‘TOP GUN’ (1986): THE MOVIE THAT MADE AN ACTION STAR

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It’s closer to forty than thirty years old and even still, Top Gun (1986) seems to withstand time. A film that inspired a generation and encourages noble, albeit reckless acts, the film also launched the action career of a popular film star.

Top Gun (1986) Film Review

Confidence is one thing for an elite Navy fighter pilot. Being cocky is quite another and seems a trait Lt. Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) has but no one likes. Call sign “Maverick,” he’s just helped one of his fellow pilots land safely after a close call in the sky only in the aftermath, the pilot suffers emotionally. This bumps Maverick and his RIO or Radar Intercept Officer, Goose (Anthony Edwards) into the top spot to attend the elite training school pilots call “Top Gun.”

Razzed and treated with some disdain by their competition, which includes Ice Man (Val Kilmer), Maverick keeps doing his thing and stands toe to toe with the competition. All despite the challenges and call outs from the higher ups. While at Top Gun, he tries wooing the beautiful but also challenging civilian contractor, Charlie Bradbury (Kelly McGillis). But everything stops when tragedy finally finds him. Now he’ll have to answer what’s next and whether or not he can still be an ace pilot.

FILM REVIEW | ‘SHUT IN’: A HIGH INTENSITY BUT SLOWER PACE REDEMPTIVE THRILLER
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For all the titles I’ve watched movies that are considered cult classics, Top Gun (1986) is not one I ever took time to see. Why is something of a mystery since it features Tom Cruise in a role that no doubt did launch him into the action star we now know him as. The film shows its age with the production quality and viewer inability to really keep track of everything going on. That said, even at this, there’s still something uniquely impressive and good about the aviation scenes. Perhaps it’s just my extreme pride and appreciation for the military or maybe it’s just the scenes which tend to unknowingly (or knowingly?) promote a message of American pride, but whatever, they’re still good.

The film has good moments on the ground too. The friendships are nice albeit they really do foreshadow what’s to come. I appreciate the connection of the relationships and while it ends ultimately well, the film will also present some different characters in the much anticipated sequel. Also, can we just say, talk about that wait for a sequel!?

If you like other of Cruise’s action film, probably anything Jerry Bruckheimer does or just solid military films, you can enjoy Top Gun. I’m sure there’s liberties to help in the entertainment values, but I think the heart is clear and for the most part, this is what the audience wants.

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‘TOP GUN’ (1986): THE MOVIE THAT MADE AN ACTION STAR. REVIEW OF THE 80S FILM FEATURING TOM CRUISE AS MAVERICK! TEXT © RISSI JC

Content: There is quite a bit of flirty/suggestive banter and a conversation about “doing in” in a bathroom. There’s some instances of crude remarks with a bunch of guys (comments about “dicks,” etc.). There is plenty of language too including sh*t and GD. The film is only PG.

Photos: Paramount Pictures / Jerry Bruckheimer Films

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

6 comments

    1. This is the first time I’ve ever seen the film! I quite enjoyed it and am hoping this new one is equally good. I like to think the reason this first one is so good is because it’s all about America without having some specific narrative and just tells a good story. Which I love. :) We love our memory lane movies….!

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