Guest Blog: Top Gun Review
People might think I'm crazy but Top Gun is my favorite movie with it being a movie very close to my heart. I remember when my dad took me to go see it in the movie theatre. We'd go to the Air Races when I was little and we'd watch the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels; it was awesome, especially when I got to sit in an F-14 Tomcat. As you could Imagine I was so excited to see Top Gun as a result. The lights went out, the movie came up on the screen with it revealing a fighter jet getting ready to take off from an aircraft carrier. The music increased and the jet took off, I was immediately hooked. I loved this film so much, I remember seeing it in the theatre 12 times! “I feel the need, the need for speed.”
Top Gun stars one of the biggest actors of all time, Tom Cruise. He plays Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a rebellious, charismatic and talented naval aviator (fighter pilot). Alongside Maverick was his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, played by Anthony Edwards, who was a cute family man.
The movie starts out with Maverick and Goose on patrol in the Indian Ocean with fellow pilots, Cougar and Merlin. They come in contact with some nationality unknown counterparts flying MIG-28s - a game of cat and mouse ensues. Maverick and Goose come out victorious while showing some great foreign relation techniques - “Look at the birdie”. Cougar and Merlin aren't so lucky, with Maverick and Goose having to disobey a direct order by going and helping Cougar land his F-14 onto the aircraft carrier. Cougar hands in his wings and goes home to his family citing that he hasn't seen his wife or baby since she was born. Maverick and Goose are called into Commander Stinger's office and reprimanded for disobeying his orders - “Maverick, you did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land your plane. You don't own that plane, the taxpayers do. Son, your ego is writing cheques your body can't cash” states Commander Stinger, before letting them know that they are taking Cougar's spot and are going to TOP GUN. “Cougar lost it and turned in his wings. You guys are number one.”
They go to the Naval Base in Miramar, CA and find out that they are up against the best fighters pilots in the country. They meet “Iceman”, played by Val Kilmer and “Slider”, played by Rick Rossovich, with Maverick instantly knowing they are his competition for the Top Gun trophy. Iceman makes sure Maverick and Goose know who they are up against, stating “The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room.” As well as the two air-cowboys, Maverick and Goose have some old school instructors in Viper, played by Tom Skerritt and Jester, played by Michael Ironside.
It doesn’t take long for Maverick to start crushing on the only female instructor, Charlie Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis, with there being an incredibly iconic scene in this film where Cruise sings “You've Lost That Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers to McGillis’ Blackwood. This song will forever be linked to Tom Cruise, and Top Gun, making it one of the best pick-ups in movie history.
The aerial scenes were incredible, showing us the true power of fighter jets. They were so intense they made you feel like you were in the jets with them. Some of these scenes were filmed in Fallon, NV at the NAS base, which is another reason why I love this movie so much.
Maverick and Goose are out of their element at Top Gun and deal with a lot of different personalities and circumstances, with Maverick's rebellious streak being called out by Iceman. “Maverick, its not your flying, it's your attitude. The enemy is dangerous, but right now you're worse than the enemy, you're dangerous and foolish. You may not like those who you're flying with and they may not like you, but whose side are you on?” This being the fighter pilots weakness, and something that could prevent him from winning, but something drastic and life changing happens to Maverick (I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to see this film) and he leaves Top Gun. Luckily he is found by Charlie, his love, in an airport bar, and is persuaded to come back, but Maverick is still unsure whether he wants to continue with his fighter pilot career. He goes to talk to Viper about his options, and during the conversation you find out that Maverick's dad flew with Viper and there are secret circumstances to his dad's death. He goes to graduation and is called back to the Indian Ocean to rescue a ship taken hostage becoming the finale for the film, showing us what Maverick has learnt throughout this film, in a way that sticks with the movie’s theme.
Top Gun is a movie that is an embodiment of the 1980's. The music, the actors, the action and even the volleyball scene, which is an iconic part of pop culture. The music from Kenny Loggins makes this movie, with the song “Danger Zone” being the film’s theme song. Berlin had one of their top hits because of this movie, with you hearing “Take My Breath Away” everywhere, back in the day. Even writing this now it brings back a ton of memories.
This movie is able to be watched over and over again. My dad and I would watch it whenever it popped up on TV and I have 3 different copies of the DVD (Blu-ray, 3D, and the regular DVD) due to my family and friends know how much I love this movie, therefore gifting it to me. Tom Cruise's ego and acting cashed this movie's cheque and it is totally worth the ride.
Reviewed by Malia Stoner
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