I’ve always been a fan of Top Gun ever since watching it back in the 80’s, as it had just about everything you could want from a blockbuster. Things such as a great lead star, a fantastic soundtrack, and of course awesome F-14 fighter jets. So I was more than excited when Paramount Pictures sent over the Top Gun: 30th Anniversary Edition that comes in a steelbook case. I’m glad to say the movie still holds up perfectly after all these years, and makes a great collector’s item for fans while gaining a new generation of fans in the process.
Things kick off with Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (an iconic role for star Tom Cruise) and his best friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) flying high in the skies in their F-14A Tomcat and showing off their impressive but sometimes reckless teamwork. After an incident shakes up the lead pilot in their squad, the two of them are promoted to being number one and sent off to the infamous Top Gun school in Miramar to learn how to become the very best pilots out there. Here they run into other pilots looking to be the best such as Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) who always stays cool as ice when under pressure (hence the call sign) who immediately has a problem with Maverick’s awesome but reckless flying skills. Throw in Maverick hitting on the lovely Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis) who is also one of the advisors/instructors at the school, and making trouble for the instructors Mike “Viper” Metcalf (Tom Skerritt) and Rick “Jester” Heatherly (Michael Ironside), and you have one wild ride from the 80’s.
I had almost forgotten how much I loved this movie until I saw it here again in high definition. The picture looks a little dated at times, but it does look the cleanest I’ve ever seen it thanks to the clean transfer. I enjoyed the overall feel of the movie, as one of the crew behind the scenes said it was something like Star Wars but on Earth, which is exactly how I felt about it as well. To go along with the film, the awesome soundtrack fits like a glove and helps keep viewers into both the action and drama. Kenny Loggins’ infamous “Danger Zone” (a favorite of Archer’s) always gets the blood pumping as you watch, while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” is pure 80’s drama music at its best.
As if experiencing this film wasn’t enough, there’s more extras than you can shake an afterburner at. Audio commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the late director Tony Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. along with naval experts get things started and keep things interesting with all sorts of cool facts and stories about the making of the movie. “Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun” is two and half hours of behind the scenes material, interviews with the cast and crew and more that really takes you inside the making of this classic. “Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun” takes viewers inside the real school in Miramar, and more extras such as music videos, more interviews and other features are sure to keep those who love extras busy for quite some time.
I could say a lot more about the plot and other things, but the Top Gun: 30th Anniversary Edition is something you have to experience for yourself, and saying anymore would ruin the fun. Children of the 80’s such as myself have already picked up this classic for sure, but those who love a great action/drama film owe it to themselves to fire up the engines of this classic and take a flight they’ll never forget.