Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Top Gun (1986)

Top Gun could slide into my slot anytime.

Top Gun lives somewhere between glorified recruiting video, 1980's time capsule and psychological warfare. The movie is bad, like really, really bad, but sometimes that's not actually a bad thing. It's certainly action packed and, while the action isn't all that exciting for me, at least the movie walks into pretty much every joke you could level at it. The best way to look at Top Gun is as a joke since any serious criticism of the movie is impossible. The movie is terrible, but, if you sit back and let all it's 1986-era, homo-erotic glory wash over you it can be a seriously enjoyable experience.

Top Gun is the story of a class of the best naval pilots America has to offer. These pilots are all sent to a prestigious school called, surprise, Top Gun. At the school, they will learn the lost art of aerial dogfighting, if they can endure the rigorous training and the sweet aroma of man sweat. The story focuses on the pilot "Maverick", Tom Cruise, and his forbidden love affair with "Iceman", Val Kilmer. You see, "Maverick" melts "Iceman"'s icy heart and their forbidden love blossoms as they do everything in their power to deny it. "Maverick" even takes a lover to distract him, but he is forced to sink to the level of sleeping with a woman because all of the delicious mancakes at Top Gun are partnered up. Things only get worse when "Maverick"  gets too tight on "Iceman" in the sky and the resulting crash kills his longtime lover "Goose". I'll let you find out if true love triumphs on your own. The cast is full of recognizable faces and director Tony Scott pulled out all the stops as far as effects and music. The movie even won an Oscar for Best Original Song, "Take my Breath Away", and was nominated in most of the effects categories. The film was a smash hit with audiences even if it wasn't a runaway success critically.

With the help of the U.S. government, who used the movie to boost recruitment, Scott got his hands on a lot military equipment and resources. Top Gun plays as an advertisement for being a Navy pilot and a pretty effective one at that. It's hard not to get a little excited about what these guys do in the sky, but then you remember that the military isn't actually like that and you settle down. The movie is paced briskly, so even though it's bad, the horrendous dialog is generally blown away by the roar of engines a few minutes later. When the pilots aren't in the sky, their doing shirtless aerobics or hanging out in their whitey tighties. It's no surprise that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was deemed necessary only a few years after the recruiting surge that the film caused. Other than it's homo-erotic nature, the movie is an awesome reminder of how terrible everything about the 1980's was. The fashion, the hair and the music is all obnoxiously bad, but at least it's funny.

It's best to be drunk when watching a movie like Top Gun, so I present to you the rules for the drinking game I played while watching the movie...

1. Every-time something gay happens, Drink.

That's it.



TheAnswerMVP2001 said...

I actually managed to stay away from this film my entire life. But compared to what we've been watching I might actually enjoy this, but you've got me a little weary because it sounds awfully corny.

The Mad Hatter said...

Great post - my reaction to this 80's opus is going up on Thursday morning, and suffice to was a lot of fun to re-watch, and to write!

Alfindeol said...


It's certainly not going to bore you. Corny is a good way to describe it though.

@ Hatter

Never thought I would hear Top Gun called an "opus", but I like the ring of it.

Castor said...

Good review. I can see how one can enjoy a movie for how corny and pathetically laughable it is but at the end of the day, that's never a good thing and this is reflected in the average score for this flick.

Information Review said...

One of the great classics of the eighties! And one of my favorite movies of all times. The
film is out dated, but it is still fun to watch.