I don’t really have an excuse for never watching “Top Gun.” I guess it’s the same reason that I’ve also never seen films like “Cruel Intentions,” “Sixteen Candles” or most Best Picture winners: There are so many great movies that I’ve somehow missed that to go back and watch them all is such a daunting task!
But I finally sat down to watch Pete “Maverick” Mitchell don those aviators and flip a leather jacket over his shoulder like a greaser. Also, let me just say, I’ve never once been attracted to Tom Cruise (honestly, guy’s kind of a weirdo!), but Maverick does it for me. Besides the teeth. And the unibrow.
“Top Gun” is a fine movie. It’s the quintessential ‘80s film, packed with a great soundtrack, cheesy as HELL romantic encounters (although “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is now my go-to karaoke song for the rest of my life) and provides enough quotable material that leaves it still relevant over 30 years later.
I get why they’re making a sequel (due out summer 2020). “Top Gun” has enough thrill for the action fans and enough romantic comedy for the lovebirds, plus it makes you feel some real human emotion! The relationships forged between the lieutenants at Topgun are realistic and relatable.
And the volleyball scene didn’t hurt.
As a refresher (does anyone really even need it?) we open with Maverick and his radar intercept officer Goose entangled in hostile interaction with enemy aircraft. Maverick pulls a crazy move, his wingman Cougar gets scared and quits the Navy (because apparently you can do that) and Maverick and Goose get sent to Topgun, the Naval Fighter Weapons School, in Cougar’s place.
Everything’s fun and games for a while: Maverick woos one of the civilian Topgun professors, Charlie, with a song, a rivalry is born between Mav and Iceman and some exciting training sorties go down. The plot takes a tragic turn, though, when Goose dies upon an emergency exit from his and Maverick’s F-14. Maverick isn’t at fault, but is so distraught over his friend’s death that he all but leaves Topgun. Chief instructor Viper tells Mav about his heroic father, Mav feels better, Mav stays at Topgun.
Here’s where I have problems. During their graduation ceremony, the crew is called to action for a crisis situation, it being that one of their ships has drifted into hostile waters and needs a safe escort back. Maverick and Co. spring into action, obviously push the enemy back due to Maverick’s reinstated self-confidence and return to their aircraft carrier to celebrate.
But we never see the ship?! Did it make it back? Who’s to say that the enemy aircraft didn’t go back and harass the ship again? WHERE IS THE BOAT? But nooo, none of this matters because Maverick is back, baby!
Not only that, but in the end sequence, Maverick is seen tossing Goose’s dog tags into the ocean. Yeah yeah, I know, it’s supposed to symbolize his ability to move on from the past and prosper, OK. But did he forget about Meg Ryan, aka Goose’s wife?! Or child, for that matter? Maybe they wanted the dog tags, Mav!
Anyway...great movie, weird plot holes. At least there was a good enough setup for the sequel, where we’ll see Maverick, 30 years later, teaching at Topgun. Until Baby Goose comes back for his father’s dog tags, and Maverick has to explain that he THREW THEM AWAY.