“Then he was a jet pilot…”
If the words ‘Then he was a jet pilot’ don’t make sense, google Rich Hall’s stand up destruction of Tom Cruise and his ‘resume’. I haven’t watched Top Gun in a long time. There’s a good reason for that – it’s not a very good film. There are a lot of films from the 80’s that can be watched repeatedly with ease. This isn’t one of them. It was always too MTV.. in fact… this could very well be the first ever metrosexual movie. Often, it even gets pretty aggressive with homoeroticism, certainly a movie more deserving of this allegation than Commando. Despite the negative memories, I thought, maybe this is one of those oldschool movies that has actually aged well. A good opportunity was to pick it up in 3D and give it a look. Unfortunately, same old same old. Remember, just because it is from 1986 and directed by Tony Scott, and scored by Harold Faltermeyer, doesn’t necessarily make it a classic.
There are more negative things in this movie than there are positives. Negative one: Unbearable romantic subplot featuring midget from shampoo adverts and a woman 2 feet taller and ten years older. Was this axed footage from a glam-rock romantic pop video? Negative two: The combat scenes are shit. Sorry, Tony, but they are. If you want to see some adrenaline pumping fighter-jet action, check out Emmerich’s scenes in Independence Day or the F-18 evading SAM’s in Behind Enemy Lines. Here, it looks like Scott just took his camera and recorded F-14’s flying around randomly, then edited in the midget and Kilmer sitting on the stage, rather than having purpose-created manoeuvre’s, or something ‘almost’ looking like the real thing. Even after these faults, more sap comes in Cruise grieving for his gay looking co-pilot. I really don’t give fuck! If you want to see a real war movie from the 80’s, then check out The Beast of War (1988). Now that is a Manly war movie from the 80’s.
Really, before I bought this I’d almost forgotten about 3D. My TV is almost exclusively used for 2D shit. But the news that Predator is getting similar treatment and going 3D rekindled my interest. I have a pretty strong active Sony panel and the 3D feature never gets used. So… Top Gun, 3D conversion. Bottom line, in a nutshell… no good. Most of the time it looks 2D, and when you’re looking at 2D 1080p through 3D glasses, you’re actually losing quality. I say most of the time, because other times it looks fucking amazing. An example is the on-board camera on the F-14 as it ascends away from the flight-deck, the conversion is so effective it almost inspires temporary pseudo acrophobia. The senses, if only momentarily, are taken out of the TV experience. But these blips on the radar are not enough. For example, why is it that one man talking can look extraordinarily three dimensional, yet the next 5 men talking look washed out and two dimensional? The only explanation is laziness and greed.
For this one, the 3D detractors are right. This is lazy money-grabbing. Mediocre movie, aged poorly and converted badly. An extra star just for a Faltermeyer/Scott collaboration.