Latest Entertainment News Headlines

The UnPopular Opinion: Top Gun

04.10.2013

THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

**** SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

Oh, TOP GUN. You are loved by a large contingent of heterosexual males because of the massive testosterone displayed on screen throughout with a sharp undercurrent of homosexual tension.  Sure, the movie spends a little too long lingering on the bodies of buff dudes who say barely masked sexual double entendres to each other. Hell, I could quote Quentin Tarantino's speech about TOP GUN being the story of a man's struggle with his own homosexuality, but I am instead going to focus on what makes this one bad movie and a lowpoint in the careers of all involved.

I will say that I like Jerry Bruckheimer movies, on the whole.  I can find enjoyment in his Michael Bay era and even his current run with Walt Disney.  Tony Scott is also a filmmaker I enjoy immensely, especially TRUE ROMANCE and then his run of stylized films in the 1990s.  Tom Cruise is also an actor who I generally like.  But, when all three of these entities converged, they produced two honking pieces of crap: DAYS OF THUNDER and TOP GUN.

Filmmaking Tip:  To make your character cool, make them wear sunglasses, constantly.

If you take TOP GUN in just for the aerial shots, it is a masterpiece.  There have been very few films that have given us a look at fighter jets in action in such an exhilarating manner.  TOP GUN succeeds by giving us clear shots of the planes in action as well as against each other.  At no moment do you ever see through the visual effects and think this is all green screen.  You truly feel that Tom Cruise was in the air in every shot, making those near impossible maneuvers seem like child's play.

Don't get me started on the music.  Both "Danger Zone" and "Take My Breath Away" became huge hits after TOP GUN became a box office smash and I have no problem with either song, until they are played for the hundredth time at the halfway point of the movie.  The instrumental score of a movie uses musical cues to set the tone and mood of a scene, but when you use an actual song with lyrics over and over, it just feels amateurish.

But, the moment the action stops and the characters have to interact, the movie collapses. The sceenplay by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr features some memorable one-liners but every other character interaction feels like a superficial conversation written by a high school student imagining how adults talk.  Goose and Maverick truly feel like friends who have an unspoken bond between them, but no other characters hold that same level of rapport.  Add in the villainous Iceman and you have a bad guy with less depth than Johnny Lawrence from THE KARATE KID.  Val Kilmer will forever be associated with TOP GUN, but I would rather watch him in BATMAN FOREVER than this movie.  At least as Batman, Kilmer showed some range.

Ooh, Maverick!  The whole fist?  Mmmmm!

The other focal point of TOP GUN is the romance between Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise McGillis' Charlie is an astrophysicist and quite a catch, just check out the old dude she is seeing when Maverick first spots her in the bar.  I mean, what woman would not choose a guy in his early twenties with Tom Cruise's abs when she can hold an intelligent conversation with someone?  That wouldn't make logical sense, but this is a Bruckheimer movie after all.  So, after the weakest round of foreplay I have ever seen on screen, McGillis ends up falling for Cruise after learning that Maverick is the only man in the world to fly a jet is a very specific way.  Actually, he was in a "4G inverted dive with a MiG 28" which is the kind of technobabble that makes the characters sound like experts, but plays more like a cheap way to make the movie sound more authoritative than it is.  Come on, guys, leave the expertise to the actual pilots making the aerial scenes so intense and let the characters have some better dialogue.

The sex scene between Charlie (ok, so she uses a dude's name.  Still not making gay jokes) and Maverick is one of the most uncomfortable scenes I have ever watched.  Charlie looks like she is waiting for Maverick to stop licking the inside of her mouth while he silently bangs her.  Knowing now that Kelly McGillis is a lesbian made me wonder if it was filming this scene that pushed her to exclusively sleep with women.  For a manly fighter pilot, Tom Cruise f*cks like a woman.

Kelly McGillis' callsign would have been "Cougar"

In fact, TOP GUN seems to have more scenes featuring the pilots staring at each other intensely or superior officers giving orders than it does true interaction.  And sweet lord, how sweaty are these guys?  They all look like they have been eating habanero peppers between takes.  In fact, even when Maverick loses his edge after Goose's death, I never felt that there was any true danger to their roles or their careers.  I was reminded of this when I saw THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, which features Peter Parker and Flash Thompson hating each other until Uncle Ben dies.  At that point, Marc Webb and the screenwriters elected to have Flash show some humanity and relate to Peter's loss.  In TOP GUN, when Goose dies, Iceman suddenly becomes a partially decent human being.  The rivalry between these pilots feels like a bunch of entitled brats arguing over who has the bigger dick.

In the very end, the pilots are all on the "same team" (not a gay joke) and unite as good members of a unified military would, for the good of our country.  There really is an enemy to fight, which leads to the breathtaking (see, they couldn't take mine away!) final battle.  After all is said and done, Maverick and Iceman are now buddies ("You can be my wingman, anytime"  Really?) abd Maverick gets the girl.  All's well that ends well, but the viewer is left wondering why they didn't just fastforward through everything but the flight scenes.

Scott, Cruise, and Bruckheimer all went onto great careers in Hollywood and toyed with a sequel to TOP GUN until Scott's unfortunate death last year.  I am sure a follow up would have been a hit with audiences today as much as it was back in 1986.  But, the sequel would have had a hell of time matching or even topping any flight sequences in this original, but even the screenwriters of the TWILIGHT franchise could have done a better job with everything else.  TOP GUN will remain a curiosity of Hollywood: a movie so bad that it is good, but is still really, really bad.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion I’m always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to alexmaidy@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

12:33AM on 04/10/2013

No argument from me

I never liked this movie. Admittedly, Tom Cruise proved he could elevate even the lousiest script which is a large part of why he's still working in Hollywood. But the non-aerial scenes are a fucking joke.
And I have to chuckle at Kelly McGillis hunching over so she doesn't look taller than Cruise.
I never liked this movie. Admittedly, Tom Cruise proved he could elevate even the lousiest script which is a large part of why he's still working in Hollywood. But the non-aerial scenes are a fucking joke.
And I have to chuckle at Kelly McGillis hunching over so she doesn't look taller than Cruise.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:34AM on 04/10/2013

Odd.

I feel like this is an odd UnPopular Opinion. Sure it's a beloved movie from the 80's, but like many other iconic films from that era, it's obviously bad. People have been talking about its homosexual undertones, poor dialogue and eye rolling overuse of sappy music for decades. I believe a large majority of people know exactly where Top Gum stands.
I feel like this is an odd UnPopular Opinion. Sure it's a beloved movie from the 80's, but like many other iconic films from that era, it's obviously bad. People have been talking about its homosexual undertones, poor dialogue and eye rolling overuse of sappy music for decades. I believe a large majority of people know exactly where Top Gum stands.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-9
12:45AM on 04/10/2013

Your ego...

...is writing checks, your body can't cash.
You must not have seen TOP GUN in the theater as a kid, because if you did, this article wouldn't exist. Nice try, nube. Nice try.
...is writing checks, your body can't cash.
You must not have seen TOP GUN in the theater as a kid, because if you did, this article wouldn't exist. Nice try, nube. Nice try.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:58AM on 04/10/2013
So essentially what you're saying is it's only good because of nostalgia? Not a good move.
So essentially what you're saying is it's only good because of nostalgia? Not a good move.
1:06AM on 04/10/2013
I don't disagree with anything Alex says, and I still love the ever-loving shit out of this movie. Its alternately awesome and 'so bad its good.' Just like the 80s.

Someone here needs to write a column about 'Fire Birds' the godawful 'Top Gun but with helicopters' movie from 1990 with Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sean Young. I must have watched that shit on basic cable like ten times in the mid-90s. Don't blame me, I was 11, wanted to be a pilot, and had terrible taste in movies.
I don't disagree with anything Alex says, and I still love the ever-loving shit out of this movie. Its alternately awesome and 'so bad its good.' Just like the 80s.

Someone here needs to write a column about 'Fire Birds' the godawful 'Top Gun but with helicopters' movie from 1990 with Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sean Young. I must have watched that shit on basic cable like ten times in the mid-90s. Don't blame me, I was 11, wanted to be a pilot, and had terrible taste in movies.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:21AM on 04/10/2013
Up until this point I thought I was the only person who remembered Fire Birds.
Up until this point I thought I was the only person who remembered Fire Birds.
2:06AM on 04/10/2013
Totally agree...I think this movie is one long 80s music video..which is not a good thing
Totally agree...I think this movie is one long 80s music video..which is not a good thing
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:24AM on 04/10/2013
Top Gun was a movie of its time...it was an 80's thing if it was to be released now it'd be trashed to bits star someone like Taylor Kitsch and flop but for then it was great...Top Gun introduced me to Jerry Bruckheimer not exactly a bad thing
Top Gun was a movie of its time...it was an 80's thing if it was to be released now it'd be trashed to bits star someone like Taylor Kitsch and flop but for then it was great...Top Gun introduced me to Jerry Bruckheimer not exactly a bad thing
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:21AM on 04/10/2013
Again Taylor Kitsch getting shit on...i like the dude
Again Taylor Kitsch getting shit on...i like the dude
3:24AM on 04/10/2013
Wow, finally an Unpopular Opinion that I agree with 100%. Hell has got to be ice cold at this moment.
Wow, finally an Unpopular Opinion that I agree with 100%. Hell has got to be ice cold at this moment.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:54AM on 04/10/2013
Saw this at retro movie night at Movie Tavern about a year ago and had a smile on my face the whole time. It was a blast - especially with a large beer in hand. It may be a cheesy movie, but it's fun, and that's enough.
Saw this at retro movie night at Movie Tavern about a year ago and had a smile on my face the whole time. It was a blast - especially with a large beer in hand. It may be a cheesy movie, but it's fun, and that's enough.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
6:17AM on 04/10/2013

Couldn't agree more

Haxing been a junior in high school when this came out all my friends were raving about Top Gun. When I finally saw it all I saw was an overglorified music video about an unbelievable romance (and a minor dose of homoeroticism) with some shots of cool aerial maneuvers to cover it all. This film will always be on my top 10 most overrated list.
Haxing been a junior in high school when this came out all my friends were raving about Top Gun. When I finally saw it all I saw was an overglorified music video about an unbelievable romance (and a minor dose of homoeroticism) with some shots of cool aerial maneuvers to cover it all. This film will always be on my top 10 most overrated list.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:57AM on 04/10/2013

I love this movie and always will.

I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like the movie cause lets face it, it's corny as hell. But it was a big part of my childhood growing up and Tom owned it. Plus there's never been a film like it in terms of the aerial dog fights and shooting them FOR REAL!
I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like the movie cause lets face it, it's corny as hell. But it was a big part of my childhood growing up and Tom owned it. Plus there's never been a film like it in terms of the aerial dog fights and shooting them FOR REAL!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:22AM on 04/10/2013
I love this movie because it's ultimately a fun date movie with an entertaining, cheesy, nostalgic 80s vibe. Plus, I grew up with it as did most of us.
I love this movie because it's ultimately a fun date movie with an entertaining, cheesy, nostalgic 80s vibe. Plus, I grew up with it as did most of us.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:48AM on 04/10/2013

Top Gun is without doubt an awful(but highly entertaining!) piece of shit

But I always thought that actually was the popular opinion. When I clicked on this column I expected to read why it was actually a good film. but maybe this is one of those things that's different between countries. Is Top Gun actually generally regarded asa a good film in the US of A? Because it's generally seen as a piece of shit in the Netherlands.(although truthfully we dutch folk have a weird taste in movies. For example the same summer the Dark Knight was in theaters here it was actually
But I always thought that actually was the popular opinion. When I clicked on this column I expected to read why it was actually a good film. but maybe this is one of those things that's different between countries. Is Top Gun actually generally regarded asa a good film in the US of A? Because it's generally seen as a piece of shit in the Netherlands.(although truthfully we dutch folk have a weird taste in movies. For example the same summer the Dark Knight was in theaters here it was actually second place in our box office for 3 weeks. the number one movie at the time was the Kite Runner!?!)
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:08AM on 04/10/2013

I have to go the cliche analysis route

and say that Tarantino's argument trumps this one, and makes it an awesome subversive movie. This movie came out when I was in middle school, and I went from loving it to hating it to loving it again. It's definitely cheesy, and nostalgia in and of itself is not a justification for a movie being good, but the time capsule effect can give even a bad movie some benefit. This movie says so much about how men wanted to see masculinity in the 80s. The actors are just delivering that message. And
and say that Tarantino's argument trumps this one, and makes it an awesome subversive movie. This movie came out when I was in middle school, and I went from loving it to hating it to loving it again. It's definitely cheesy, and nostalgia in and of itself is not a justification for a movie being good, but the time capsule effect can give even a bad movie some benefit. This movie says so much about how men wanted to see masculinity in the 80s. The actors are just delivering that message. And it's a brilliant, if uncomfortable, message that existed before ironic self awareness took hold in cinema. What you see, and what is implied is definitely what you get.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:33AM on 04/10/2013
Haha, call sign for McGillis - Cougar. That is spot on!
Haha, call sign for McGillis - Cougar. That is spot on!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+4
10:16AM on 04/10/2013
SWORD FIGHT!!!!!
SWORD FIGHT!!!!!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:25AM on 04/10/2013
I have shifted from saying its terrible to so-terrible-it's-hilarious.
I have shifted from saying its terrible to so-terrible-it's-hilarious.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
11:02AM on 04/10/2013
i cant agree or disagree to this column because im a 35 yr old man that hasnt sat through thr entire movie. sorry, im probably gonna get thumbs down.
i cant agree or disagree to this column because im a 35 yr old man that hasnt sat through thr entire movie. sorry, im probably gonna get thumbs down.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:36AM on 04/10/2013
I agree, I was 15 when this came out, had no interest in seeing it in the theater, had to endure the music and wait out the phenomena, think I saw it when it hit cable, thought it was excruciating. This movie honestly symbolizes when I turned on the mainstream and started making my own decisions about what is relevant.
I agree, I was 15 when this came out, had no interest in seeing it in the theater, had to endure the music and wait out the phenomena, think I saw it when it hit cable, thought it was excruciating. This movie honestly symbolizes when I turned on the mainstream and started making my own decisions about what is relevant.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:13PM on 04/10/2013

An unpopular opinion, indeed.

An opinion I do not agree with, nor do any points made above come close to convincing me otherwise. TOP GUN is far from a multi-layered film, but as a Blockbuster popcorn action film, it holds its own today.
An opinion I do not agree with, nor do any points made above come close to convincing me otherwise. TOP GUN is far from a multi-layered film, but as a Blockbuster popcorn action film, it holds its own today.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:21PM on 04/10/2013
Top Gun is meant to be fun and cool. Those are some I the coolest characters of the 80's. Who else can walk into the woman's restroom and charm some girl by simply smiling and leaning on the counter? Fucking Maverick that's who. Top Gun rules
Top Gun is meant to be fun and cool. Those are some I the coolest characters of the 80's. Who else can walk into the woman's restroom and charm some girl by simply smiling and leaning on the counter? Fucking Maverick that's who. Top Gun rules
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
9:48PM on 04/10/2013
Check out the podcast on itunes "Beer me a Movie". They did a whole dissection of this movie and I thought it was hilarious.
Check out the podcast on itunes "Beer me a Movie". They did a whole dissection of this movie and I thought it was hilarious.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:56AM on 04/11/2013
You know, Alex, I'm not sure that's an unpopular opinion at all. While I seem to recall kind of liking "Days of Thunder" (it's been about fifteen years since I popped either of them in though). I don't mean it's popular to hate on it (necessarily), but to call out all the flaws it has, all the bizarre double-entendres, and the cheesy melodrama that strings together flight sequences. It's got a camp value to it, but even fans tend to admit it's little more than a feature-length music video.
You know, Alex, I'm not sure that's an unpopular opinion at all. While I seem to recall kind of liking "Days of Thunder" (it's been about fifteen years since I popped either of them in though). I don't mean it's popular to hate on it (necessarily), but to call out all the flaws it has, all the bizarre double-entendres, and the cheesy melodrama that strings together flight sequences. It's got a camp value to it, but even fans tend to admit it's little more than a feature-length music video. Personally, if I never saw it again, I really wouldn't care.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:33AM on 04/24/2013

...

Top Gun is not a "Good" Movie and never pretended or wanted to be one, Top Gun aims to be an Entertaining and Cool Jet Fighter Movie and it excels at that; in fact it's the best ever made. Judging the movie like it's done here is almost as stupid as saying for an instance that Dumb & Dumber is a bad movie because some characters are underdeveloped and sometimes make no sense.
Top Gun is not a "Good" Movie and never pretended or wanted to be one, Top Gun aims to be an Entertaining and Cool Jet Fighter Movie and it excels at that; in fact it's the best ever made. Judging the movie like it's done here is almost as stupid as saying for an instance that Dumb & Dumber is a bad movie because some characters are underdeveloped and sometimes make no sense.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:09AM on 08/01/2013

Funny

I like Top Gun because it reminds me of my childhood and I love the jet fighting scenes, but I can see how people hate it and would never argue with someone who is negative towards it.
I like Top Gun because it reminds me of my childhood and I love the jet fighting scenes, but I can see how people hate it and would never argue with someone who is negative towards it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More