“Top Gun” is making a 5 day tour on IMAX 3D before it is released on blu ray next Tuesday. I didn’t hesitate to go, “Top Gun” has been seen by virtually everyone and 12 year old Paul was a huge fan too! I was 4 when it was released in theaters but I wore out the VHS and the Nintendo game(which was overly difficult). I don’t need to review the film for you, if you haven’t seen it you need too if only for the volleyball scene. The following are my thoughts on how the film has held up, and the goodness of seeing it in the IMAX format.
“Top Gun” lends itself very well to the IMAX format; from the opening scene of jets taking off of an aircraft carrier you immediately get a sense of the size and speed of the whole operation. The soundtrack is wonderfully dated and nostalgic. There are some 80’s soundtracks that don’t age well but Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” still imbeds itself so well in this material it’s hard not to grin in the first few minutes. Why is everyone so sweaty? Watching this film in VHS format on a worn out television, you don’t quite catch that everyone is dripping in puddles of sweat. But in IMAX it becomes glaringly obvious. The commander, the guy reading the radar, the pilots, everyone! It’s not just the opening scene the whole entire movie is dripping in sweat. Oh did Iceman just get out of the shower? Doesn’t matter, covered in sweat. Anyone want to play beach volleyball, we can work up a sweat! Stationed in the Arctic Ocean? Still sweaty! Ok, I made that last one up but you get the picture.
I never realized how ridiculous the plot of this film is, or how fast it moves. Maverick is introduced in flight, he helps a fellow pilot, Cougar, land after a run in with some enemy miGs and is subsequently
chewed out by his commander, who is constantly chomping a cigar. Even though Maverick is dangerous he gets sent to Top Gun to fly with the best. They drink at bars, sing bad cover songs, and take classes where all they do is second guess their teachers. They take showers constantly; they sweat, play volleyball, have sexually charged confrontations, and fly. The bravado and testosterone are constantly at 110%.
Let’s not kid ourselves however “Top Gun” isn’t “The Notebook”, we love “Top Gun” because of the high octane flight scenes. When the film was released Navy aviator recruitment had a record year, and while a resurgence of the film won’t spike our military recruitment, we are too jaded for that, it still holds up remarkably well. The cinematography was amazing in 1986 and in IMAX 3D it is even better. The size of the screen mixed with the depth created by the 3D lends itself perfectly to jets in flight. I’ve always wanted to feel immersed in a 3D film, since that’s basically what they promise, but this might be the first time I actually did feel the rush of the action on the screen.
So go check out “Top Gun” in IMAX 3D, not only for the amazing flight sequences but also so you can yell out “your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”, hoot and holler at the over the top romance, sing great balls of fire with Goose and Maverick, and ride into the Danger Zone!
I give “Top Gun” in IMAX 3D 3 F-14’s out of 5.