When I was in fourth grade, I was part of a gifted learning program that, in addition to making me more identifiable to bullies, gave me the opportunity to write my first movie review as part of our student-produced magazine, Fourth Grade Confidential. If the review seems a little by the numbers, it’s because my teacher helpfully had given me an article on how to write movie reviews that had sample topics such as: do the characters seem realistic? do the names of the characters give a clue as to their behavior? does the writer prepare you for the climax? I doubt the author of that article intended each question to be answered in order using those exact words, but that’s what I did. So here is the unedited, uncorrected review of Top Gun.
Top Gun was a very good show. The main characters were Lt. Pete Mitchell and Charlotte. Lt. Pete Mitchell is very tough and likes to play practical jokes. Charlotte is easy going and gets mad a lot.
I’m still not sure how someone who gets mad a lot could be described as easy going.
The characters seem real because it is a live-action. The names of the characters do not give a clue to their behavior. I agree with the way the characters act. They act very calmly when they are under pressure.
The minor characters are Goose, Lt. Pete Mitchell’s co-pilot, Iceman, Slider, Hollywood, Jester, Viper, and the Mig 28 pilots.
Calling Goose a “co-pilot” is the first of two errors that are all the more ironic given my career.
Goose is a lot like Lt. Pete Mitchell. Iceman is said to be the best pilot and he always likes to start fights. Slider is Iceman’s co-pilot. He is the same way only he talks back more than Iceman. Hollywood is also Iceman’s co-pilot and he is very, very easy going. Jester is a Top Gun instructor and is a very good pilot. Viper is also a Top Gun instructor and is a very good pilot too.
I actually think my descriptions of Iceman and Slider are pretty accurate.
The minor characters are needed for the movie to progress.
The major problems are the Mig 28 pilots are going into U.S.A. territory. Maverick solves these problem by blowing up the Migs. I would have solved the problems the same way. I agree with the way the ideas presented in the movie. The problems are very realistic and believable. Some of the ideas are true to life because the settings were real places. I wouldn’t present any new ideas if I wrote the script for the movie.
The plot of the movie is that Maverick and Goose are sent to Top Gun, an aerial combat school. At that school they are put in training. At the end, Maverick succeeds in destroying the Mig pilots and their planes. I would add more fighting to the movie and I would take out the mushy parts. The most tension in the movie is when Maverick is up destroying Migs at the end of the movie.
I clearly didn’t think Goose’s death was much of a plot point, but I also thought that RIO (as in when Maverick says “He was my RIO, my responsibility”) was slang for responsibility. And little did I know that said “mushy stuff” was added after test screenings.
The writer prepares you for the climax very well.
The setting is an Aircraft Carrier in the Indian Ocean and Fightertown, U.S.A. The setting is very believable because it is a real place. The characters don’t reveal anything about the setting. I wouldn’t change anything about the setting. The movie makes me want to be in the Air Force. It has changed my idea about that the Air Force is dangerous. I would classify this movie very highly and I would recommend it to others.
So despite the fact the film features an aircraft carrier, characters refer to being in “the Navy,” and the opening titles even say “Navy” twice, I still thought that I’d have to join the Air Force to fly Tomcats. The irony.