- Directors: Tony Scott
- Producers: Don Simpson, Jerry Bruckheimer
- Writers: Ehud Yonay, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr
- Genres: Action, Romance
- Actors: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Tom Skerritt, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Michael Ironside, Rick Rossovich
The film starts with Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) along with Maverick’s wingman “Cougar” and his RIO, “Merlin” (Tim Robbins), both piloting F-14A Tomcats, in conflict over the Indian Ocean against what are said to be Soviets, flying (fictional) Mikoyan-Gurevich-made MiG-28s. Cougar is engaged by one of the hostile aircraft and afterwards is too shaken to land, despite his aircraft being low on fuel. Maverick assists Cougar in landing, at risk to his own aircraft – which is also low on fuel. Following the incident Cougar resigns from active duty, citing his newborn child which he has never seen. Despite his antipathy for Maverick and Goose, the CAG, “Stinger” (James Tolkan) is forced to send Maverick and Gooseâ€”now his top pilotsâ€”to attend the Top Gun school.
Maverick tests his instructors’ patience on the first day of training by flying recklessly (outflying instructor LCDR Rick “Jester” Heatherly (Michael Ironside), breaking two rules of engagement in the process), establishes a rivalry with top student Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), and becomes enamored with civilian instructor Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). Maverick contradicts her briefing by regaling her with the story of the MiG encounter from the film’s opening, but playfully withholds specific details.
The film ends with Maverick in a pub at NAS Miramar, recalling the occasion when he first met Charlie. Charlie then enters the bar, having decided to remain at Miramar after hearing of Maverick’s assignment there, and she plays You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ on the jukebox, signaling to Maverick her intention to remain with the Top Gun school, and to let her romance with Maverick flourish.