I’m telling y’all what I told my mom about Top Gun: it gets better the more you realize that the movie’s just a simmering cauldron of gayness.
(Brings ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ home, I think.)
I refuse to provide a synopsis for Top Gun, mainly because unless you’ve been living under the heaviest rock in existence you’re at least somewhat aware of the plot.
Let’s face it: Top Gun‘s strong suit is not really the plot; hell, it’s not even Tom Cruise. This may have been the cinematic moment Tom Cruise tipped from being Tom Cruise, actor into Tom Cruise, celebrity who buys into his own special brand of bullshit. Indeed, Cruise has some gigantic, awful moments in the movie – they involve fist-pumps, hugs and displays of bravado – and even after Maverick reaches his moment of fighter pilot enlightenment, it’s hard not to view the character as an emotionally stunted frat boy allowed to play with multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.
No, the real joy of Top Gun is two fold: realizing Tom Cruise may be the only guy not in on the gag, and realizing every other actor realizes how totally fucking gay this movie is.
I mean that in the best possible way: I wish they’d make an actual movie about gay fighter pilots. Sadly, Top Gun is about as close as it gets but God bless Val Kilmer for playing it the way he saw it. (I vaguely remember someone asking Val Kilmer if Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Perry was the first gay character he’d ever played when he was doing press; Kilmer answered along the lines of, “You mean besides Iceman?”) The movie’s rife with moments of shirtless guys in locker rooms and stares between Iceman and Maverick that really… kind of make you wonder. Let’s also not forget the hilarious, wonderful insanity that is the Top Gun beach volleyball scene. It’s all oiled guys with flexing pectoral muscles grabbing each other’s asses and chest-bumping and shit.
Tom Cruise believes this is totally macho, y’all!
It is Kilmer who really shines in this movie. He steals scenes from Cruise right and left, frosted hair be damned. He is endlessly entertaining, probably because Val Kilmer didn’t give a shit. This is why I will always love, love, love Val Kilmer, no matter how bloaty he gets, no matter how far out there he goes, no matter how many trees he starts hugging; you have to appreciate the fact that even when the man doesn’t give a shit, he still rocks.
Plus, Top Gun has Michael Ironside. Nothing that has Michael Ironside in it can be said to be totally irreedemable.
The movie is an essential piece of 80s cheese. The love story will make you laugh (oh, dear, Kelly McGillis) and Tom Cruise will make you cry (from laughing). For heaven’s sake, if you haven’t seen it, what the hell is your problem?