Highway to the Danger Zone

It’s the summer of 1986. You’re in your leather flight jacket, your hair slicked back, and a pair of aviators on. It’s the height of the Cold War, and the Ruskies are coming. But that’s why the U.S.A has you. You take off in your F-14 Tomcat and head into contested airspace. Then, two MiGs appear in the distance. They’re approaching fast, so you flip on your targeting system and greet ΄em with a missile lock. The drone of the lock sounds off like a siren, and the MiGs get the hint. They turn tail and run. Democracy is safe for at least one more day. Returning home victorious, you greet the flight crew: “Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.” As you speed in for a low altitude grazing, your arms outstretched like the wings of a jet fighter, your little sister screams out: “You’re not Tom Cruise! Stop playing Top Gun, you loser!” Whatever. She’s a Commie.

It’s 2008 now, and the Cold War with Russia — and your sister — is long over. But you can relive it. Because tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is screening the best damn fighter pilot movie ever made, Top Gun. It’s got everything you could want in an action flick: endless dogfights, cheesy one-liners, Kenny Loggins tunes, and a cast that just won’t quit (we’re looking at you, Michael Ironside). Check out the completely free outdoor screening at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-525-FILM, or visit fliff.com.
Mon., Nov. 10, 2008

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John Linn