I loved this movie as a kid and saw it in the theater like 6 times. I grew up by a US Marine Corps fighter squadron base and as a kid, befriended and hero worshiped a pilot that lived across the street from me. He and his wife took me on the base and on a Sunday, I secretly got to sit in a real F/A-18 Hornet fighter plane and then use their state of the art simulator trainer during my very first lesson in flying. I got to go up against a real USMC pilot (and died quite frequently) in the simulation - but it remains the best "video game" I ever played - as that was the real deal.
My pilot friend made Top Gun and actually got to go train at Miramar (whereas I actually live about 10 minutes from that base now) and he brought me home T-shirts and a baseball cap from the real Top Gun and things mostly only pilots have access to.
I wanted to be a fighter pilot so badly when I was a kid. I grew up near that base, the son of a US Navy officer. So that was always in my blood. When I was in high school I tried for an USMC ROTC scholarship to college and planned to follow in my friends' footsteps, but my medical limitations - I'd already required a major surgery when I was 11 - prevented me from being accepted into the service. (Heck, I even tried to enlist in 3 branches, as military life was familiar and appealing to me - as long as I wasn't in anyway directly subordinant to my father). I'd still dreamt of politics at an early age, but I saw myself serving my country in that way, and earning the respect I'd need to be elected. Because I was deamed unacceptable for military service, I later pursued entrance into Police Academy for my California law enforcement certification because I was determined to prove I could have handled bootcamp in spite of what military medical was saying as otherwise.
I also have privately pursued flight lessons.
Meanwhile, with my recent enjoyment of Flyboys, Top Gun was an awesome movie for me to watch. The rock n' roll style of the movie is of total appeal to me - but I actually like the real historical signifcance of Flyboys better.
Meanwhile, Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Tony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Rick Rossovich, Tom Skerrit, Michael Ironside - the entire cast is still great in this flick. I'd loved the Tomcat F-14 fighter when I saw this picture - it's like a Millennium Falcon out there, but I've since learned to appreciate the F-18 Hornet's speed, maneuverability, and I think, comparable firepower. The Navy has as well apparently, as if you've heard in recent news, the F-14 Tomcat was permanently retired from service this very month.
I honestly don't know if the fighter's performance was really questionable, or just if a military contractor got another bonus from our current Congress. That seems to be going around.
Meanwhile, the movie, the military life it portrays including dealing with Goose's death, all appeal. There's not a real Top Gun trophy however. They don't officially keep scores at Navy Fighter Weapons School - and it is actually a Marine Corps Air Base now. In fact, I'm driving the whole 10 minutes it takes to get there to go and see the Blue Angels' airshow in about 2 weeks. The airshow actually will incorporate all kinds of fighter planes and "The Flyboys" out of World War One might be taking off and landing there as well.