Top Gun is a 1986 action drama film directed by Tony Scott (Days of Thunder, True Romance, The Last Boy Scout, Man on Fire, Beverly Hills Cop 2, & Revenge). It was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Beverly Hills Cop franchise, Bad Boys franchise, Days of Thunder, The Rock, Gemini Man, & Con Air) & Don Simpson (Days of Thunder, The Ref, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide, & Bad Boys). It was inspired by an article titled “Top Guns” published in California magazine. It was written by Jack Epps Jr. (Turner & Hooch, Dick Tracy, Anaconda, & Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid) & Jim Cash (Legal Eagles, The Secret of My Success, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, & Dick Tracy). The budget was $15 million & it grossed $356.8 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
United States Naval Aviator LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (played by: Tom Cruise from the Mission Impossible franchise, Days of Thunder, Interview with the Vampire, Magnolia, War of the Worlds, & Collateral) & his Radar Intercept Officer LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (played by: Anthony Edwards from E.R., Revenge of the Nerds 1/2, Pet Sematary II, & Miracle Mile) fly the F-14A Tomcat aboard USS Enterprise. During an interception with two hostile MiG-28 aircraft, Maverick gets missile lock on one while the other hostile aircraft locks onto Maverick’s wingman Cougar (played by: John Stockwell from Christine, Eddie and the Cruisers, Dangerously Close, & My Science Project). While Maverick drives off the remaining MiG-28, Cougar is too shaken to land & Maverick, defying orders shepherds him back to the carrier. Cougar gives up his wings so CAG “Stinger” (played by: James Tolkan from the Back to the Future franchise, WarGames, Dick Tracey, & Masters of the Universe) is forced send the next best Maverick with Goose to TOPGUN, the Naval Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar. At a bar night before Topgun starts, Maverick unsuccessfully approaches Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (played by: Kelly McGillis from Witness, The Accused, We Are What We Are, & Stake Land) who ends up being a civilian TOPGUN instructor.
During Maverick’s first training sortie he defeats instructor LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly (played by: Michael Ironside from Scanners, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, & Highlander II: The Quickening) but through reckless flying breaks two rules of engagement so he gets reprimanded by chief instructor CDR Mike “Viper” Metcalf (played by: Tom Skerritt from Alien, Mash, Poltergeist III, & The Dead Zone). Maverick becomes a rival to top student LT Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (played by: Val Kilmer from Tombstone, The Doors, Batman Forever, & Heat). Maverick & Charlie start a secret romantic relationship. During a training sortie, Maverick abandons his wingman “Hollywood” to chase Viper which makes him look bad to the rest of the team especially Goose. Maverick & Iceman are the top two competitors for the TOPGUN Trophy. They chase an A-4 in a later training engagement that ends with a tragedy. Maverick loses his confidence & considers retirement. He seeks advice from Viper & learns the truth about his father Duke Mitchell’s death. He comes back to TOPGUN & helps out with a “crisis situation” with Merlin (played by: Tim Robbins from Jacob’s Ladder, Mystic River, The Shawshank Redemption, & The Hudsucker Proxy), Iceman, & Hollywood (played by: Whip Hubley from Species, Executive Decision, Driven, & Black Scorpion II). They work together as a team & complete their mission. Maverick is offered a job to anywhere that he wants & he chooses to return to TOPGUN as an instructor.
Top Gun is one of my all time favorite films & it loaded with classic quotes. As always with director Tony Scott, it’s a very stylish production & it grabs your attention from the opening scene. The cinematography was very impressive especially with some of the crazy shots they got in Top Gun. The action scenes were top notch here & very intense. As far as flight films goes, this is one of the best. Tom Cruise really shines in Top Gun as Maverick. It’s a great performance plus his chemistry with Anthony Edwards was incredible. I love the tension & rivalry with Val Kilmer in this. They both played off each other perfect as two completely opposite competitors who are trying to win TOPGUN their own way. Val Kilmer originally didn’t want to be Iceman but he had a contract with Paramount that forced him to do the film. This is one of his most iconic roles so it’s crazy that he didn’t want to do this at first. Val actually made Tom a better actor with his presence here & I thought he was a great villain. Kelly McGillis was a nice candy, I enjoyed that her character was tough & not a typical pushover. Veteran character actors Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, & James Tolkan elevated the production with their supporting roles. It has an amazing supporting cast that includes Anthony Edwards, John Stockwell, Tim Robbins, Whip Hubley, Barry Tubb (The Legend of Billie Jean), Rick Rossovich (The Terminator), Clarence Gilyard Jr.(Die Hard). Adrian Pasdar (Near Dark), & Meg Ryan (In the Cut). The script was lots of fun but it also got really serious at points, it had you at the edge of seat. It had a nice balance of drama, comedy, action, & romance to satisfy any movie fan. As everyone knows, the score & soundtrack is one of the all time greats when it comes to movie music. It won an Oscar that year for best song. You instantly know where they are from when you hear them even if you have never seen the feature before. Top Gun is a entertaining experience that only gets better with time. The reply value is off the charts & I can’t wait to see the long anticipated sequel, HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 2160p (2.40:1) transfer with Dolby Vision & HDR10 blows away every other home video release for Top Gun! Believe me I know because I’ve owned almost all of them & this is a major upgrade compared to those. The cinematography has always been top notch here but it looks even better plus the flight action scenes are just godlike. It has a massive variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD. This one sounds better much better than Days of Thunder when it comes to the new 4K Tom Cruise batch from Paramount. This is definitely one to show off your home set up on. All the dialogue is crystal clear, the action is intense with a killer boost, & the classic music is elevated here. One of my favorite movie soundtracks ever. These tracks get stuck in my head for days after viewing Top Gun. It’s also loaded with all kinds of different subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, & Thai. As always, Paramount kills it with the technical aspect of this 4K release. They are one of the best studios when it comes to that. Both picture & sound are amazing on this UHD!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “The Legacy of Top Gun” is a little over 5 minutes & it’s a brand new. It has interviews with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, lead actor Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick Director Joseph Kosinski, actors Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Lewis Pullman, & some of the cast from the upcoming Top Gun Maverick film. They show their appreciation for the film. They chat about their favorite scenes & quotes. They talk about the impact it had on people. They also promote the upcoming sequel for it. The almost 30 minute “On Your Six – Thirty Years of Top Gun” is brand new & it’s broken down into 5 different parts which includes “Looking Back”, “America’s Best”, “Into the Danger Zone”, “Going Ballistic”, & “Narrow Targets and the Future”. It has interviews with producer Jerry Bruckheimer & lead actor Tom Cruise. It’s mainly a very detailed chat with Cruise about the feature. He talks about when he first got the job & it was Tony’s brother Ridley that helped convince him to take it. He goes on him taking a larger role other than being an actor on Top Gun. He had creative control & he was very involved with everything for it. He brings up the cast & how some of them got attached to this project. They show their appreciation for director Tony Scott. They chat about his visual style & how he changed Hollywood after this. They talk about him being prepared, very detailed, & what he brought to this. Cruise tells a few funny stories about the shoot. They go over working with real life aviators & pilots for this. They bring up the impact it has over the years. They mention a sequel has been requested for a long time but they finally make it after making sure everything was right for it. The archive “Audio Commentary” with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, writer Jack Epps, Jr., & Naval Experts is the last extra on the actual UHD disc. They cover all the basics here. Lots of information about the production on this track. The rest of the older bonus material is located on the blu ray disc. The full length documentary “Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun” is almost 2 hours 28 minutes & it’s broken down into 6 different parts. It includes “From the Ground Up Pre-Production”, “Playing with the Boys Production”: “Land and Sea, The Need for Speed Production”, “Back to Basics Visual Effects”, “Combat Rock: The Music of Top Gun”, & “Afterburn Release and Impact”. It has interviews with the cast & crew. This is definitely one of the best documentaries about a film on a home video release. They go into great detail about every important aspect of the production. They cover all the basics & everything else you would want to know about Top Gun. “Multi-Angle Storyboards” is almost 7 minutes & it features two sequences (Flat Spin & Jester’s Dead) from Top Gun. “Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun” is almost 29 minutes This documentary focuses on the real life people that do this type of dangerous stuff every day. “Music Videos from Top Gun” featuring Danger Zone, Take My Breath Away, Heaven In Your Eyes, & Top Gun Anthem. It’s nice to have these videos included on this disc. The music is very important to the Top Gun film. The almost 24 minute “Original Theatrical Promotional Material” which Includes Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, Survival Training Featurette, Tom Cruise Interviews, & TV Spots. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a blu ray copy of the release. A steelbook version was also released. This release is loaded with all kinds of special features! Besides not including the 3D version, this is the ultimate edition of Top Gun when it comes to home video. This needs to be added to your collection ASAP! It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!