TOP GUN (1986)
If one had access to a jet fighter, why would you want to take the highway to the danger zone? Wouldn’t air travel be more expedient?
In a complete 180 from the Lesbos Vampiros film, Tony directs a movie so chock full of male bonding and aggression, that the machismo leaking from the screen has to be diligently wiped off after every viewing. Listed in the AFI’s Top 100 “Bros before Hoes” films, it truly is a classic to be treasured for all time.
I feel like Quentin Tarantino has suitably covered the homoerotic aspects of the film with his monologue in the movie Sleep With Me, so I’ll leave you with this Tom Skerritt line; “The tip of the spear must remain sharp!”.
This movie is like a perfect shitstorm of hackneyed writing, paint-by-numbers direction, and Kelly McGillis. In case you ever feel lost during any part, never fear; One of the characters will tell you what’s going on, how they’re feeling, and what the point of the scene is. Subtlety is the key, gents. It’s what separates a family drama on the Jerry Springer show, from, say, Hamlet.
The easy defense would be to say, “C’mon, Phil. . . It’s an 80’s movie! What do you expect?!”. Well, there are other, equally ridiculous, jingoistic 80’s films to compare it to, and let me say this; Rocky IV and Rambo III are actually FUN to watch, and not just in a completely camp way. The action scenes in Top Gun are like watching footage of an aerial show, intercut with head shots of actors looking wildly around, shouting “Where’d he go! I lost him! He’s on your six, Beaver!”. I would argue that it’s nigh impossible to finish watching Top Gun without a beer in hand.
And don’t get me wrong; I have no problem with the movie being blatant advertising for the military. The militaries of the world enrich our lives through violence; Otherwise we’d be stuck with a bunch of movies about fucking missionaries, or some shit. I also have a soft spot for people who make important life decisions based solely upon Tom Cruise films. However, the dogfighting concept seems a little outdated, even for the time. After the graduating class’s “victory” over the North Koreans at the end of the film, I’m waiting to see the flash of nuclear fire in the background. Ya don’t really hear much about aerial combat these days, do you? More bombing missions and “tactical” missile strikes.
I enjoy the film purely as a time capsule, and pure camp. I’m not sure if Tony Scott ended up feeling artistically enriched by making this film, but I’m sure that the bed of money he slept on following the release was quite comfortable indeed.
4 out of 10