ISSUE #8 FEB 06

Silent Bob

Top Gun

27th March 2004
Top Gun Poster reviewer: Silent Bob
rating: 5 out of 5
directed by: Tony Scott
written by: Jim Cash
starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards
genre: Action Drama Romance
released: 3rd October 1986

In 1969 The US navy started a training school to improve the dog fighting skills for the top 1% of Naval Aviators. This training school became known as Top Gun. In 1986 the production team behind some of the biggest action films ever: Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson teamed up with a young Tom Cruise, already on his way to being a huge star, and created the years biggest blockbuster. That film was also known as Top Gun.

Tom Cruise stars as Lt. Pete Mitchell. Call sign Maverick. A naval aviator who along with his co-pilot Goose (Anthony Edwards – Better known as Dr Greene from ER) get sent to Top Gun after an incident with a Russian Mig causes his wing man, Cougar, to give up flying.

The film focuses on the battle between Maverick and his nemesis at Top Gun Iceman (Val Kilmer whose lack of acting range is actually a benefit in his role as an ice cold aviator who never makes mistakes and has an almost robotic precision). During this section of the film it turns who the real star of the film is. The F14 and the aerial sections of the movie are quite simply stunning. Never before or since have fighter planes looked so cool on the big screen. They really bring the dog fighting sections to life and the way the action jumps between exterior shots of the planes, Tom working the controls and the inside of the cockpit are breath taking.

The strength of the movie is that despite being absolutely chock full of clichés in almost every way (even the call signs) it manages to rise above it all. The dialogue is brilliantly clichéd and yet somehow still brilliant, The love story element is another cliché that again works thanks to some sizzling on screen chemistry between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis and the rivalry between Maverick and Iceman is as old as Hollywood itself and yet come the end of the film when Iceman tells Maverick that “he can be his wingman anytime” I defy you not to have a tear in your eye.

I cannot recommend this film highly enough. It’s more than the sum of its parts. A classic of 80s blockbuster cinema that will not disappoint.

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