Tony Scott‘s Top Gun was released in 1986 and was the most successful film of that year. It launched Tom Cruise into leading man status (or at least cemented it post-Risky Business), and also featured Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and a host of young actors like Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins. It was the ultimate example of the Jerry Bruckheimer/Don Simpson vehicle – slick, formulaic, but winning. But does the film has a lasting legacy? We’ll see in 2012 when the film is supposed to be released in 3-D.

There are two things about this that are kind of strange. One is that the post-converted old movies thing doesn’t seem like much of a trick. The Phantom Menace and Titanic are due out in the near future, but we’re yet to see if audiences respond to this treatment of older films. and this is after the numbers on 3-D films have steadily decreased since the release of Avatar.

The other interesting thing is that though the film has a fanbase – and is definitely part of the pop culture consciousness – as a film it doesn’t seem to be all that special outside of its success. Perhaps it has a stronger following in the sports and military communities (the film helped boost recruitment numbers when it was released), but sequels and remakes have yet to happen, and the film is charming but not “great.” Perhaps it’s unfair to compare its fanbase to genre fans – who are a very vocal community. We’ll see if the film has a following if/when the post conversion release happens. If so it would seemingly open the door for post-conversions of films like Speed or Men in Black.

Do you feel the need… the need for speed?