Source: Top Gun via Facebook.
Those who have been eagerly awaiting a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun will have a bit longer to wait, with Top Gun: Maverick pushed back to a 2020 release. When observing the wider trend of reboots and remakes, it is not surprising to see that Top Gun is receiving the sequel treatment. The biggest surprise is the length of time it has taken, although in the three decades that have surpassed since its release Top Gun has developed a legacy as the definitive movie about flying.
This gives the sequel big shoes to fill, as Top Gun’s logo, characters and themes are instantly recognisable to old and new generations alike. Even though the movie scores a modest 6.9/10 on IMDb, Top Gun soared above its flaws to deliver a euphoric ride for audiences. Tom Cruise’s career is certainly no worse off for it, with the film cementing the idea that this young actor was a future leading man in Hollywood.
The long-running Mission Impossible franchise has testified to Cruise’s magnetic action star appeal, with the actor set to be supported by an impressive cast featuring Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm. Val Kilmer will reprise his role as quasi-antagonist Iceman from the first film, with those who grew up with Top Gun no doubt intrigued to see how Maverick and Iceman’s relationship is after over thirty years.
While it is somewhat fun to watch the posturing of Cruise’s Maverick while on the ground, the chattier scenes are merely placeholders to fill the gaps between the aerial scenes. Those scenes are what propelled Top Gun into other forms of media. In particular, the action sequences have made effective inspiration for a series of games.
Source: Top Gun via Facebook.
In 1987, one year after the film’s release, Konami launched an NES game in which players become Maverick in the cockpit to complete four missions that demand proficiency in dogfighting and landing planes. This was followed by a sequel in 1989, considerably quicker than the production of the movie’s sequel. Top Gun: The Second Mission brought improved graphics and added a soundtrack to Maverick’s missions.
The legacy of the film is felt in gaming even after decades have elapsed. In 2001, Top Gun: Combat Zones was released on PS2 and was comprised of 36 missions spread over 3 eras, demonstrating the development of the Top Gun Combat School from the film. As with Combat Zones, the Top Gun slot from Betfair Casino takes thematic inspiration from the 1986 film, with the game deploying actual images and music from the movie as players fly towards the jackpot. One thing that all of these games have in common is that iconic Top Gun logo, an instantly recognisable image that demonstrates the film’s wider cultural impact.
It will be interesting to see if the long-awaited sequel can make similar waves, given that the film arrives into a very different world. Many critics pointed to the 1986 film’s dialogue as clunky, but few remember Top Gun for its conversation scenes. It is the remarkable action scenes that gave audiences an aerial thrill that remains largely unparalleled in cinema in the decades since, although 2018’s First Man managed to tap into that airborne mix of euphoria and nausea on a grander scale.
Top Gun’s aerial scenes manage to balance feelings of elation with those of imminent danger, which is why the movie remains one of the most memorable productions of the 1980s. It will be fascinating to see how the 2020 sequel retains Top Gun’s character while adapting to modern production values and an ageing original cast.Powered by Sidelines