Macho posing aside, Top Gun is a breezy and entertaining movie which instantly vanishes from your memory as soon as the credits have rolled. In it, naval pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise, who gets to do a minor motorcycle scene in this movie, but nothing to match MI:2) trains at the Navy's top fighter pilot school on how to dogfight with buddy Goose (Anthony Edwards, who would later become a minor star on ER). He falls in love with civilian plane expert Charlie (Kelly McGillis) and has sex with her a lot before going on to save the world from evil Commie pilots, all the while continuing a rivalry with fellow pilot Iceman (Val Kilmer).
Long before Michael Bay, Tony Scott was the action auteur of choice (I use the term lightly). This was his first big hit, and it is suitably video-gamish. Every single scene is funny, whether or not it's intended as such. Take, for example, the sex scene between McGillis and Tom Cruise. All we see is the upper half of both of their bodies (the guy, of course, is on top). We see Tom Cruise's powerful muscles in the blue monochrome which the scene is shot in. We see McGillis and Cruise kissing, and the backlighting is so powerful we actually see McGillis' tongue enter Tom Cruise's mouth. Such overstatement is at the heart of the movie, along with the flying scenes, which are skillful, if a little confusing. The performances are all one-note. Future director/actor Tim Robbins gives no indication of his future performance (perhaps because his face is covered with a fighter pilot helmet for the whole movie).
This movie is totally synthetic from beginning to end and devoid of recognizably human characters, but mildly enjoyable for the critical and vastly enjoyable for the passive viewer.
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