With the release of Top Gun Maverick (2022), it was time for me to (re)watch the super hit original, Top Gun (1986). This film catapulted Tom Cruise to stardom and paved the way for his future successes including the Mission Impossible series. The plot was a simple one. A talented Navy Pilot, Maverick behaves impulsively and often runs rogue, which affects the safety of his overall team. How the relationship with a civilian instructor, Charlotte (played by Kelly McGillis) and an unfortunate incident, mellows down Maverick and turns him into a hero was the film about. It gets a Ripe rating for its brilliant cinematography and forthright screenplay.
The movie takes its name from a US Navy training programme for their fighter planes, TOPGUN. The characters of Maverick and his radar officer Goose were portrayed well, bringing out the friendship and comradery between them that is needed when you are flying fighter jets. I liked the running time of 110 minutes, anything longer would’ve diluted the intensity of the emotions of the main characters that we were able to share.
The opening dog fight on sky scenes between the US F-14s and MiG-28s (portrayed by American equivalents) were outstanding, similar was the climax one – the movie was worth just for these two sequences. Wikipedia says that many of the scenes in Top Gun (1986), involving the fighter jets and aircraft carriers were recorded with the support of the US Navy using the real USS Enterprise & F-14s while on their regular missions. These make the film still enjoyable after three decades. Kudos to the director Tony Scott.