Masterpiece is the only word used to describe this film. Tony Scott, the director, made this film as good as it can get. Following, “Top Gun’s” success in box office, with everybody scrambling to watch it, Tony Scott found himself one of Hollywood’s best action directors in the 1980s. His best achievement came when “Top Gun” won an Oscar in 1987 in the Academy Awards in USA. Everybody enjoyed this film, but the question was that did the audience enjoy it? The answer was yes as “Top Gun” also won the People’s Choice Award in 1987.
“Top Gun” was released in the USA on the 12th May 1986.
Soon later, it had been released in the UK on the 3rd October, 1986. The price-tag stuck on “Top Gun” had risen over $350 million worldwide and had broken all home-videos record. Top Gun” is an action-packed film starring Hollywood star Tom Cruise who is a United States Navy F-14 pilot and plays a fearless character (Maverick/Pete Mitchell).
He’s joined by his counterpart Anthony Edwards who plays as (Goose). They are joined by other fighter pilots called Val Kilmer (Ice Man) and Rick Rossovich (Slider) who are Maverick’s main rivals. This film it full of action and is about the “Cold War” between the Americans and the Russians.
Throughout the film there is aerobatics performed at the beginning of the film and the end of the film. These performances are shot with great angle-shots and long-shots adding to the effect on the audience.
This is what makes the audience raise their necks to see better on their television screen. It also makes the audience feel like they are part of the action with these effects of high-speed planes whizzing across their television screens. The film begins somewhere above the Indian Ocean where Maverick and Goose are flying wingman Cougar and Merlin and are attempting to try and intercept an unknown bogey (enemy).
Cougar looks troubled as he gets surrounded by two bogeys. Cougar says to Maverick that “Maverick get down here and get these ass-holes off me. ” Maverick realises this and teases the bogeys recklessly and intimidates them to follow him leaving Cougar with more room. Maverick wasn’t satisfied with the amount of fun he was getting so he tilted on his aircraft’s head meaning he could see the opponent face to face. He also sticks a finger at him which shows Maverick’s attitude. This also shows that in such dangerous and tight situations, Maverick is not just doing his job, but he is also having fun.
After losing the bogeys, Maverick heads to search for Cougar, who emerges to be in some discomfort. Stinger (Instructor) orders Maverick to land as he is low on fuel but Maverick looks determined to rescue Cougar. Maverick spots Cougar in deep shock and tries to motivate him by saying “Come on Cougar, this is a walk in the park. ” Cougar also stares at his family photo suggesting that he’s afraid of losing his family. He rescues Cougar and flies back to base. Cougar, in such shock, explains to Stinger and says that he has “lost the edge” to continue anymore. Cougar apologises and hands his pilot badge to Stinger.
As Cougar has “lost the edge” to prolong, this leaves Maverick and Goose to fill in Cougar’s shoes. But firstly, Maverick is ordered to enter Stinger’s cabin where Stinger describes Maverick as a “brave” pilot. But knowing the enthusiasm in Maverick, he is upset with Maverick disobeying a direct instruction to land. But Stinger knows that he has a choice to make after Cougar’s unlikely resignation. He confirms that Maverick and Goose will be going to Miramar, Fighter Town, USA to fly with the best of the best in the piloting business. “I’m gonna send you up against the best.
You two characters are going to “Top Gun”. Maverick appears to be over the moon after his success which has sent him to “Top Gun”. He races an aircraft on his motorbike and clinches his fist while punching the air. This is effective to the audience because when somebody climbs a ladder to reach to a higher status, they usually have to earn it. But in this case, with Cougar retiring, the doors have seemed to just have opened for Maverick to enter without earning it. It also is the turning point in the film. This shows that it was in Maverick’s destiny to achieve the “Top Gun” status.
It was an unlikely chance of “Top Gun’s” number one pilot “losing the edge. ” After testing his instructor’s patience on his very first day, Stinger had no other choice other than sending Maverick to “Top Gun”. When Maverick and Goose enter an off-base bar, Maverick sees Charlotte Blackwood, his new civilian teacher. Unfortunately he is unaware of this and foolishly approaches her with a song. He sings the song called “You’ve lost that Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers. This gives you an idea about Maverick’s attitude at work and off work. At work he has motivation, concentration and fun and he does the same at the bar.
It feels like he aims a target at Charlotte as if he was aiming a target at an enemy in his aircraft. When he sings to her, Charlotte looks around to see if everyone is looking. And sadly for her, even the off-duty pilots join in. To prevent further embarrassment, Charlotte asks Maverick to sit down with her giving him the eye-contact. As they introduce themselves, they begin a back and forth battle of teasing. As Maverick flies in his plane, he flies to Charlotte only to be given grief. It’s clear that Maverick wants to chat up Charlotte but she is not going to make it easy for Maverick.
It appears that she teases him by insulting him in many ways. The first example is when Maverick introduces himself she replies “Did your mother not like you or something”. But then Maverick explains to her that it is his call sign. The other example is when Charlotte asks Maverick if he is a good pilot and Maverick replies “I can hold my own. ” Then Charlotte says “Great, then I don’t have to worry about you making your living as a singer. ” These silly remarks add to the audience’s effect as Maverick is getting shown up and shows everything is not as easy as it looks.
In this film, Charlotte Blackwood seems to change as the film moves on. First she was Charlotte then she turns into a new form called Charlie. This can also symbolise that she has fallen for Maverick and has changed to adapt with him. As the film progresses, a commander introduces Charlie to her students as the new civilian teacher who provide information on the enemy aircrafts and aerial combat techniques. When the commander leaves it to Charlie, she faces the class leaving Goose’s eye wide open and Maverick shaking his head. Charlie begins to talk about MIG-28s and states that it cannot do a negative G pushover.
Having done an inverted dive with a MIG 28, Charlie looks impressed. “So, you’re the one”. When the lesson finishes, Iceman approaches Maverick asking “Who was covering Cougar when you were showboating with the MIG. ” This suggests that where were you when Cougar was in trouble? Anything could have happened to Cougar in the time when Maverick was having fun. Maverick should have been flying wingman with Cougar but where was he afterwards. Maverick was just having fun by sticking the finger and taking photographs over his enemy. Iceman appears to be jealous of Maverick as he has had more success in his flying till date.
Iceman has already criticised Maverick’s reckless flying when he was showboating. He again criticises Maverick’s flying in the changing room by saying “You’re everyone’s problem. That’s because every time you go up in the air, you’re unsafe. I don’t like you because you’re dangerous. ” That is what Maverick is all about and he takes this as a compliment towards his greatness in his very short flying career. While all this was happening, Maverick and Goose are instructed to get up to Viper’s (boss) office after breaking “Top Gun’s” rules of engagement. The first was when Maverick flew under the 10,000 feet limit.
The second is when Maverick did that circus stunt fly-by after defeating Jester. Goose is a simple family man, who just wants to fly without any hurdles. You can see the worry Goose is in as he fiddles with his hands by scrunching and rubbing it together. His body language suggests that he is unhappy and scared of what the consequences will be. Viper explains to Maverick that he has broke a major rule of engagement and declares that he should obey them like everyone else does. “Lieutenant Mitchell, Top Gun rules of engagement exist for your safety and that of your team.
They are not flexible, nor am I. Either obey them or you’re history. ” Viper’s status at “Top Gun” is much larger than Mavericks and Viper shows this by looking outside the window. This suggests that he’s not even willing to give eye-contact to his pilots. After Maverick and Goose are dismissed from Viper’s office, Viper asks his colleague that “if you had to go into a battle, would you want him with you? ” His colleague responds “I don’t know, I just don’t know. ” This implies that he knows Maverick has the ability to win but on the other hand, Maverick is risky and put his and other’s lives at risk.
However, if you don’t know the answer to a question, you say “I don’t know” once. But he says it twice showing that he really is unsure about the question Viper has given him. In the middle of the night, Goose enters Maverick’s room claiming that he can’t get to bed. When somebody can’t get to sleep, the obvious reason is that they must be in deep thought about something. In Goose’s case, it is that he wants to graduate not just blow his career. Goose says “When I realised we were off to “Top Gun,” all I could think of what that trophy.
I’ve got to be straight with you, Mav. Right now I just hope to graduate. ” This shows that Goose is not here to mess about and ruin his career; he has a family to think about now. He can’t let Maverick do circus stunt fly-bys and breaking rules consistently and get into more deep trouble with Viper. He expresses his feeling to Maverick without hesitation. He says to Maverick that “I can’t blow this. ” Maverick has no other family, as with his father is classified as “dead”, the only person he has close to him is Goose. Maverick knows this and says to Goose “You’re the only family I’ve got. ”
The next scene is when Maverick and Goose face Iceman and Slider in a volleyball match. Maverick and Goose defeat their main rivals but without realising it, time flies by and Maverick gets late for the date with Charlie. He refuses Goose’s will to play one last match and heads straight to Charlie’s house on his motorbike. The motorbike emphasizes a symbol of rebel. Another example of a rebel is the speed the motorbike is going at. Rebels usually have motorbike because they like the speed they are going at. The camera is shot facing the back of Maverick which includes the Ocean line in the frame.
The Blue Ocean line shows you the never-ending desire and shows that opportunity never ends for anyone no matter what circumstances they are going through. When Maverick and Charlie settle down and talk face to face, Maverick talks about his father who had apparently disappeared on November 5th, 1965 in an F-4. Deep down in Maverick’s heart, he knows that Duke Mitchell didn’t screw up, he was a great fighter pilot. With Duke Mitchell classified as dead, Maverick has a reputation to live up to.
Charlie even asks Maverick that “Is that why you’re always second best up there? As at the beginning of the film, Charlie had teased Maverick, it appears that Maverick has replied back by leaving Charlie unsatisfied to have a shower. Charlie wanted more time with Maverick but Maverick teased her and left her alone. Goose is happier than ever after finding out that his family has visited him. He is a loving husband of a loving wife (Carole) and infant boy. This scene shows Goose playing the piano with delight of seeing his family again. Putting the Viper’s warning behind him, Goose prepares to enjoy himself with his family, what now includes Maverick.
As Maverick and Charlie get to know each other better, Goose, Carole and their son play on the piano. They sing “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. Soon after, Maverick and Charlie join in and all characters in this particular scene seem to be one big happy family. The mood in the bar is joyful and upbeat and this scene then contrasts to the scene when everything changes to unhappy. This outlook presents 2 families, being merged into 1 big family. Goose, Carole and their son are like a family to Maverick. Maverick once said “You’re the only family I’ve got”.
The excitement in the bar is huge and is shown when Carole says “Take me home or lose me forever. ” Goose replies “Show me the way home honey. ” These two couples are made for each other just like Maverick and Charlie. I just feel sorry for Carole as Goose makes a fool of himself by singing. After the enjoyment is over, all pilots learn that the “Top Gun” trophy is still up for grabs. The music then played is Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. This song is always played when the aircraft are flying. Maverick and Goose can see the bogeys in sight and head for their target.
But as they moved closer the engine stalls leaving the aircraft into a flat spin. The flat spin was unrecoverable due to the speed it was travelling at. Then, Maverick and Goose had no other choice other than to pull the ejection handle. Maverick said “I can’t reach the ejection handle. ” Then Goose tries and does pull the ejection handle, but the trailing canopy breaks his neck and kills him instantly. It was inevitable just after moments of happiness, this tragedy happens. The pulse-aiding music in the bar got the momentum pumping and gets the audience thinking that good things are going to happen.
But when you fly with such immense speed you always carry a risk. When Maverick falls into the sea, he desperately grasps Goose already aware of the incident occurred. As Maverick holds him, the music loses its pace and you could mostly hear Goose’s craves of “Oh no. ” This is dramatically effective and leaves the audience sad. Half of the viewer’s mind thinks that he’s dead, but the other half tells you that Maverick will save him. When the coast guard says to Maverick “You’ve got to let him go, sir,” it is like Maverick is letting him go physically and mentally.
When someone close to you dies you obviously regret it. The moment is like a junction on a motorway splitting apart. The tragic incident leaves Maverick guilty. He thinks that he was the cause of the death. This makes him lacking in confidence and faith in his own ability to fly again. He considers quitting “Top Gun”. “What the hell went wrong? ” When losing such a close friend, it always leaves you upset and wanting to be with them again. This is what Maverick want. “Oh God, I want him back. ” Moments after the accident, the scene shows Maverick stripped in the bare and empty washroom.
This is effective like everything has been taken from him. In this case, it’s the clothes, Goose, confidence and faith. He also stares in the mirror searching for answers, searching for himself. He is trying to get answers of who was responsible and why? He’s looking for a reflection. He’s been stripped to emotions. I like this scene because I feel it shows a different side to Maverick. Usually, Maverick is aggressive and a fearless character. But now he’s broken and upset. Viper enters the washroom and tells Maverick that “Goose is dead. ” He also says that these things happen in careers involving fighter planes.
Viper also gives an advice by saying “You’ve got to let him go”. Viper also said “The first one dies, you die with them,” which suggests that if s a friend or someone close to you dies, half of you die with them, mentally. Wolfman informs Charlie that Maverick just quit “Top Gun”. Charlie tries to persuade Maverick to continue flying as it wasn’t his fault. Even Carole tried to persuade Maverick by saying “He loved flying with you Maverick. He’d have flown anyway, without you. He’d have hated it but he would have done it,” shows that Carole is trying to make Carole to fly. It’s a story about Love vs Loss.
Faith is in between the two. When loss gets too big, then faith gets loss with it too. With Maverick confused, he has one last choice to visit Viper and get some advice. While he’s there, he discovers a fact that has been haunting him. His father Duke Mitchell, did not mess up, he was a hero. He was shot down in an F4 but refused to go down and doing so, he saved 3 other pilots before going down himself. Duke Mitchell’s disappearance had been “classified” because the US Department hoped to avoid an international incident as the incident took place “on the wrong line on some map”.
This mystery has been haunting Maverick and he asks Viper, “So he did do it right. ” And Viper says “Yeah he did it right. ” With Viper telling Maverick this fact, it has lifted the burden and the weight of Maverick’s shoulders. With Charlie, Carole and Viper trying to convince Maverick to graduate, it has worked. The burden has been lifted off Maverick’s shoulders and this motivates him and he also want to prove him to others. Maverick decides to return to “Top Gun” and has a mission to face. He must provide air-support to a SS Layton ship which has disabled into foreign territory.
Stinger says to all the pilots “This is what you’ve been trained for. ” When Maverick is held to take off, Iceman seems to be in trouble with 5 bogeys (MIGs) on his back. Without further delay, Maverick is forced to help Iceman and does so after firing lock on all bogeys, one by one. When Iceman has been rescued, Maverick and the other pilots have made their country proud. Maverick become a hero and afterwards, he sits in the bar on his own. All of a sudden, the song “You’ve lost that loving feeling” is heard. When Maverick looks around the bar, he sees Charlie who left the Washington job for Maverick.
Conclusion: This film is up there with the best of the best. A feature of this film makes this film a success. The feature is “Camera Shots. ” The camera shots appear from a range of angles. But the quick capturing of the faces to the aircraft adds to the film’s adrenaline. I enjoyed this film as I enjoyed the action part of the movie. It wasn’t just the action part, it was also the romance, comedy and rivalry between particular pilots. The best scene I enjoyed was the scene where Goose died because it shows that when things can go wrong, it does go wrong. That was the case in this film.