Oh, Top Gun. The Sullivan to Rambo's Gilbert, it cemented pop-culture love for Reagan's aggressive foreign policy, established the late lamented Tony Scott as a successful director, and catapulted Tom Cruise to A-list status, where he has remained ever since. Now, 26 years after its initial theatrical run, Top Gun's barely stifled masculine angst and jingoistic pro-military message (wait, isn't that the same thing?) feel more relevant than they did in 1986. (I blame Dr Pepper Ten for that.) What the world clearly needs is a chance to experience the film's many delights with fresh eyes.
And now we can, as Top Gun is getting an IMAX re-release in glorious, unintentionally homoerotic 3D two weeks before the February 19 release of the two-disc Blu-Ray set. Gird your loins everyone, because at the risk of writing this thing off sight unseen, 2D films converted to 3D almost always look terrible. It's particularly bad when the movie wasn't filmed in a way that really benefits the 3D experience.
Top Gun is action-packed, but it's basically a drama with fast jets every 10 minutes or so. Maverick's character arc — that would be Cruise — involves him getting past the guilt of causing his friend's death, falling in love, and coming to terms with the legacy of his dead father. Although 3D might benefit the dogfights, will we really be better off seeing a sort of passionate, blue-lit love scene unfold as if we'd stumbled into the very bedroom where it took place?
Of course we will! And personally, I can't wait to see these other choice moments popping off the screen:
1. Tom Cruise flipping the bird at a Russian jet before performing a death-defying maneuver so he can escort a panic-stricken fellow pilot back to their aircraft carrier. Moral of the story: Maverick is a loose cannon, but he gets the job done.
2. The touching teacher-student romance between Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise, which includes sex and sexy motorcycle riding.
3. Anthony "Goose" Edwards' tragic death as he's rammed face-first into a cockpit window.