One of the definitive films of the 1980s, 'Top Gun' is a high-octane, high-concept mixture of slick images, hard action and non-stop music. Tom Cruise plays Maverick, a young fighter pilot enrolled at Naval college, training with the most gifted flyers of his generation, and competing for the prestigious Top Gun award. Maverick soon establishes himself as one of the best in his class, but his insistence on doing things his own way soon brings him into conflict with his superiors and his main student rival: the Iceman (Val Kilmer). Celebrated for its vividly realised flight sequences, its keen sense of style, and featuring the Oscar-winning song 'Take My Breath Away', 'Top Gun' was one of the most popular films of its day.
Jingoism, beefcake, military hardware, and a Giorgio Moroder rock score reign supreme over taste and logic in this Tony Scott film about a maverick trainee pilot (Tom Cruise) who can't follow the rules at a Navy aviation training facility. The dogfight sequences between American and Soviet jets at the end are absolutely mechanical, though audiences loved it at the time. The love story between Cruise's character and that of Kelly McGillis is like flipping through pages of advertising in a glossy magazine. This designer action movie from 1986 would be all the more appalling were it not for the canny casting of good actors in dumb parts. Standouts include Anthony Edwards--who makes a nice impression as Cruise's average-Joe pal--and the relatively unknown Meg Ryan in a small but memorable appearance. --Tom Keogh
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