Top positive review
174 people found this helpful
on February 18, 2005
Top Gun never claims to have epic scope, emotional gravitas, or a deep plot. I imagine that those who criticize this movie for its supposed shortcomings also look upon the Three Stooges with disgust for not exploring the depth of Moe's antagonistic relationship with Curly. The fact is that only about 10% of films released in general circulation attempt to have the depth of a Citizen Kane or Godfather. Among the other 90%, Top Gun is the best of the best.
Top Gun's obvious strength is the aerial visuals. Not since perhaps Howard Hughes' Jet Pilot has there been such an ambitious attempt to capture the look and feel of high performance flight. The F-14's photogenic qualities combine with Tony Scott's signature backlighting to create a terrific sense of energy and screen presence for the Grumman bird. The tactical realism may suffer, but the tight spacing and resulting packed frames of the ACM sequqnces are uniquely energetic and fast-paced. It is a shame that this may be the last time that anyone goes to the expense and hassle of using real film to capture such manuevers. The footage still compares favorably to state of the art CGI 20 years after its release.
The non-flying scenes are remarkable only for the collection of young talent that would eventually drive box office returns for a good part of the '90s. But the greatest compliment I could give the plot and acting is that they don't detract from the pacing and cohesiveness of a visually-driven movie.
*RE: Review Title- OK3 is the best grade possible for US Navy pilots performing carrier landings.