What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Top Gun is a blockbuster thriller that's chock full of narrow escapes, chases, and battles -- just what older tweens and teens love to see. But parents beware: There are also some violent and upsetting scenes, chiefly the death of a main character, which make it intense for younger kids (especially in the 3-D version). There's one graphic-for-its-time sex scene, though no nudity, and in one iconic scene, there are quite a few naked male torsos on a beach volleyball court. Winning is the most important thing to all the pilots, who try to intimidate one another with plenty of posturing and banter -- though when push comes to shove, loyalty and friendship have important roles to play, too. While sexism is quite noticeable, two strong female characters help keep some of the objectification in check.
- Families can talk about whether they believe the moral of the story: "There are no points for second place." Is winning all that matters? What would you jeopardize to win?
- Who do you think Top Gun is aimed at, audience wise? How do you think it might be different if it had been made today?
- Do you think it was right for Charlie to pursue a romantic relationship with Maverick?