Top Gun (1986)

  • Action, Adventure, Drama
  • 1h 51m

A heart-pounding combination of action, ‘80s music and incredible aerial photography, Top Gun was the highest-grossing film of 1986 and featured a star-making performance from Tom Cruise. Although he had appeared in films through the ‘80s, Top Gun was the film to fly his career to new heights, and presented Cruise as the action star he would go on to become.

Top Gun takes a look at the danger and excitement that awaits every pilot at the Navy’s prestigious fighter weapons school. Much has been made of the impact that Top Gun had on Navy recruitment (the American Navy even going so far as to set up recruitment booths in cinema lobbies), but while the action is classic in its set-up (all-American good guys versus go-to ‘80s villains Russia), director Tony Scott’s vision of military masculinity is (at least subtextually) subversive. While Kelly McGillis gives a good performance as Cruise’s love interest Charlie, the real chemistry is between the male pilots, particularly Cruise and best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards), and Cruise and his rival Iceman (Val Kilmer). Amidst the high-intensity action, Scott even finds time for a sensually-shot volleyball scene.

Tony Scott is often thought of in comparison to older brother Ridley, but the younger Scott was a talented film-maker in his own right, consistently elevating the often pulpy material he was working with and shooting everything with consummate style. And with the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick currently wowing audiences and critics alike, there’s never been a better time to revisit this slice of ‘80s bravado.


Tony Scott









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