On March 3, 1969 the United States Navy established an elite school for the top one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and to insure that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world. They succeeded. Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School. The flyers call it: TOP GUN.
Would the 80s have been the 80s without Top Gun? Well, yes, of course they would have. But they wouldn’t have been as awesome, that’s for sure.
It’s incredibly macho. We’ve got the musclebound students of an elite US Flying school competing to be the absolute best in the class. There’s eye candy, manly men being men AND some crazy cool plane stunts. Plus, for everyone else in need of a sub-plot, we’ve got the ultimate student-teacher romance too, i.e. one of the most iconic screen romances ever, between flight instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis) and pilot Tom Cruise.
And not forgetting those jammy little favourite lines that everyone still loves today ‘I feel the need… The need for speed!’ being the most quoted… Obviously.
So, as you can see from my nifty little description above, the plot is pretty simple. But then how can it be that it’s 25 years later and I’m still blown away by this movie? The reasons are manifold. Firstly, Tom Cruise, despite all his annoying little habits now, gives an A grade performance, proving that everything really was better in the 80s! He’s Maverick, a hotshot pilot, utterly passionate and determined with everything he does. Dashing, handsome, with big blue eyes and a cocky smile… This was the flick that made guys want to be him and women want to be with him. Then we have Goose, or Anthony Edwards, witty, charming and utterly lovable. The two together are dynamic. Real cowboys of the sky… in fact, what with the bad guys and the good guys and all, this pretty much is a stylized Western movie set in 80s America.
What else? Well, we have a soundtrack tipped to please any nostalgic fans of old school records, what with classics such as Take My Breath Away and Great Balls Of Fire and, of course, the Top Gun anthem itself all making a welcome appearance. Electrifying; the music truly becomes as much a part of the film as any of the characters, plunging you straight back into a time where floppy hair and aviators were considered the height of cool. In my world, of course, they still are…
And, without a doubt, there are the spectacular aerial scenes to goggle at. Convincing, dramatic and with a feeling of absolute precision, the fighter planes will take your breath away as they take to the skies. They add a definitive sense of romance and intrigue to modern warfare, painting glamour over a deadly situation, turning our collective past into something like a myth. We’ve had King Arthur and the knights of the round table. We’ve had Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Maverick and co are easily on the same level…
If you haven’t seen this, what are you waiting for? It’s a timeless classic that’ll keep even the most demanding viewer entertained. Immerse yourself in a film where the men are gorgeous, the world is full of danger and the love affairs are sizzling hot…
By Kayleigh Dray
Ed says: As a sucker for anything likely to pull at the heartstrings Top Gun’s finest and (saddest moment mixed together) was of course the plucking of the goose – in other words when Anthony Edwards snuffed it ( I won’t say how he goes, as not to ruin the plot for that one person out there yet to see the film). I know he had to die to make the film the classic it is today, but that doesn’t make it any less heart-breaking – every.single.time.I. watch.it! Blub!
I guess he took one for the team so to speak.
However, I was comforted a few years later when good ol’ Ant turned up as another lovable character, Dr Mark Greene, on hit TV show ER.
It was a kind of like a resurrection of sorts… For me anyway. Hang on… Didn’t Dr Greene end up dying also??? From brain cancer. Yep, yet another onscreen death which turned something great (the TV show) into something amazing.
Look up Anthony Edwards’ name in the dictionary and you might just see the phrase ‘what a trooper’ written underneath.