TOP GUN is a 1986 American action drama/romance film that needs little introduction. Directed by Tony Scott, the film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Tom Skerritt. Maverick (Cruise) is a handsome pilot. When he encounters a pair of MiGs over the Persian Gulf, his wingman is clearly outflown. On almost no fuel, Maverick is able to talk him back down to the Carrier. When his wingman turns in his wings, Maverick is moved up in the standings and sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School. There he fights the attitudes of the other pilots and an old story of his father's death in combat that killed others due to his father's error. Maverick struggles to be the best pilot, stepping on the toes of his other students and in a different way to Charlie, a civilian instructor to whom he is strongly attracted. The makers of Top Gun reached their apex when they cast Tom Cruise as Top Gun’s high-altitude hotshot - a guy whose outsized ego writes checks his body can’t cash, to quote one of the film’s better catch phrases. Watching Top Gun now past its 25th anniversary you can see why Cruise, then a baby-faced 23, became the biggest star of the era. His thousand watt smile is the film’s best special effect. He is confident and charismatic, a daredevil riding right into the danger zone, convinced he’s got the right stuff even as Val “Iceman” Kilmer tosses locker-room insults at him. Cruise is Maverick. Maverick is America! Adults of a certain age will remember how this film spawned a fashion movement of aviator glasses and bomber jackets and what a huge star Cruise legitimately was. It also scored with audiences on the strengths of its visuals, especially the vertigo-inducing aerial sequences.