"Top Gun" is the type of movie that turns the screen into an altar. Kneeling before its slick façade of 1980s magnificence, you are in the shadow of a film that has defined the modern day action blockbuster.
Forget the crap about its gay symbolism, even if it comes packaged as an amusing aside by Quentin Tarantino in an otherwise rubbish film. Sure, it's loaded with blatant metaphors but while the reviewers try and justify their occupation on the planet, someone is producing a template for blockbuster success.
The opening build-up is typical Tony Scott: the mounting music score and heavily stylised visuals combine to produce an overriding feeling of anticipation and excitement.
With the hype in place, Scott delivers fast on fact-filling the audience. Within 15 minutes we know that flying jet fighters is exciting, glamorous and filled with buddy humour. We also know that pilots can crack-up and freeze and that the result of that is death or a broken man. And within that time we see Tom Cruise save the day and get bawled out with phrases like 'You're a hell of an instinctive pilot - maybe too good' and get told he's getting sent to the elite fighter-training core. And the cherry on the pie? He's called 'Maverick'. That's slick. One juiced-up audience fully informed with all the necessary tools to take them though a rollercoaster of contrived emotions and slick action, melded to perfection.
And this Hollywood ride works equally well for both sexes. The guys get incredible action sequences and simple buddy-bonding emotional moments. And the ladies get an amazing Tom Cruise playing the romantic lead while retaining an impetuous, unpredictable and exciting nature that adds depth to this on-the-surface shallow movie.