The ‘Top Gun’ Movies

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

‘Top Gun’ used to be the name of my local fish and chip shop before it got renamed. Yes, really! 😀 It’s also the name of two movies I’ve seen recently, starring Tom Cruise. I’ve seen the 1986 film ‘Top Gun’ on Prime Video and the 2022 film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ at the cinema. They’ve been interesting!

The first ‘Top Gun’ film features Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, a young naval aviator who’s given the chance, along with his friend Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw, to train at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California – also called ‘Top Gun’.

I enjoyed the first ‘Top Gun’ movie when I saw it on Prime Video a couple of weekends ago. It’s certainly very 1980s, especially with its music soundtrack and Tom Cruise looking so young. 😀 Mind you, I wouldn’t say this film was a winner for me and I know it received mixed reviews on its release.

There was a lot to keep track of and it was a challenge for me to get into the story and its characters. There were lots of plane shots in the film as well as interior shots of the pilots in their cockpits. It took a while to appreciate the friendship going on between Maverick and Goose as pilots in the film.

The film also features Kelly McGillis as ‘Charlie’ Blackwood, an instructor at Top Gun who becomes Maverick’s love interest in the film. There’s also Val Kilmer, who I was pleased to see having seen him in ‘Batman Forever’, as Lt. Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, who becomes Maverick’s rival-turned-friend.

There’s Anthony Edwards as ‘Goose’ Bradshaw, Maverick’s friend, and Tom Skeritt as ‘Viper’ Metcalf, the commanding officer of Top Gun. There’s also Michael Ironside as ‘Jester’, John Stockwell as ‘Cougar’, Barry Tubb as ‘Wolfman’, Rick Rossovich as ‘Slider’, Clarence Gilyard as ‘Sundown’, Whip Hubley as ‘Hollywood’ and Adrian Pasdar as ‘Chipper’. All are very good in the first film.

Tim Robbins (from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’) is ‘Merlin’ in this film; James Tolkan (from the ‘Back to the Future’ film trilogy) is ‘Stinger’, commander of the Enterprise, would you believe (and no, not that Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ 😀 ), in the film, and Meg Ryan is Carole, Goose’s wife in the film.

Whilst the first ‘Top Gun’ film wasn’t a winner for me, the sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ was certainly a winner, as I thoroughly enjoyed the film when I watched it on the big screen last weekend. This is very satisfying, considering the film was delayed for release at cinemas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 🙂

It’s also good to see Tom Cruise playing an older and wiser Maverick compared to when he was cocky and quite rebellious in the first ‘Top Gun’ movie. The movie takes place 36 years after the events of the first film, where Maverick trains a group of young fighter pilots for a special mission.

It’s also where Maverick has to face his past when one of the young fighter pilots is the son of Maverick’s deceased best friend Goose. I like how the sequel follows up on that storyline by having Maverick reconcile with Goose’s son, especially when something happened between the two of them.

Miles Teller plays ‘Rooster’, Goose’s son in the film. I’ve seen Miles Teller in the 2015 ‘Fantastic Four’ film. There’s also Jennifer Connelly as ‘Penny’, Maverick’s new love interest in the film. Honestly, I enjoyed the romance between Maverick and Penny in the second film than Maverick and Charlie’s romance in the first film.

There’s also Jon Hamm as Vice Admiral ‘Cyclone’ Simpson, Glen Powell as Lt. ‘Hangman’ Seresin, Lewis Pullman as Lt. ‘Bob’ Floyd, and Ed Harris as Rear Admiral ‘Hammer’ Cain. It’s nice that Val Kilmer returned to play Admiral ‘Iceman’ Kazansky in the film, albeit in a one scene with Tom Cruise.

Sadly, Val Kilmer has had health issues lately, as he’s seen using a computer to speak to Tom Cruise’s Maverick and he’s only able to say a few sentences with his own voice. I found out about this before and after seeing the film. I’m still pleased Val Kilmer was able to appear in this ‘Top Gun’ sequel anyway.

There’s also Monica Barbaro as ‘Phoenix’, Charles Parnell as Rear Admiral ‘Warlock’, Jay Ellis as ‘Payback’, Danny Ramirez as ‘Fanboy’, Greg Tarzan Davis as ‘Coyote’, Manny Jacinto as ‘Fritz’, Jack Schumacher as ‘Omaha’, Bashir Salahuddin as Chief Warrant Officer ‘Hondo’, Jack Picking as ‘Harvard’, Raymond Lee as ‘Yale’ and Kara Wang as ‘Halo’. Once again, the cast in the second film are very good.

It helps that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is straightforward and easier to follow compared to the first film, thanks to Christopher McQuarrie (the latest director of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies) being one of the film’s writers. Ehren Kruger is also one of the writers of this film, and I argue that he’s better as a writer without Michael Bay, having written the second, third and fourth ‘Transformers’ movies.

The ‘Top Gun’ movies have been great to check out. The sequel was worthwhile at the cinema. Whilst I wasn’t enamoured with the first film, I appreciate its significance in cinema history. I’m glad I’ve been able to see these films and to see Tom Cruise in something else that’s not ‘Mission: Impossible’. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

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