A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Evil-businessman subplot about greedy American defense contractors plotting deadly sabotage to US planes to increase their own profits, and how a Navy official (briefly) goes along with the scheme. It's so lost in the gags you might not even notice it's there. Enemy pilots are apparently Iraqi and have stereotypical Arabic attributes.
Positive Role Models
Not much character development in a parody in which protagonists are all mockeries of movie stereotypes and Hollywood heroism, with a recurring theme being the undermining of the "macho" pilots in Top Gun. As in the target Tom Cruise movie, the leading man and the leading lady have premarital sex. By and large, the sense is that military-service movies -- rather than the military values themselves -- are being mocked.
Violence & Scariness
Silly slapstick, practically like a cartoon (at one point Topper gets electrocuted and you see an animated skeleton). An ill-fated pilot nicknamed "Dead Meat" suffers a series of comical catastrophes (including being hit by an ambulance) that result in his death. A barroom brawl (unrealistic and jokey), plane crashes, men set on fire.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Girls clad in underwear or lingerie. A piano player looks up the skirt of the sexy heroine. Double-entendre dirty jokes, a vulgar proverb about family incest. A warplane called the "Phallus." A lengthy scene (parodying the racy drama 9 1/2 Weeks) in which the unmarried hero and heroine use food as foreplay prior to having sex (itself not shown).
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The f-word once, in a subtitle. God's name in vain, the s-word a few times. "Crap," "hell," "piss," "ass."
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Products & Purchases
Honda motorcycles, references to Disneyland. Tacit references to other (often R-rated) movies such as 9 1/2 Weeks and The Godfather.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A bar riot erupts at a call of "free beer." Comedic inhaling of helium to create high voices.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this broad spoof of Top Gun and other Hollywood fare includes some raunchy material, primarily a takeoff on the kinky sex-foreplay scenes from the erotic drama 9 1/2 Weeks (there's no nudity here, though). Off-color verbal humor includes a proverb that involves incest, a joke about "balls," and scattered swearing with the f-word (in a printed subtitle), the s-word, and assorted "hells," "damns," etc. Violence is very cartoonish and unrealistic, the level of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, practically. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun ride with some of moviedom's most able parodists. Takeoffs on Dances With Wolves, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush and his "no new taxes" pledge, practically everything that was topical in the early 1990s, tend to date this put-on, though, and the disposable plot is pretty disjointed. These filmmakers put on celluloid what many classic issues of the adolescent favorite Mad Magazine did on the printed page with movie sendups, and the deadpan, rapid-fire jokes and sight gags continue right down to the text of the closing credits.
Even the more risque material has an innocent make-'em-laugh quality; yes, characters swear, but the real payoffs are the dialogue puns, the fluffy pink bunny slippers incongruously worn by Topper, or the tire squeals heard whenever a plane turns sharply.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.