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“I feel the need … the need for speed.”

By Andrew Lamphar

Yep. Speed is the name of the game in Top Gun, an adrenaline-fueled salute to all things fast—fast motorcycles, fast planes and fast women. In the middle of all that speed is Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot pilot with a tendency for doing everything on his own terms and treating rules like suggestions.
After Maverick shows up some Russian MiG-28s over the Indian Ocean, he’s rewarded with a spot at Top Gun, the Navy’s elite school for its fighter pilots at Miramar Naval Air Station near San Diego.

Top Gun is a program designed to make the best of the best even better. Maverick arguably doesn’t need much boost in the skills department. And he knows it. But his lone-wolf attitude and refusal to submit to authority increasingly cause his peers (Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky at the top of the list) and his superiors (Cmdr. Mike “Viper” Metcalf and Lt. Cmdr. Rick “Jester” Heatherly) to wonder if he’s more of a liability than an asset.

Meanwhile, civilian aeronautics expert and Top Gun trainer Charlotte Blackwood, who goes by Charlie, seems immune to Maverick’s bad boy charm until she learns that he’s the one who managed to snap a picture of himself flying another kind of bird in close, inverted proximity to a rare Russian MiG.

As their romance heats up, so does Maverick’s insistence on doing things his way. Then a training accident sends his F-14 through the jet wash of his wingman, and not even Maverick’s vaunted skills can save the plane, which hurtles out to sea in a dreaded flat spin. He ejects safely, but his radar intercept officer and best friend Lt. j.g. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw is killed.

Rattled to the core, Maverick finds himself facing a crisis of confidence about his calling as a fighter pilot. And when the pesky Russians come calling again, he’s forced to face his inner demons once and for all in a high-stakes, high-speed aerial showdown.

Top Gun includes all the aspects that makes a movie good, from its fantastic actor to its high-speed dogfights. Top Gun is a movie that can be watch multiple times without redundancy, which is why it has always toped my list for favorite movies of all time.

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