Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1986. Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Screenplay by Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr., based on the magazine article Top Guns by Ehud Yonay. Cinematography by Jeffrey L. Kimball. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson. Music by Harold Faltermeyer. Production Design by John DeCuir Jr.. Costume Design by Bobbie Read, James W. Tyson. Film Editing by Chris Lebenzon, Billy Weber. Academy Awards 1986. Golden Globe Awards 1986.
Tom Cruise is a pilot school student who lives under the shadow of his father’s accidental death and the weight of his own smug self-confidence. Constantly at war with authority, Cruise hot-rods his way through training while romancing one of his gorgeous instructors (Kelly McGillis). It’s easy to see why this guy is so attractive to audiences, what with that shit-eating grin and no-account attitude, but I just spent the entire movie wanting to slap him (no, not spank him, slap him). Technically it’s well achieved, but the story is the pits and Tony Scott’s direction makes no sense whatsoever. The best aspect of the entire thing is the inclusion of one of the greatest-ever movie songs, the Oscar-winning ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin, otherwise it is notable for making Tom Cruise the mega-star that he continues to be today (and if you’re reading this in the year 2056, it’s probably still true).