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May 1, 2023

A Binge too Far #31 – Spawn of the Top Gun duo (1986 & 2022)

Top Gun (1986) promotional still featuring Tom Cruise

This month we take a brief look at producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s Top Gun duo (1986 & 2022).




Top Gun (1986) poster

Top Gun


Maverick (Tom Cruise) is a talented but dangerous fighting pilot, who due to a series of events is appointed to the title’s select division team, where he will fall in love with teacher Charlie (Kelly McGillis), besides her student’s risk-taking approach to flying.


Surprisingly for a film directed by Tony Scott [True Romance (1993)], and despite the numerous accolades it received upon its release (it was nominated for four Oscars and won one of them – namely for the ‘Take My Breath Away’ song that is heard an enormous amount of times throughout the whole picture), not to mention the fact that it ‘cleaned’ the box-office (it went on to gross $357.3 million, on a budget of a mere $15 million, becoming a blockbuster phenomenon that turned aviation into a cool thing), this slow talk-fest is basically about a couple falling in love. Other than the grand finale that involves a bit of aircraft action, this is very boring, and is only somewhat salvaged by its many unintentionally homoerotic themes, including plenty of sweaty shirtless men.


Top Gun: Maverick (2022) poster

Top Gun: Maverick


After all these years of flying and building an impressive track record, Maverick (Tom Cruise) should rank higher in the aviation field, but due to his stubbornness and a series of other unfortunate events take him back to the Top Gun division, this time as a teacher and finally leader of a special mission.


Directed by Joseph Kosinski [Tron (2010)], this is hands down a better picture than the original, toning down the romance (although it is not entirely absent, it is thankfully not at the focus of the story) and gambling heavily on the action (the finale in particular, is breathtaking), as things should not have been different with its massive $170 million budget (I still don’t understand how this appeals to mass audiences as it grossed more than $1.4 billion). The only thing that is worse than in the first film is the soundtrack, which is only salvaged when the previous themes and songs are recycled.

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