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In TOP GUN, Tom Cruise stars as Maverick, a talented training pilot in an elite U.S. school for fighter pilots. When he stumbles upon some MiG's over the Persian Gulf, and his wingman panics, Maverick cleverly talks him through the situation to safety. Consequently, he is moved up in rank and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he has several conflicts with other students while trying to live up to his deceased father's reputation. Unable to cope with the death of his best friend, and fellow pilot, Goose, Maverick contemplates dropping out, but follows through with his dream and ultimately becomes one of the "best of the best."
Jingoism, beefcake, military hardware, and a Giorgio Moroder rock score reign supreme over taste and logic in this Tony Scott film about a maverick trainee pilot Tom Cruise who can't follow the rules at a Navy aviation training facility. The dogfight sequences between American and Soviet jets at the end are absolutely mechanical, though audiences loved it at the time. The love story between Cruise's character and that of Kelly McGillis is like flipping through pages of advertising in a glossy magazine. This designer action movie from 1986 would be all the more appalling were it not for the canny casting of good actors in dumb parts. Standouts include Anthony Edwards--who makes a nice impression as Cruise's average-Joe pal--and the relatively unknown Meg Ryan in a small but memorable appearance. --Tom Keogh