(1986)3Lucia BozzolaThe quintessential 1980s blockbuster, Top Gun (1986) may be a slick exercise in macho flyboy ethics, but the kinetic aerial sequences and Tom Cruise's cocky superstar presence make it a perennial crowd-pleaser. Featuring a pre-E.R. Anthony Edwards as the best pal and a bristling Val Kilmer as the nemesis, the story of how Cruise's unsubtly monikered Maverick learns what it takes to truly be a Navy "top gun," with the assistance of Kelly McGillis' fishnet stocking-clad instructor, hits all of the predictable notes. Former television commercial director Tony Scott gave the proceedings a stylish sheen, however, which reached its apex in the flight scenes involving actual Navy hardware zooming, diving, and spinning through energetic MTV-ready dogfights against hostile Soviets. Another hit for flashy action producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun became the top-grossing film of 1986, rocketing Cruise and his grin into the action pantheon and earning several Oscar nominations, including Best Editing. The erotic subtext of Top Gun's male posturing and bonding was memorably deconstructed by Quentin Tarantino in the minor indie film Sleep With Me (1994).