Top Gun (1986)


This review is when I set myself apart from all other movie reviewers by being the only reviewer I know that will use “Gay Balls” in the review of a movie.  There may well be other movie reviewers willing to do this, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used this term as well, but few movies have ever deserved it more.  More than To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, I ask you to hop in your car and join me on the highway to the danger zone with my review … of Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Tom Skerritt, and Michael Ironside.

Top Gun follows Maverick (Tom Cruise) and his copilot Goose (Anthony Edwards).  To go off on a tangent real quick: how pissed is Goose?  He hangs out with people whose handles are Maverick, Iceman, Cougar, Merlin, Jester, Hollywood, and Viper, and he somehow lands the moniker of “Goose”.  Lame.  Anyway, Maverick is a fantastic, but dangerous, Naval pilot who goes to the Top Gun academy when the number 1 pilot steps down because of a near death experience.  When they arrive at the academy, they meet their rivals, Iceman (Val Kilmer) and … whoever the Hell his copilot was.  Iceman got his name by flying cool as ice, never making mistakes and wearing his opponents down.  But this is the time of rebels; we know how this quarrel will eventually end up.  The two are in constant competition in the Top Gun rankings until one day when Iceman wants so badly to take down an enemy that he refuses to get out of the way for Maverick, who has the shot.  When he eventually does, the jet wash from his engine causes a flameout on Maverick’s plane, sending him into a flat spin.  Maverick and Goose eject, but Goose slams his head into the canopy on the way out.  Well his Goose is cooked.  Yeah, I went there.  So he dead, and Maverick blames himself even though Goose’s wife (Meg Ryan) and Maverick’s own girlfriend (Kelly McGillis) tell him it wasn’t his fault.  His remorse makes him suck at flying.  Can Maverick overcome and be the best again?  Yeah, probably.  Not a surprising movie, here.

This movie has caused me much grief in my time.  I did not see this movie when it came out … and I was 3 … so I have no reminiscences to make me like it.  I probably saw this movie when I was 25 and I had a higher standard for movie.  And, since I saw it, I have had 2 women tell me this movie is the best thing since sliced bread.  One such girl said she had no interest in seeing Rocky (you know, the 1976 Academy Award winner for Best Picture and Director?), but called this movie “her favorite movie ever”.  The other girl said this movie was better than Schindler’s List, and this girl requested I review this movie (CHRISTIAN!).  Feel free to tell her how wrong she is in the comments section.  But be nice, she apparently just loves really gay movies.

As I hinted at before, this movie is uber gay.  So many scenes of hot body mens doing homoerotic things together.  The volleyball scene alone is probably the reason all gays and women like this movie at all.  Most of the exposition of this movie takes place with the dudes wearing nothing but a towel in the showers.  If it were me, I’d say “Hey, Maverick!  I haveta yell at you.  Put your clothes on and meet me outside”.  And did the captain really have to come and have a heartfelt conversation about recently deceased Goose while Maverick was wearing only tighty-whiteys?  Again, a simple “Oh, I can wait” could fix all of my pain.  And I’m pretty sure the whole “You can be my wingman” exchange was Iceman and Maverick asking each other out on a date.

As for the rest of the movie, it’s serviceable at best.  I highly doubt this movie ever tried to get itself nominated for an Academy Award (DANIELLE!!), so it was only trying to be some good times for about 2 hours.  It kind of manages that.  The story is equal parts cliched and annoying, though I find it difficult to wonder how cliched something from 1986 was.  Maybe this type of story started with Top Gun, but probably not.  The acting is fine, but not spectacular.  And almost every song besides “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” seems to be Kenny Loggins 80’s gayness.

By far the best part of this movie is the aerial battles.  I don’t think these were miniatures, so they must’ve gone to the Navy and said “Look, we’re making a movie that is basically a giant hand job to the Navy, wanna let us film you doing things?” and thus it was born. I could have totally watched these aerial battles on YouTube.  Although I’m sure that the inverted bird-flipping that Maverick gave a pilot from an unnamed enemy country would not have been safe to attempt in real life.

If all this movie showed was the aerial battles, this movie would be great.  Since they had to have conversations, it wasn’t.  As it is, the movie is watchable, and should probably be watched at least once so you can get the homage’s made in other movies, but the next time someone tells me this movie it’s their favorite movie without qualifying it with favorite guilty pleasure movie or favorite jet fighting drama from 1986, I will spit.  I also say you should watch this so that you can enjoy Hot Shots more.  I give this movie a “GAY BALLS” out of 96.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.