MRR Review: "Top Gun 3D"

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The hit action drama starring Tom Cruise as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a daring young flyer who's out to become the best of the best. Kelly McGillis sizzles as the civilian instructor who teaches Maverick a few things you can't learn in a classroom. Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards & Meg Ryan also star.
3.5

MRR Review: "Top Gun 3D"

-- Rating: PG
Length: 113 minutes
Release Date: Feb. 8, 2013
Directed by: Tony Scott
Genre: Action/Drama/Romance

Tom Cruise went from one of the top action stars in the world to an actor better known for his personal life. After publicly supporting Scientology, publicizing his love for actress Katie Holmes, and going through a surprise divorce with the same actress, he found that his fans were less than forgiving. After the hit "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," he followed that up with "Reacher," which bombed at the box office. With "Top Gun 3D," he hopes to recapture some of his box office magic.

"Top Gun" is one of the classic films of the 1980s. The American Film Institute nominated the film for its list of top film quotes, top songs, best heroes and villains, thrills, and cheers. The film was such a hit with fans that the studio decided to re-release the film in theaters. The 3D version opened on the eight of February and ran for six days to publicize the release of the DVD. Those who watch the film will find that it holds up well.

"Top Gun" is a film about Maverick (Tom Cruise, "Mission Impossible"), an officer in the United States Navy. After recklessly going against protocols in the opening scenes, he learns that he and his entire crew must attend Flight School. Maverick's relationship with his best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards, "E.R.") and his antics away from school add an interesting layer to the film. After hitting on a woman in a bar, he discovers that Charlie (Kelly McGillis, "The Innkeepers") is actually his teacher.

Maverick also finds himself constantly fighting with Iceman (Val Kilmer, "The Saint"), a man who doesn't think that Maverick is a good pilot. The film delves into the relationship that Maverick had with his pilot father, the father figure that he finds in Viper (Tom Skerritt, "Picket Fences"), and the feelings that he has for Charlie. "Top Gun" interjects those moments with action scenes that will have viewers feeling the need for speed.

One of the hottest trends in the film industry is the use of 3D. "The Avengers," "Silent Hill: Revelation," and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" all landed in theaters in 3D versions, and the films made quite a bit at the box office. "The Avengers" grossed more than $623 million at the box office, while "Avatar" hit the $760 million mark. Fans of the original "Top Gun" were surprised when the studio announced plans to convert the film into 3D.

When a studio decides to use 3D technology, the filmmakers add scenes that make use of that technology. Viewers might see an arrow flying from the screen, see blood splattering right in front of them, or watch as a car barrels through the screen. "Top Gun 3D" suffers because the filmmakers did not originally use 3D during filming. The producers had to go through the film, looking for scenes where it might make sense to use the technology. The result is a film that feels like producers shoehorned in 3D scenes.

Those who watch the original "Top Gun" can feel the excitement without any fancy technology. When Maverick does barrel rolls in the sky or finds himself face to face with an enemy plane, viewers don't need to feel like the plane is crashing through the screen to understand the plot. The 3D elements add little to the film, and the scenes containing those elements are even distracting sometimes.

Regardless of the 3D elements, "Top Gun" is still one of the best action films from the last few decades. Watching the film is like going through a time capsule from the 1980s. While some of the moments are a little cheesy, the action scenes look like something the director filmed yesterday. Some viewers might even forget the top names attached to the film until watching. Many people remember Kilmer and Cruise, but some viewers forget about Edwards, who later gained fame on the television series "E.R.," or about Meg Ryan ("When Harry Met Sally"), who turns up as Goose's wife.

Nearly every actor who appears on-screen has chemistry with those around him or her. Cruise and Kilmer have an antagonistic relationship as Maverick and Iceman that will make viewers believe they didn't get along, and Cruise and Edwards come across as two men who are close friends in real life. Those relationships help the film progress, and the scenes add something extra to a film that would otherwise just be another action flick.

The transition to 3D in "Top Gun 3D" wasn't as successful as it was in previous years, but it does serve to remind viewers of the original film. The powerful action scenes, interesting relationships between characters, and the classic theme song will keep fans happy, whether they watch the original or the 3D version.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars