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MeatHead Cinema: "Top Gun"
A JackedPack review of “Top Gun”
by Evan Clark NSCA-CPT
by Evan Clark NSCA-CPT
“Top Gun” - 1986
Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Rick Rossovich, Kelly McGillis
Rating: “Prime Cut”, MeatHead Classic 5/5
Every man has a handful of films that they have literally seen close to 100 times. A recent study conducted by the United States Census Bureau has found that 96.3% of American males over the age of 15 have seen “Top Gun” at least 37 times start to finish. “Top Gun” is the classic tale of two shredded, hard-assed alpha males duking it out while strapped to rocket engines, backed by an amazing soundtrack of hit singles from the 1980’s.
First of all, you know it’s going to be a great film when main characters’ names are: Maverick, Goose, Ice Man, Slider, Viper and Jester. When I settle down, get married and have six all-star athletic sons (a starting basketball team and one sub), you can bet your behinds that their names will be: Maverick, Goose, Ice Man, Slider, Viper and Jester. We know, we know, those are just their call signs. But who cares?
This film is about things men LOVE: being an awesome wingman, feeling the need for speed, and pitting a cold and calculated ice man VS. a gun slinging, living life by the seat of his pants maverick. It’s about looking slick singing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to pick up broads in classy bars, not wearing helmets on motorcycles, and a mysterious highway to the dangerzone. “Top Gun” is about requesting flybys, getting denied, and still pulling a flyby. It’s about saying, “screw the rules” and dropping below the hard deck... a win is a win.
It’s about taking Meg Ryan to bed...or losing her forever.
Every hero has a side kick. Well, one reason that “Top Gun” is so righteous is because it has two killer sidekicks. Both alpha males, Tom Cruise’s Maverick and Val Kilmer’s Ice Man, have brothers watching their 6. Goose, played by Anthony Edwards, is the ultimate wingman. Even when he does not want to go along with Maverick’s renegade tactics and shenanigans he still does, because that’s what brothers do. SPOILER ALERT: if you have not seen “Top Gun” stop reading here and rejoin the article where is says “NO MORE SPOILERS”... Goose dies. It was terrible the way it happened. During the most tragic of tragic training exercises, our heroes went into a flat spin. Maverick and Goose were forced to eject. Goose hit the canopy and died instantly. In life, a man is allowed to cry under only two circumstances. First, if a man is kicked in the nuts or suffers a similar trauma. Second, a man is allowed to cry when Goose dies in “Top Gun” and when Old Yeller dies in “Old Yeller”.
NO MORE SPOILERS. The other diesel sidekick in this flick is Slider, played by Rick Rossovich. Slider is your typical meathead A-Hole. He talks smack and rips at beach volleyball. He’s got Iceman’s back and loves making fun of Goose.
“Top Gun” can teach us a lot about weightlifting. Some of us are Maverick, lifting freely by changing up the workouts a lot; you go against the grain. Some of us are Iceman, sticking to a strict program with no leniency on change. Most importantly though, we all have solid lifting buddies; our brothers and sisters in iron. They are there to spot us on the bench, watch our 6, and back you up when they know what you are doing is wrong... and you to them. Similar to the ending of “Top Gun”, we must learn that we are all on the same team; We are all at the gym just trying to get swole. Whatever the case, we all live and champion the rule that you never leave your wingman.