Top Gun (1986) Director: Tony Scott
“I feel the need, the need for speed!”
Directed by Tony Scott, the younger brother of Ridley Scott, Top Gun is one of those ’80s movies that received lukewarm reviews upon release, but has since become a cult classic among fans. Right down to the cornball dialogue and the Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone” refrain alongside soundtrack hits like “Take My Breath Away,” this movie is an amusing popcorn action flick that is simply pure fun and entertainment. Tom Cruise plays a cocky aviator named Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who launches a risky aerial maneuver along with his radar navigator nicknamed “Goose” (Anthony Edwards) which saves a fellow pilot’s life over the Indian Ocean and lands them in the elite Naval training program in San Diego known as “Top Gun.” While there, Maverick falls in love with Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis) and gains a nemesis, “Iceman” (Val Kilmer). Sadly, in a high stakes maneuver, Goose is tragically killed. This leads Maverick to a low point as he considers quitting Top Gun, but he pulls himself together as he and Iceman are deployed into hostile territory where they earn each other’s mutual respect and Maverick finally forgives himself for the death of Goose. In the end, Maverick decides to return to Top Gun as an instructor.
Amazingly, it took 36 years to produce a sequel to Top Gun, one of the longest runs in Hollywood history. I have not yet seen the sequel but its rave reviews have enticed me to watch it soon. Tragically, Kelly McGillis was snubbed for the sequel –she faced considerable hardship in life after two men broke into her New York and assaulted her, and then again after relocating to North Carolina, her home was once again broken into and vandalized by an assailant. Despite her absence, the sequel has been highly praised as Tom Cruise continues his quest to revive the modern action film from its lazy green-screen-ification.
So sad about Kelly. I knew she had some issues in her personal life which I remember reading about many years ago. But I liked her acting and especially as Mrs. Robinson in the stage play of The Graduate.
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