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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Top Gun (1986) 
What made Tom Cruise a Star
3.5/4 stars

One could make the claim that "Top Gun," released during the summer of 1986, is one of the most influential action/guy movies ever made. Its testosterone-driven story of a young hotshot navy pilot named Maverick (Tom Cruise), who is sent with his co-pilot Goose (Anthony Edwards) to "Top Gun," a school for the top 1% pilots in the world, took a backseat to relentless, daring action, and a cheesy romance subplot between Maverick and his civilian instructor (Kelly McGillis) that only seemed to fuel the story."Top Gun" was directed skillfully by Tony Scott (younger brother of Ridley), who threw in a number of elements that would eventually become cliché and worn out by the countless imitators over the years and up until today, in 2004. I was a teenager when "Top Gun" was released in 1986, and I've seen it over a hundred times since then. I wasn't really drawn in the by the bravado, but was drawn in because I, like most other easily-influenced teenage boys , loved the really cool planes and thought Tom Cruise was one of the coolest actors at that time. I recently purchased the special edition DVD and I must say it brought back memories of my youth. "Top Gun" really hasn't aged at all since 1986, and I'd be highly skeptical of anyone that argues otherwise. "Top Gun" does of course have a lot of stuff that eventually became cliché over the years, like the heroic father, the rival - Iceman (Val Kilmer), the aforementioned romantic subplot, and a spectacular final battle that'll really get the adrenalin pumping, thus sending the film into cinema history."Top Gun" utilized a lot of these worn-out elements and director Scott gave them the polish they needed. Cruise, as a result of his role in this film, was rocketed to super-stardom, and has managed to successfully shed himself of his cocky, "Top Gun" image in the years since this film's release.


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