Top Gun (1986)

1h 50m / PG / Drama

A plot summary of Top Gun seems almost beside the point, but at least it will be brief: a Navy pilot (Tom Cruise, call sign Maverick) strives to be the best Navy pilot ever, even as he is criticized for recklessness. He’s surrounded by a cast of other Navy pilots (Val Kilmer as Iceman, Anthony Edwards as Goose) who are either his closest friends or his most vehement rivals. That recklessness endangers them and puts his burgeoning relationship with an expert in Soviet air superiority (Kelly McGillis) at risk. Will he overcome his limitations and mature in any way? You’ll find out, and listen to “Take My Breath Away” several times while doing so.

Top Gun is, to a degree that hasn’t been possible since about 1992, an entirely irony-free movie. It is charmingly and completely the thing it is: a celebration of male friendship, a story of competitiveness and passion and egotism, and a worshipful tribute to the coolness of (at the time) cutting-edge military technology. There’s a full-throated joy to how much this movie just loves flying airplanes, and that joy still translates in 2018.

Immediately after the film, Cox Radio film critic T.M. Powell will lead a short discussion of Top Gun and an audience Q&A. The session is included with film admission.

The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America.

Media support is provided by WEDU-PBS. Additional support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.