Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Commentary by Jerry Bruckheimer,
Tony Scott and naval experts. 4 music videos - – Kenny Loggins
'Danger Zone', Berlin 'Take My Breath Away', Loverboy 'Heaven
In Your Eyes', Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens 'Top Gun Anthem'.
Disc Two: Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun (6 part documentary).
Multi-angle storyboards with optical commentary by director Tony
Scott. Behind the scenes featurette. Survival Training featurette.
Tom Cruise interviews. Production photography.
TOP Gun is one of those rare movies that is synonymous with its
decade. It pretty much swept all before it, thrusting Tom Cruise
into the Hollywood spotlight and defining a culture in the process.
It may have been the equivalent of fast-food entertainment but
it had something for everyone to enjoy, from the dizzying flying
sequences and testosterone fuelled antics of its jet-fighter pilots,
to the leggy charms of Kelly McGillis and the attraction of seeing
handsome men in dress (and undress) uniform.
Above all else, it was fun. Who can forget the groan-inducing
charm of Mr Cruise singing 'you've lost that loving feeling' to
Ms McGillis in the middle of a crowded bar? Or the genuine thrill
of those dogfight sequences?
It may have lacked subtlety but it did so with aplomb as only
its director, Tony Scott, and producers, Jerry Bruckheimer and
Don Simpson, know how.
For anyone who doesn't know, Top Gun is the story of brash young
fighter pilot, Maverick Mitchell (Cruise) who, together with co-pilot
and best friend, Goose (Anthony Edwards), is sent to be 'the best
of the best' at the US Navy's prestigious fighter weapons school.
Once there, his gung-ho attitude
brings him into conflict with just about everyone, including his
biggest rival, Iceman, played with calculated menace by an equally
young Val Kilmer.
Needless to say, Maverick learns the hard way to control his
aggression, before finding love and putting his skills to the
ultimate test in a real-life combat situation (during which he
must also exorcise the demons of his past).
Given the lack of storyline which surrounds many of today's blockbusters,
it's refreshing to find something that delivers on all fronts
- even if the template has been done a thousand times before and
copied many times since.
Yet it's a tribute to all involved that it somehow stands the
test of time to remain as shamelessly enjoyable as it was when
first in cinemas.
Much of this is down to Bruckheimer's uncanny ability to deliver
what audiences want - given that he pushed hard to get it made
and paid Cruise a cool $1 million to convince him to sign up.
While Scott, too, deserves credit for delivering action scenes
that continue to generate a buzz of excitement, while simultaneously
putting many of today's special effects driven combat sequences
It's little wonder that the American Navy was prepared to donate
millions of dollars' worth of equipment for use in the movie given
that it did more for its image than any poster campaign (recruiting
officers were reportedly placed outside cinemas to cash-in on
the euphoria generated).
But the cast, too, is pretty special when you consider where
they stand today.
Aside from Cruise, who has never looked back, it also contains
former ER star, Anthony Edwards, as well as Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan,
Tim Robbins, Tom Skerritt and Michael Ironside among its elite.
So sit back, grab a beer and some popcorn and indulge yourself
in an 80s classic that pretty much epitomises all that's great
about the Saturday night movie experience.