Top Gun, the classic Cruise fest of the 80s, has made it to Blu-ray in glorious high-definition. But should you really bother with revisiting the film over 20 years since it first made it to cinema screens? We get watching to find out.
Gay plot conspiracies aside, we all know the storyline of Top Gun. Cruise plays an ace fighter pilot recruited to the Top Gun academy where the "best of the best" hone their skills. With call signs like Maverick, Viper, Iceman and Jester, it's a testosterone-filled locker room of men out to prove who's top dog.
As the young bucks masquerade their skills in the air, girls get a pseudo love story with the most unlikely of romantic interests, Kelly McGillis. The film fizzles out towards the end following the tragic crash that shakes Maverick up so he only just gains enough points to finish the academy. Still, the boy comes good, with slaps on the back all round having shown his mettle in a real dog fight, earning the respect of his chief rival Iceman.
Still you aren't likely to be watching Top Gun for the storyline, you're going to be watching it for those aerial dog fights between the F-14 Tomcat and Migs and luckily that's where the Blu-ray version will help you out. In HD they are stunning.
Filmed mostly at the beginning and end of the day to get the best light, the aerial acrobatics performed are impressive, the camera work delicious. You can see why the US navy used this movie as an advert to sign-up: 20 years on and the film is still as fresh today as it was then, even managing to shake off the stereotypical 80s fare.
Well that’s not strictly true. Thanks to the soundtrack there is no way to get past the fact this is an 80s movie through and through and the Blu-ray version rewards fans of the decade with four music videos from the film: Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone, Berlin's Take My Breath Away, Loverboys Heaven In Your Eyes and Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens Top Gun Anthem to enjoy over and over again.
Completing the package - the film is only 110 minutes - is an audio commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, writer Jack Epps Jr and random naval experts pulled in to discredit all the fight scenes.
The commentary offers plenty of information although does get a bit wishy-washy at times when the crew start to justify certain elements of the film - it's not just an action fighter pilot story, but one that shows courage and adversity over the odds (i.e., Goose's death). We do however like the subtitles for the commentary in different languages so you aren't just restricted to English only.
Elsewhere on the disc you also get Danger Zone: The Making Of Top Gun, a multi-angle storyboard of the flat spin sequence in the movie and the usual array of featurettes and stills to flick through.
It's a classic, and a cheesy one at that (we know you've always wanted to sing You've Lost That Loving Feeling in a bar), but the Blu-ray version, i.e., HD remastering, has done wonders in making the film fresh again. If you're a fan of the film and own a Blu-ray player this is a must.
Staring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt
Directed by: Tony Scott
Extras: Commentary by Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott, Jack Epss Jr, and Naval Experts, Danger Zone: The Making Of Top Gun (6-Part Documentary), Multi-Angle Storyboards with Optional Commentary by Director Tony Scott, Best of The Best - Inside The Real Top Gun, 4 Music Videos, TV spots, Behind the Scenes Featurettes, Survival Training Featurette, Tom Cruise Interviews
This Blu-ray was kindly loaned to us by Play.com, the UK’s favourite online entertainment retailer.