August 2005
TOP GUN **** Tom Cruise plays Maverick Mitchell, an intelligent macho fighter pilot who is sent with partner Anthony Edwards to attend the elite US Flying school in California to compete for the Top Gun trophy. Most of the film is centered on Cruise while training and the climax unfolds as dramatic content is introduced into the story. What makes this film so appealing to watch is that for what Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheilmer and Don Simpson wanted to produce from the basic storyline, the film succeeds. 'Top Gun' is an entertaining coming-of-age picture that is both exciting (making the film fun to watch) and dramatic in a realistic sense (making it more balanced). The contrasting characters in the Naval Flying school adds to the film's clever edge as Cruise throttles high speed aircrafts on air and woos one of his instructors (Kelly McGillis of 'Witness') on ground.
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Pistol
tedg3 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

This film is of historical interest. It is the first engineered blockbuster focused on romanticizing the gizmos of war as toys. Post Tom Clancy. It marks the turning point of Tom Cruise from a promising actor with controlled energy in `Color of Money' to a strutting mugger.

It marks the first major screen debut of Meg Ryan, establishing her formula. So too with Val Kilmer, but both of those are mere celebrities rather than actors. Here also is Robbins who would turn into a fine actor.

It is the event that got the Department of Defense re-energized about the effectiveness of Hollywood.

But most of all, this film marks the switch between Ridley and Tony. Tony was expected to be the one to make intelligent films. Ridley had made two very impressive scifi films, but these were notable for their art direction. The money was on Ridley to fade, or find a commercial niche like Cameron. But things turned out the reverse. Tony has been making this same film over and over, each version more snappy, swoopy and gizmo-laden than the last.
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Interesting to see this long after release as a kind of artifact
rzajac23 August 2003
Very interesting. A sort of romance-tinged shill for the military-industrial complex! Quite "period" and Reaganesque.

Pardon if you think I'm a spoilsport by not falling over backward to let the love story just sort of wash over me, but I can't help but think this movie was designed "to specifications" to rewire our emotion response centers, teaching us to confuse romantic boy-girl love with machine love. Top Gun is a sort of guy flick disguised as a chick flick: It has the sexy 30-million dollar weapon systems--really the ultimate tech orgasm--with a sexy girl Pentagon weapon systems analyst injected into the story. The sparks fly and both the gals and guys in the audience get all hot and bothered, while thinking that the other is getting hot and bothered for the same reason they are. Little do they know!

Some good writing, some good deliveries. The cinematography and editing is astonishing!

I highly recommend this movie in conjunction with reflections about the period in which it was released. Star Wars (SDI, not the movie) was still being debated, The USSR was still a few years from dissolution, and U.S. power desperately needed it's "citizens" to be emotionally attached to the idea that global power issues would continue to require increasingly rarified hardware solutions, rather than political, social, or philosophical ones. If you think about these things while viewing, it will highlight the role of the supposedly "liberal" media in forwarding strangely antiprogressive agendas as they unabashedly stoop to melding these messages with deep feelings of sexual response, bringing the demands of power disturbingly (criminally?) close to home indeed.

It reminds me of something an acting teacher told our class: If you want to get out of jury duty, tell them you're an actor. If these very talented people can willingly take money to expertly deliver these kinds of messages to us, they can tell us anything--as long as the price is right.

Top Gun is the quintessential period piece from the late-20th century United States. Don't miss it, and I'm not really being facetious. If you've seen it before, check it out again with new eyes.
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3/10
Top Jerk
Lechuguilla11 May 2010
Oh what an annoying movie! Regardless of all other considerations, I just could not get past the casting of Tom Cruise, who plays "Maverick", a hotshot fighter pilot who competes with other young pilot dudes in tough, daring aerial competition at an elite pilot school to see who can be the best.

Cruise swaggers and smirks his way through the plot, all decked out in heavy-duty flight suit and shades, his boyish face, short stature, and immaturity in deportment making a mockery of what the film no doubt had intended. I found his presence in this film rather nauseating. Instead of portraying the "top gun", his character comes across more as the top jerk.

In plot and dialogue, the film could be described as a popcorn flick for kids, with lots of "action", as fighter jets blast off, roar and soar, topsy-turvy like, showing off the daring-do of their annoyingly smug aviators.

The dialogue is just as sophomoric as the plot. In one dogfight scene, a couple of pilots converse. "Okay man, let's turn and burn ... We're going ballistic man, go get 'em ... it's time to buzz the tower" ... kinda like a video game ... man.

Further, the film seems permanently time-bound in the 1980s, partly because of Tom Cruise, but also because the film's theme of jingoistic American patriotism, while cogent then, is far less cogent now.

The film does present some good visuals. The aerial shots are especially good. And costumes and production design seem credible.

Overall, this is just a typical Hollywood action movie around which a lot of media buzz was made when it came out, but now seems dated and is easily forgettable.
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