Saturday, February 20, 2010

Top Gun (1986)


Top fighter pilot, Maverick (Tom Cruise), goes to an elite flight school where the best fighter pilots in the navy align to compete for the title of Top Gun.

You know those movies so obsessed with their own macho awesomeness you wonder if the movie wouldn't spontaneously combust during its dramatic moments? You know, where romance is not based on mutual emotional attraction, but solely physical that fades when one of them becomes vulnerable? The kind of movie that makes its geekier viewers seek out a re-run of Stuart Smalley to remind them they don't have to achieve that level of "dudeness." I'll never understand why we enjoy main characters that are cocky, self obsessed, and the self proclaimed greatest at everything they do.... perhaps an answer to this lies in shows like Jersey Shore?

Top Gun is a testament to cheese. And not the good cheese either, I'm talking provolone a few days past gone. Still, it has some heart, and as a kid I remember the shock of one of the main character's passing, and these make it emotional. As well its action scenes, irregardless of their absurdity, are high intensity, both core foundations of the Tony Scott directing mantra. Still most of the performances, with the exception of maybe Anthony Edwards (who plays as close to a geek as this film is willing to go), feel a bit hollow. The sort of performances noted more for their flexing ability (even McGillis) and tough stares than anything. Sure, there's a level of charm there, but these days I just find it self obsessed.

Still, it's not all bad. I enjoy the absurdity of it a little bit. Perhaps that's why I love Hot Shots so much? As well it does meet the social love requirement of quotability, and the level of douche that makes you shocked it's not written by Ron Burgundy, about himself. On some level I think there's enough here to pass the time, and if you're looking for a wakeup morning film, you could do far worse. Still, despite all my childhood love for this, there's just not enough real emotion to make any of us care.

Top Gun is the kind of movie that just asks you to love it, and many will oblige, but if you really take the time to see what it's really about, it's about finding out how to do teamwork, and prove you're totally awesome. Only those who think Ron Burgundy is an idol, and the 80's are the only decade anything was good should really enter here.

4 better thoughts:

Castor said...

I use to like this movie, I don't know what I was on. I gave it 4/10 :/

Alfindeol said...

I'm not sure it was about anything other than "Join the Navy, it's cool!" I think you are right in saying that Anthony Edwards was at least decent. His existence in the movie kept the bravado factor down enough for it to be mostly tolerable.

Fletch said...

Y'all are high. Top Gun is a classic.

The Mad Hatter said...

I'll never apologize for loving it as much as I did growing up, and it still entertains the holy hell out of me whenever I flip past it on TV ("I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" = Screenwriting genius!!).

However, there's no way on God's green earth I could ever recommend this movie to anyone who had never seen it.

Guess it's a sign we're all grown up here on walton Mountain...what once was classic, is now just crap.

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