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Top Gun

USA 1986
produced by
Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer, Bill Badalato (executive) for Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films/Paramount
directed by Tony Scott
starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Rick Rossovich, Tim Robbins, Clarence Gilyard jr, Whip Hubley, James Tolkan, Meg Ryan, Adrian Pasdar, Randall Brady, Duke Stroud, Brian Sheehan, Ron Clark, Frank Pesce, Pete Pettigrew, Troy Hunter, Linda Rae Jurgens, T.J. Cassidy
written by Jim Cash, Jack Epps jr, music by Harold Faltermeyer

Top Gun

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Maverick (Tom Cruise), a fighter pilot known for his risky maneuvres, and his co-pilot Goose (Anthony Edwards), are accepted into a prestigious school for top pilots rather by chance, and Maverick wants to be top of the top because of something to do with his father. At the school, others are soon complaining about Maverick's risk-taking and recklessness, most of all Ice (Val Kilmer), the one pilot rivaling Maverick's talent but clearly outdoing him in discipline. However, Maverick soon earns the respect, then love, of one of the school's civilian instructors, Charlie (Kelly McGillis). Then on a training mission, Maverick's plane crashes, and the crash kills Goose. Maverick comes out of it unscathed but has lost his knack for aerial fights and wants to leave the Navy altogether. But Charlie and his instructor Viper (Tom Skeritt) convince him otherwise. However, since he's not 100% there, Ice comes out top of the class. But then, they're sent on a mission where they have to fight actual enemies. Who are the enemies? We don't know, but they fly Russian MiGs so they can't be good people, right? Why is it ok to shoot them out of the air without being at war? We don't know and are never told. But of course, in that airfight it's Maverick who saves the day and even his rival Ice's ass, so ultimately he becomes the top pilot after all.


Nowadays (2022) it seems almost sacriligeous to not like Top Gun, given the film's longevity, only cemented by the successs of its sequel Top Gun Maverick some 36 years later, and by the assumption that nostalgia overrules inherent quality. And I will admit, Top Gun has its fair share of inherent qualities, it's very well made, all the action shots are exciting, and every image seems to be well-composed - in fact it looks like exactly what it was meant to be, a feature length recruitment clip for the Navy. And director Tony Scott, who had a background in advertising, sure was the right man for this. The problem with the film though is its complete lack of originality, it's just full of clichés, down to bits of dialogue, is completely predictable, and is just a celebration for militaristic heroism over all - wartime propaganda movies actually rarely were as blunt as Top Gun. On top of this, the film's machoism that at times borders the homoerotic (something it of course shared with many 1980s action movies) dates the film pretty badly. And unfortunately most of the performances of the leads are about as flat as the film's story - but that said, it's hard to give characters depth that aren't supposed to have any. Now sure, the film's still somewhat of a fun trip back to the 1980s - just by no means a "good" film in anything transcending pure craftmanship.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD