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Top Gun (Special Edition) (12)



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'. TV spots.
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 to shame.

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.

 

 

 

 

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