Accidentally Hilarious

Mike Crissman

As a columnist, I have the luxury of writing about anything I want. I could talk about politics. I could talk about religion. I could talk about sports. I could talk about Kent State, etc. However, this week I’ve decided to dedicate my column to a more pressing topic: “Top Gun.”

“Top Gun” is a movie about a hotshot fighter pilot named Maverick who attends a prestigious Naval flying school and aspires to be the top pilot in his class. Maverick, played by the great Tom Cruise, thinks he’s got what it takes to be the Top Gun, but his rival, Iceman, has other plans. Luckily for Maverick, he meets a woman who keeps his ego in line and satisfies all his needs. That woman happens to be Maverick’s flight instructor, but Maverick doesn’t care. Maverick, with a little help from his wingman, Goose, does whatever it takes to reach the top.

That plot synopsis may not make someone who has never seen the movie before want to see it in the future, but it’s definitely accurate. Sure, it sounds corny, ridiculous and really dumb, but then again, so is the movie. It’s also highly entertaining.

If you like footage of fighter jets chasing each other around, then you’ll love “Top Gun.” If you like cheesy lines like, “I feel the need . . . the need for speed!” then you’ll really love “Top Gun.” And if you like homoeroticism, then “Top Gun” is probably your favorite movie. The amount of man-skin in the beach volleyball scene and the many locker room scenes is just gratuitous — gratuitous, yet hilarious at the same time.

The movie also boasts a killer soundtrack. There are really only two songs played repeatedly throughout the movie — Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” The latter song plays in every scene that Tom Cruise and his lady friend are in together, and the former plays during every aerial dogfight. “Danger Zone” was my cell phone ringback tone a while back. It’s a great song; the other one, not so much.

When “Top Gun” was released in 1986 it was a smash hit, grossing over $176 million in the theaters. Back then, people loved that movie. They liked the plot, they thought Maverick and Iceman were so cool and they thought the special effects were dazzling. However, today, people (like me) love “Top Gun” for a different reason: the unintentional funniness. Over the years, “Top Gun” has shifted from being a cool action movie to being a straight up comedy. As far as unintentionally funny movies go, it ranks up there with all of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Take the following quote, where Maverick’s superior officer gives him a warning: “And if you screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!” I’ll tell you what, that’s funnier than anything David Spade has ever said or done.

When the characters in the film try to be serious, you laugh at them. When they try to be funny, you still laugh at them and not with them. It’s awesome. I was lucky enough to catch the movie on TV a couple days ago. The next time you get an opportunity to watch it, do so. If not for the laughs, do it to get caught up in the backstory, in case the rumored sequel comes out in the near future. Top Gun 2, baby!

Mike Crissman is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].