Top Gun – I Feel the Need for Speed

Another geek confession. I loved Top Gun. I saw it 26 times in the span of three weeks. Most pilots over the age of 40 remembers Top Gun. This was the 1986 blockbuster with Tom Cruise that encouraged many people to learn to fly. I was one. Though it was something I had wanted to do before, but the movie sent me over the edge. I took initial lessons, joined Civil Air Patrol, talked to professional liars (military recruiters).

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 I naively joined the Air Force thinking this would be my path to flying, in both the military and general aviation. I didn’t realize at the time I would spend my career in the field, eating MREs, and only talking to pilots.

Fast forward and the movie has been re-mastered in 3-D and will return to about 300 IMAX theaters beginning this Friday (Feb. 8) for a six-day engagement.

Though my love for Kelly McGillis has faded because she isn’t interested in my type, and Tom Cruise is a dweeb, Val Kilmer is fat, and Meg Ryan in her small role still makes my heart thump. But it still has Goose, AKA Anthony Edwards—who played Maverick’s back-seater/radar intercept officer. Edwards recently became a private pilot who drives a serious a Cirrus SR20.

The movie follows the story (kind of far-fetched at the end) of elite Navy Aviators competing to be the best in their air combat maneuvering class. The blockbuster earned more than $300 million in box offices worldwide. It can be corny, and if you forget everything you know about military discipline, aviation, and beach volleyball, it’s a great movie. Plus the Navy has always been great at allowing Hollywood access to ships, planes, and other aspects that incorporate real footage.

Not sure yet which Imax theaters will feature, really hoping I get to see it in BOI and introduce my kiddo to one of my own influences in becoming a pilot.

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