Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun, good performances
Cons: A bit unfocused and predictable at times
The Bottom Line:
Fighter pilot film
Popular 80’s story
Still holds up today
High Flying Action, Drama, and Romance
I had never seen Top Gun. I know, I know, someone growing up in the 1980’s who had never seen that movie. My college roommate loved the soundtrack, so I was familiar with the pop songs used in the background of the film, but I’d never had an interest in watching the movie. Still, with the sequel coming out soon (this summer as of right now, but who knows), I decided it was time to finally watch the movie.
If, like me, you hadn’t seen the movie, it follows two friends, Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) as they enter the US Navy’s top flight school. Along the way, they gain a rival in the form of Iceman (Val Kilmar), and Maverick meets their civilian trainer, Charlie (Kelly McGillis).
Yes, that does sound a bit generic. This movie isn’t famous because of the plot, that’s for sure. There isn’t much here you haven’t seen before, and I’m sure that was the way when the movie came out in 1986. Of course, predictable is okay with me as long as I’m still enjoying it, and I definitely did.
So what makes the movie so popular? This is one of those perfect movies that can appeal to everyone. It’s got plane fights and the navy for guys. And it’s got a great romance for women. Between the two, just about everyone is going to have something to keep them interested in the film. All of this does make it a bit unfocused as times, but that’s a minor issue.
And the characters are great. Maverick appears arrogant early on, but we quickly see his human side. His friendship with Goose is really appealing. I enjoyed watching him flirt with Charlie as well, and she was just as much fun to watch flirt back. Even though Iceman is an antagonist, he never crosses the line into mean.
I mentioned the flying, right? Parts of the movie take place in the sky, and it is such fun to watch. I’ll admit to having a bit of a struggle following it at times, but I still enjoyed watching it. Their mix of real footage and specially filmed stunts helps pull you into these scenes.
Much of the cast was young, and the popularity of this film helped boost their careers. Along with those I’ve already mentioned, this film includes Tom Skerritt and Meg Ryan in supporting roles.
Top Gun is a fun movie. It’s easy to see why it was popular when it first came out, and nostalgia keeps it popular today.