Thursday, January 2, 2014

238 of 1001 Movies: Top Gun (1986)

While watching Top Gun I got to say I was disappointed. I had hear a lot about it, but upon watching the only thing that stuck with me was the song "Danger Zone." It is the one thing in this movie that never left me. Undeniably though this is one of Tony Scott's pivotal works in his career, and completely opposite of anything you would see his brother, Ridley Scott do. There is a lot of 80's music, some hardcore love scenes, and many sunset scenes. If there is one director I can see that Tony Scott inspired though it would be Michael Bay.

Summary: Maverick is a young and arrogant student at the flight school for the top in the class. Maverick and Goose who are best friends find themselves at the top of the class, but Maverick's daring stunts in the plane flying do threaten his career in the Navy and graduating if he continues to act up. One of his instructors, Charlie, a woman who is to teach them in class, he finds himself falling for. Charlie also finds herself attracted to Maverick, but their relationship is a bit controversial considering their roles. She finds herself not only teaching him in class though, but wanting to see him out of class.

Acting: The acting is quite good, and some of the better moments I enjoyed were not when we were following the air crafts, but the characters instead. Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, and while Cruise works in the role, I've just never been a huge fan of Cruise. He was better in the 80's though, because something about his personality was easier to leave behind off screen to transform to someone on screen. The thing is Cruise has always played these line of characters for much his life. Kelly McGillis is Charlie, and whenever she was on screen I did enjoy her role. Mostly because the romance was almost the only appealing aspect despite the cheesiness. Val Kilmer is also one of the more major roles as Iceman. And Anthony Edwards looks very different from his ER days as Goose. No one really gets the spotlight like McGillis and Cruise in the movie though.

Filming: The reason I say I see a huge resemblance between in Bays movies to Tony Scott's is because of the color and the way it is shot. It lacks a little bit in forming us an attachment to the characters as more emphasis is put on the setting the shots are happening in. There is lots of sunset shots, and the color is spectacular in the movie, which is a nice way from keeping the movie from looking too gray and bland. The songs though are so detrimental to the movie though. I get that Kenny Loggins had a classic, and it works, but it is used a ton. Then there is some other very 80's music that makes this movie so dated, and the music gets way too dramatic for some scenes. The director just shows no shame in wanting to go all out with this one.

Plot: The plot is a bit predictable. You've got an arrogant, young guy who is going to learn a hard lesson. If the lashing of his instructors don't get him then another obvious event will. The love interest goes all out in showing their romance. The scene where the two first make love is cast in blue, and played to the tune "Take My Breath Away." Don't get me wrong, I do like cheesy sometimes. I think the main problem was that nothing as far as the pilots intrigued me. The flying challenges they face just caused me to try really hard to not zone out.

Top Gun probably made this aspect of the Navy very attractive to a lot of people at the time, and it's no secret this movie went down as a classic from that decade. I can see why as it is tons of nostalgia. It proudly flashes around the music and styles from that time that only a movie made then could do. The main issue for me is just basically the story, which I feel I already knew before I got ten minutes into the movie. It seems that the majority of the people who do really love this movie love the pilot sequences above all. As I'm not a fanboy of that it may have been my setback.

Rating 6 of 10.

Top Gun (1986) on IMDb

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