We’re stepping slightly back in time now, to look at what is considered a classic: Tony Scott‘s jet fighter romance story, Top Gun.
For those who don’t know, Top Gun tells the tale of Lieutenant ‘Maverick’ and his friend ‘Goose’, who are quickly accepted into an elite fight pilot training school which they know affectionately as ‘Top Gun’. A pilot’s dream, joining such a high ranking squadron comes as a welcome path to the duo, but after heartache and loss, Maverick’s priorities change.
Every cast member has that fabulously eighties hair, but besides that, each performance is acted well enough to keep up the illusion. However, can we just take a moment to think about why Tom Cruise is always taking douchey roles? I mean, is it even acting if you’re just playing yourself? (Sick burn. Where is the fire extinguisher?)
Iconic theme tune aside, this soundtrack is it. Otis Redding, Gloria Estefan and Kenny Loggins all in one place? Nailed it. Of course most people will know this for Take My Breath Away, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song that year, but it’s really the other parts of the soundtrack that stand out as great choices for me.
In true Tony Scott style, his cinematography has that ‘wow factor’. Opening shots of the planes in training combat are still impressive to this day, so I can’t even imagine how cool they were in 1986. It’s excellent to see Scott’s vision still stands up to this day. In fact, all of the sequences in and around planes were brilliant.
Sadly, however, I’m struggling to see for myself why this is a classic.
In terms of narrative, this movie just isn’t that riveting. Fighter pilots and romance? Something just didn’t connect for me there. Why is this remembered so fondly and how in the hell did it make that much at the box office? When you look at the figures, this was made on a quite impressive $15 million budget, but ended up making an insane $356.8 million at the box office. I understand that cinemas were much more frequented back then, and this was probably considered one of the biggest blockbusters of the year back in 1986.
But a classic? I have no idea. Someone feel free to inform me, because I just don’t get it. What I can say for sure though is that I absolutely enjoyed this more than Blade Runner and I’m not even sorry. This movie is just more well put together and simply seems like a better executed film for me. Get over it, I said what I said.
Again, the performances by the actors were fine too, but add nothing that I’ve not seen before. And before you say anything, it’s nothing that hadn’t already been seen in 1986 either.
Gripping enough, but pretty average in my book. Watch The Terminator instead.
Top Gun is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.
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