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#161- Top Gun

Quick recap: Maverick may be one of the best Naval pilots, but he still has a lot to learn when it comes to teamwork, love, and riding into the Danger Zone.


Fun (?) fact: Lots to choose from, but my favorite is that Val Kilmer didn’t want to make this movie at all but was bound by contractual obligations. Val Kilmer just seems like the kind of person that talks about himself in the third person which makes this tidbit much funnier than it probably is.

'Val Kilmer will only do this project if he can play a game of volleyball with his shirt off.' 'ok, Mr. Kilmer but I don't know what that has to do with Top Gun' 'Val Kilmer doesn't care. Bring Val Kilmer a sandwich.'

‘Val Kilmer will only do this project if he can play a game of volleyball with his shirt off.’
‘ok, Mr. Kilmer but I don’t know what that has to do with Top Gun’
‘Val Kilmer doesn’t care. Bring Val Kilmer a sandwich.’

My thoughts: No, I have never seen Top Gun until I watched it a few nights ago. There are many reasons for this, the main one being that anything mechanical (trains, planes, automobiles) or technical bores me. So it was quite unexpected that I found myself really enjoying the film and imagining that if I were made to watch it again someday, I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think you could get a better endorsement from me, honestly.

What’s interesting about this is how much I enjoyed the movie when there were so many things wrong with it. The acting is one of its biggest flaws. So help me, if I see Tom Cruise flexing his jaw muscles ONE MORE TIME I might just lose it. His performance was 15% boasting, 2% honest feelings and 83% jaw flexing. And of course Val Kilmer’s character Iceman didn’t fare any better. I never really understood why he chose to engage Maverick (Tom Cruise) so much when he was clearly a superior pilot. Maybe it was to show that there was some depth to the character but it just made him come off as a jerk, even in the sincere scenes.

And yet, I'm still drawn to him.

And yet, I’m still drawn to him.

And then we come to the love story, which, even though it was a big part of the movie, never seemed to really belong there. First of all, there was no chemistry between Charlie and Maverick and second, the timeline of him coming over to her house and the next day falling in love was ridiculous. Also, Maverick was a jerk the entire time. Charlie was an astrophysicist and was treated like she didn’t know the first thing about planes. At no point did he apologize and in fact, she saw it as charming. Gross.

The plot itself was flimsy at best, but I still got into it. I think what draws me to Top Gun is how unabashedly American it is. It’s no wonder recruitment into the Navy skyrocketed after this film was sent to theaters. The ending where Maverick regains his confidence and saves the world wasn’t a surprise by any stretch of the imagination, and I loved how comforting it all felt, like a big warm hug from the 1980s.

Final review: Screw it, let’s go for a 4/5. Also, this is one of the ultimate ‘bromance’ movies. It’s like Terms of Endearment for guys.


Up next: Princess Mononoke

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