Classic: Top Gun (1986) A Review

Ahead of Mavericks release later this year, it was I supposed, time I finally got around to seeing Top Gun.  A classic from the eighties, but does it still stand up today?

Certificate: 15

Director: Tony Scott

Screenwriter: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis

Genre: Action, Drama

Runtime: 110 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A real eighties classic, and for all the love it gets, I was expecting something fantastic and gripping.  Sadly to me ‘Top Gun’ is neither of those two things.  It was a film developed around Tom Cruise’s need to flash his tremendously huge ego around. 

Magnificent but arrogant Navy Pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell gets the opportunity to go and train at the Navy’s elite Pilot training camp, for the chance to become ‘Top Gun’.  The number one pilot in his class.  There is of course a girl, because what Hollywood movie is complete without a love interest.  Will Maverick be able to put his ego aside for the chance to win the coveted Top Gun Trophy?

Oh the Dialogue, oh the acting.  Everything here makes me role my eyes.  Just EVERYHING.  This has not aged well at all.  The acting has that trademark eighties melodrama to it, so the emotional scenes are over done and therefore come across as insincere or badly acted.  I have seen Tom Cruise give good performances, but this film is not one of them.  Here his performance is pretty wooden and his delivery at times is very off point.  And as for Val Kilmer…his role as the stereotypical asshole suits him well, but again is so over dramatic, that it almost comes across as comical.

There is a lot of technical jargon thrown at you during this film, and not all of it is explained well.  A lot of radio chatter in the planes that I didn’t understand and didn’t add anything to the film except for background noise.  It assumes that the audience already knows a lot of the technical terms.  I am all for not treating the audience like they are stupid, but technical terms like this need a little dumbing down for your average viewer.

And is the excessive use of sweat on the face really necessary?  I’m not just talking a light dusting of moisture here.   I am talking full blown droplets of water on the faces of literally every character the entire time they are on screen if they are in even an inkling of danger.  I have never seen that in another film, and it’s a little off putting.

Not the amazing classic I had hoped it would be.  I am hoping the improved graphics of the current day and bigger Hollywood budgets will mean the sequel will have more going for it.  As it stands, this one is not for me at all.

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