Starring: Tom Cruise; Kelly McGillis; Val Kilmer; Anthony Edwards
Director: Tony Scott
For all those little boys who loved to make intricate model aeroplanes, Top Gun must have fallen out of the sky like a big fat wet dream. Likewise for all those girls who liked to cast their eyes over super cool dudes in white T-shirts and tight jeans. And with plenty of scenes in the locker room and one particularly physical one featuring the buff Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer half naked in a game of beach volley ball, gay men were given a juicy eyeful too.
Captured here on celluloid is the world of America’s elite fighter pilots, gathered together at a training school where they are finely tuned at super sonic speeds thirty thousand feet up in the air. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer read about it in a magazine article and recognised all the ingredients for a great action flick. “Like Star Wars on Earth”, is how he describes it on the DVD commentary. Directed by ad-man Tony Scott, the film bears all the hallmarks of a successful commercial with its slick, tightly cut footage of spunky guys at the helm of massive speed machines and heavy metal music driving them on in the background. “It’s a piece of rock ‘n roll”, says Scott of his patriotic baby.
Naturally there is a love interest and Kelly McGillis provides it as the flight instructor Charlie Blackwood who, after initially resisting an acapella kareoke rendition of ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ by Maverick (Cruise), starts falling hard for the pint-sized pocket rocket.Corny and predictable though the story is, the film is still exciting to watch. It was made before computer generated imagery came into its own and most of the mid-air effects were captured in-camera making it all the more impressive. Watching such a concentration of wild aerial manoeuvres in acid-coloured skies, you could be persuaded to think that being a pilot in the Navy is totally sexy. Until, that is, you hear that all the cast resorted to chunder bags on their flights with the exception of Kilmer who point blank refused to fly. Nevertheless, with the special edition two-disc DVD poised for release, expect a re-emergence of leather bomber jackets and cool, don’t-mess-with-me shades. It’s a good look.