By Drew Turney
Accurately described by film journalists at the time as ‘Top Car’, never was a cleaner carbon copy of a film ever made.
Particularly shameful is that every major player in the process – from star Tom Cruise to writer Robert Towne to producers Simpson and Bruckheimer to director Scott – had been involved in the seminal Navy flight school movie of a few years before.
No clichÃ© from ”Top Gun” is spared. The cocky young maverick, Trickle (Cruise). The skilled, mean nemesis (Rooker and later Elwes). The experienced father figure to which the lost hero must turn (Duvall). The civilian love interest who’d never be that attractive in real life (Kidman).
Coupled with a plot that lurches ungracefully from one hammered-together scene after another as well as the kind of off the cuff swearing Simpson/Bruckheimer made liberal use of (“Son of a bitch is on my ass!”), a very poor cousin to ”Top Gun” and the film that made audiences realise they were being conned with the same high concept pitch time and again.
The only thing that does stand out is Randy Quaid, one of the best actors of modern times in that he plays a physically different character every time he appears on the screen.
Watch ”Top Gun” instead, imagine racing cars instead of warplanes, and save yourself the $3 rental.
Blu-Ray Details and Extras
Whether you like the movie or not there’s no denying that it, like “Top Gun”, is a beautifully-made movie. It’s bursting with colour (lots of orange though), detail, and sublimely captured panoramic shots of race-tracks. Its essentially prime-fodder for Blu-Ray.
Considering its 19 years old, the film still looks surprisingly good – and the print is near pristine. There’s ample detail, good contrast and vibrant colour. Spare some background noise, it’s actually quite amazing how great it looks considering its age. The audio track is also terrific – just wait til you hear the cars roar past you in beautiful TrueHD!
The only extra is a trailer for the film.