Up there with the best of the best.
Clarence Gilyard Jr.
Running Time: 101 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
At Miramar, California, an elite flight school teaches Americas most chisel-jawed fighter pilots the lost art of aerial combat against no-one in particular. The Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School, but frankly thats a rubbish title for a movie, so everyone else calls it wait for it Top Gun!!! Woooooosssshhhh!!!!
Questions like who are we actually fighting against? and isnt the Navy meant to be boats? are neither here nor there as were introduced to our hero Pete Maverick Mitchell (Tom Cruise). According to one of his superiors (the brilliant James Tolkan), his egos writing cheques that his body cant cash (well, what do you expect when you allow a bloke to call himself Maverick?), but that doesnt prevent him from being enrolled into the Top Gun programme anyway. So, fasten your seatbelts and get your sickbags at the ready, as director Tony Scott takes us on a jet-propelled ride through edge-of-the-seat sky-bound jousting, laughably-bad romantic interludes, and quite possibly the most shamelessly homoerotic undertones youll find in any mainstream actioner (and thats coming from someone whos seen 2 Fast 2 Furious).
Upon watching this newly-released Special Edition version of the mid-80s mainstay, I realised Id forgotten just how largely uneventful much of the plot is. You get almost an hour into it before anything actually happens and its also around this point, incidentally, that I was growing thoroughly fed-up of repeatedly hearing Berlins Take My Breath Away on the soundtrack.
Sure, the flight scenes are terrific, but the rest of it seems more concerned with seeing just how overtly gay it can get away with being without its target audience actually noticing. The romantic hook of the thing might cling to Cruises unconvincing dalliance with pretty flight teacher Kelly McGillis, but thats always completely buried under the sea of blokes gazing longingly at one another, nudge-nudge dialogue, and bouts of topless slow-motion oiled-up volleyball while Kenny Loggins sings Playing With The Boys in the background.
Top Gun will always hold a special place in the hearts of many an 80s movie aficionado. Perhaps its because it features Cruise in one of his most iconic and memorable roles. Or maybe its because the intermittent action sequences are so expertly shot. Or it could be because and this is my preferred option it really is immensely silly. Whatever the reason for its ongoing appeal, I can only hope its not because theres anyone out there who actually thinks its any good. Because, frankly, its not.
It's Got: Bogeys all over us, MiGs dead ahead and, urm, Roger engaged.
It Needs: That lovin feeling. Ooh-er.
DVD Extras Audio commentary from Tony Scott, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and some Navy experts, a SEVEN-part documentary titled Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun, five more behind-the-scenes featurettes, Tom Cruise interviews, storyboards, production photography galleries, and surely best of all - the music video Danger Zone by 20th Century musical great Kenny The Legend Loggins. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10
Alternatives:Days of Thunder (it's exactly the same, Firefox, only in racing cars!)
All the fantastically-shot stunt-flying in the world cant make up for that fact that this is one of the daftest movies ever to make it big at the box office.