Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ride into the Danger Zone

Top Gun has it all; F-14 Tomcats, aviator sunglasses, leather jackets, and lots and lots of male bonding.

Pilots Maverick (Cruise) and Goose (Edwards) are sent to the Top Gun academy to join the ranks of the world's best fighter pilots. Tensions rise when the team Iceman and Slider compete with Mav and Goose for the top spot.

Goose and Maverick pass each other notes in class.

Egos fly higher than jets amongst the pilots and Maverick, haunted by his father's legacy, has something to prove. It all comes crashing down when an exercise goes awry and Mav's F-14 is caught in Iceman's jet wash. Goose and Maverick eject, but Goose dies in the accident. Mav is stricken with guilt and his confidence is shattered. However, in true fashion, he comes into save Iceman and Slider during a real-life dogfight with some Soviet Migs.

The interesting thing about the film is the deeper conflict that takes place within Maverick. He's labelled as "dangerous" by his flight instructor, who he falls in love with. But what about Goose? What about their love for each other? The film makes a deeper commentary about homosexuality and a man's struggle for identity and his quest to find himself and his sexuality in the emerging gay community in the 80s.

Iceman and Slider, topless and sweaty, embrace.

Maverick and Iceman gaze at each other longingly.

Top Gun
also has a great soundtrack. The theme song was written by none other than guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins is a classic tune that is amazingly popular at karaoke bars.

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