150 of 168 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Top Gun (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition) (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2011 2:01:35 PM PDT
Phineas Arnbuckle says:
Thank you for this well-written review. I've always enjoyed Top Gun and thought that the panning it's received was pretty much unjust. Great visuals, fun soundtrack - who cares if it's not Citizen Kane, as you mentioned?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 6:27:44 AM PST
Posted on Jan 28, 2013 9:00:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2013 9:02:12 AM PST
What I always wondered is how he was in a flat spin over Fallon, NV and ended up ejecting into the ocean. Those are some might strong winds aloft! :) These and a few other technical details / errors in the film clearly place this film in the realm of entertainment, not reality, and it should be judged on this.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2013 9:17:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2013 10:59:26 PM PST
Art Scott says:
The Top Gun MARINE Air-Combat Training School USED to be at Miramar NAS in San Diego. This doesn't make it a whole lot better since, as a retired combat chopper pilot who used to fly the ONLY American military Chopper with an AAM, I know darn well you don't do your serious flight training over a seriously populated areas (with the exception of practice flying IFR, in which case we need to use airports which have at least one IFR approach available), and San Diego is well populated. It occurred to me, however, the crash after the flat spin could well have been in Lake Mead. I'm sad to say it's been so long since I last saw Top Gun, I don't remember if they specifically name the body of water into which the aircraft crashed. If they don't say specifically the crash was into the Pacific, I think it's fair to say they were implying the crash was into Lake Mead.
Not that it matters that much. I mean, did that SINGLE FACT make you dislike the entire movie? One of the few movies where I thought Tom Cruise wasn't completely annoying (I mean, he WAS annoying in it, just not up to his usual Scientological level of annoying). And for me to like a movie with Tom Cruise in it, it's got to be damn well written, as Cruise can only portray one emotion with any skill--that of "grim determination."
As for the critics, well, movie critics who don't like "Top Gun" are the kinds who prefer to watch movies like "The Last Emperor", "The English Patient", "A Beautiful Mind," "Amadeus," and "Chariots of Fire," and other equally ludicrously BORING!! films. And though I'm not claiming Top Gun can really be compared to "Star Wars", even Star Wars was being given 1 1/2 stars by some reviewers, 1 star by another few, and it was really only those who could wrap their head around the supremely amazing film they'd just seen who gave Star Wars high marks (3 stars plus) when it first came out in 1977. NOW, though, it's hard to find much of anyone who doesn't at least not mind "Star Wars," the original trilogy (there was certainly a lot of disappointment in the prequel trilogy however, and that still stands). My point is, some movies are just made for guys and others for chicks, and some for people who are a combination of the 2 (I mean, Tootsie, Victor/Victoria, both made for people who are both male and female)
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 3:35:02 AM PST
Whatever, who cares. It's a great movie, it is entertainment after all, not a documentary. Get a grip dude.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 8:58:56 PM PST
It is a movie, entertainment. And a good movie. It's not a documentary. Seriously, get a grip.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 9:01:08 PM PST
It is entertaining, isn't that the point of a movie ?
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 10:29:31 AM PST
david von raesfeld says:
It didn't take place in Nevada. It was in NAS Miramar. That's in Southern CA.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2013 10:30:53 AM PST
david von raesfeld says:
"It occurred to me, however, the crash after the flat spin could well have been in Lake Mead. I'm sad to say it's been so long since I last saw Top Gun, I don't remember if they specifically name the body of water into which the aircraft crashed. If they don't say specifically the crash was into the Pacific, I think it's fair to say they were implying the crash was into Lake Mead."
Iceman clearly says during the crash, "He's in a flat spin. he's headed out to sea."