Top Gun 3D Blu-ray Review
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat; there was absolutely no reason to convert TOP GUN to 3D. It seems completely frivolous and even illogical when you remember that the film is over 25 years old and was obviously never intended for the format. Even though I’ve always enjoyed TOP GUN, even I went into the 3D version disgruntled and ready to go on a long diatribe about everything that’s wrong with 3D and Hollywood. But something happened as I was watching TOP GUN in 3D; the cynic in me died and the fan in me came alive and I actually found myself enjoying TOP GUN 3D.
Since my dad was in the military in 1986, TOP GUN was a staple in my household. Regardless of which branch of service they were in, everyone that was in the military when TOP GUN came out wished they were in the Navy. The film made being in the military cool again and little kids everywhere were telling people they wanted to be a “Naval aviator” when they grew up. But that was 25 years ago and now the cool factor in TOP GUN is minimized. TOP GUN is now more of a punch line for pop culture jokes, made famous when Quentin Tarantino went on his spiel in the movie SLEEP WITH ME about TOP GUN being a metaphor for homosexuality. Joke or not, I don’t care. I still like TOP GUN for what it really is; a movie about cool guys with a cool job doing cool things.
I won’t try to convince you that TOP GUN is something it’s not. It’s not an Oscar contender that will blow you away with a brilliant script or earth shattering performances. But what it does, it does well, thanks in large part to a career making turn from Tom Cruise. But really, the entire film is set up to make Maverick cool. He’s a fighter pilot that constantly rebels against the establishment, he easily gets the incredibly beautiful Kelly McGillis, he stands up to the cocky Iceman and then overcomes the death of his best friend to save America. Again, it’s sometimes hard to go back and watch 80’s movies because they’re referenced so much in today’s pop culture, but TOP GUN is a movie I find holds up very well over time.
Sure, the movie has problems. Goose dies and then Maverick is immediately supposed to forget about it. I’m still not sure how a pilot as reckless as Maverick makes his way to Top Gun and there were enough continuity problems with the aerial footage to make even a casual fan cringe. But if you think about your favorite 80’s blockbuster, you can destroy it with little effort. So I embrace TOP GUN for all of its faults and find that its strengths more than make up for the shortcomings.
Even though this may be the most overused statement when it comes to Blu-ray, I felt like I was watching TOP GUN again for the first time. I laughed at the line “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” even though I’ve heard it hundreds of times in all sorts of situations. I got sad when Goose died, even though I knew it was going to happen and I got nervous for Maverick during the end battle, finding myself wondering if he was going to reengage, even though I obviously knew what was going to happen. I got a sense of what it must have felt like to watch the film in 1986 and if that’s the power of 3D, then I guess we shouldn’t complain.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
Sometimes 3D is judged by how many eye-popping moments there are in a movie. If that’s your gauge, then know that there are exactly zero eye-popping moments in TOP GUN. However, there is an added depth to the film, which really brings the film to life. I feel like a geeky fanboy for saying this, but I really liked the 3D and was impressed by how much it added to the movie watching experience. If you are a fan of TOP GUN, then I can’t recommend this 3D version enough.
Video: Scenes at night tended to be less stellar than the daytime scenes, most notably on the aircraft carrier in the beginning or when Maverick was on the motorcycle towards the end. But every other scene was incredible, making you forget that the film was made in the mid-80’s.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive, blasting at you in 6.1 surround.
The 3D Limited Edition of TOP GUN also includes the 2D disc that was released originally in 2008 and then repackaged in 2011. It includes a commentary track with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Director Tony Scott, Co-Screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr., Captain Mike Galpin, Technical Advisor Pete Pettigrew and Vice Admiral Mike McCabe, along with the fivefeaturettes.