Tony Scott Retrospect – Top Gun (1986) – Encore Review


“You don’t have time to think up there. If you think, you’re dead.” – Maverick

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in ’86, cable, video, DVD, 8 Mar 2000, 5 May 2016 and 17 Jun 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A cocky naval aviator is sent to a course for the best fighter pilots to learn the art of dogfighting.

My Take on it – I’m going to be a guest at the end of the month on a podcast that will be reviewing the body of work of Director Tony Scott, so I plan to watch and review over the next 8 days, 8 of his most popular films in order of their release dates.

This is #2!

This is the first of 4 of these titles that I saw in the theater upon its initial release.

I recall the hype and fanfare when this came out so vividly.

I have seen it too many times to count over the past 35 years and love it each and every time.

The film is spectacular to watch despite the fact that the plot itself is quite simple and superficial.

The film gives the viewer constant adrenaline shots as the story unfolds at a rapid pace.

The film has a great cast with Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards as the main pilots who seem so realistic in their portrayal of these death defying heros.

Kelly McGillis is fine here tho in a role as a tone female who’s subplot feels a bit too tacked on for its own good.

It seems like the love story aspect was added in order to find a way for women to also enjoy the film (besides watching the volleyball scene with these muscular men.

Tony Scott does a wonderful job directing this film and finds ways to keep things so entertaining from start to finish.

There is no doubt in my mind that once he made this film, he realized that he found his niche because the rest of his entire resume is filled with fast paced action thrillers.

The music in this film is spectacular (including the Oscar and Globe winning song – Take My Breath Away) and really enhances the pacing of the story due to some of the songs helping make things so iconic.

Check some of them out below:

Top Gun Theme

Danger Zone

Playing With the Boys

Take my Breath Away

Mighty Wings

This is a film that is definitely a great one to watch at home but there is absolutely nothing comparable to seeing this on the big screen and I can’t wait to see the sequel planned for later this year (or 2021 or 2022 depending on COVID) also in the theater.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that despite having a very simple and superficial plot, works really well due to the adrenaline shots that viewer gets as the story moves along. The cast is superb with Cruise, Edwards and Kilmer perfectly cast in the roles of the pilots. McGillis is fine as the token female love interest in the film but things feel a bit too tacked on in order to give the film something for women to enjoy besides the hard bodies and muscles of these fighter jocks.  Scott does a wonderful job directing this film and definitely found his niche with this film. The music is superb and adds so much to the fast pace of the film. This is a great watch at home yet there is nothing like seeing this one on the big screen to really take your breath away…  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Riding on the back of this film’s success, the U.S. Navy set up recruiting booths in the major cinemas to try and catch some of the adrenaline charged guys leaving the screenings. They had the highest applications rate for years as a result. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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