Did This Movie Take My Breath Away? Read On To Find Out…

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I have broken my before-now unmentioned one post per week rule to bring you a review of the manliest homosexual movie of all time. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a review of Top Gun (1986). Based around an actually-existing school of pilots, it shows their training processes built around a love story between Maverick and Iceman his woman whose name I forget. Actually, I’m not sure that her first name is ever mentioned.

On paper, this movie had everything that makes a manly movie manly. You have your shots of aircraft taking off, your volleyball scene, a rockin’ soundtrack and several mid-air dogfights. Arguably this movie popularised the aviator style of glasses and allowed men to look cool with those for decades to come. So where did it go wrong?

Well, for starters, I found a recut trailer of Top Gun on the internet that means I will never be able to look at it in the same way again (link will be at the bottom of the blog). And the locker room scenes give off huge sexual undercurrents for the dudes, which supports my ‘the characters are all gay’ theory. Which is not in and of itself a reason not to watch the movie, but I think some guys may be put off.

The main character of the film is Maverick (real name Pete Mitchell), a fighter pilot played by Tom Cruise. He gets his shot at a place at the best-of-the-best-only Top Gun flight school. What follows is a love story that starts when he meets the main woman in a bar and sings ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ in what is actually a funny moment. His character is played with a hint of sadness over losing his father in Vietnam in what everyone else views as incompetence. I just viewed this as the mandatory emotional baggage that characters are required to have. Other than that, Maverick just came off as a jackass, rather than the cool and great pilot that the film tried to portray.

The antagonist is played by Val Kilmer, also known as ‘Iceman’. I say antagonist, but as they’re all on the same team there is no real bad guy. Strictly speaking, he’s like the school bully who turns out to be okay when you get to know him. Val Kilmer himself has referred to Iceman as one of two gay characters that he’s played.

One of the ways that this movie is actually good is in the soundtrack department. Highway To The Danger Zone and Top Gun Anthem by Kenny Loggins and Harold Faltermeyer respectively are two of the best things to come from this movie. Anyone who has done this will know that blasting down the road with Highway To The Danger Zone playing is an epic thing to do.

Showing that audiences are easily influenced, many people signed up for the Navy after seeing this movie, despite the death that occurs late in the movie that completely destroys Cruise’s morale (this would be a spoiler but frankly if you haven’t seen it you’re not missing much). One would think that it would put them off, but no…

The reasons that this movie isn’t so good in my eyes are that they tried too hard to create an atmosphere of manliness, what with the rockin’ soundtrack and the guns and all, but then they added the Cruise love story angle, which clashes with the overall feel of the film. Plus the shots of the hot allegedly hot men in flightsuits and sweat glimmering off their bodies seems at odds with the awesome dogfights and suchlike that they added to the movie to appeal to the male audience. It’s a movie that doesn’t know what it is, an awesome guy movie or a female romantic movie. And I feel that is to its detriment and that they should’ve picked one audience to play to really well, rather than become a multi-demographic lacklustre film. If you take it seriously, it just falls flat and doesn’t quite work. But I also feel that if you view it with undertones of a hidden romance between Maverick and Iceman that it becomes hilarious to watch, which redeems it in a small way.

So yes, if you like movies that don’t try for any kind of artistic undertones and just concentrates on cool stuff, then along with Die Hard, Top Gun is a good movie for you. But I would generally recommend not seeing it. Other than some great music and one great scene, you’re not missing much. Give this one a miss, watch a truly great 80’s movie instead (I for one recommend The Terminator).

The homosexuality supporting trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekXxi9IKZSA

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