SBS Film Vault: Top Gun Volleyball

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Published on : January 16, 2016


We all love Top Gun but remember that scene where they play volleyball? AKA the best part of the movie. I think that is why everyone likes volleyball. Let’s crack open the SBS Film Vault and look back at an American classic that taught a whole generation that it was okay to like volleyball. Grab a towel, because it is about to get sweaty in here.


Let’s be clear. This is beach volleyball. It’s only two-on-two, which is perfect because Maverick and Goose are trying to prove a point to Iceman and Slider. I love how they are still wearing their dog tags. And that Goose still has his shirt on. I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s watch the scene.



Electric! That’s some top gun volleyball entertainment. And I mean “top gun” as another of way of saying quality or choice. Not Top Gun volleyball, like I’m trying to describe the movie with it’s own title, like “it’s like the godfather of mafia movies.” I’m getting off-track.


Tom Cruise is no doubt a great athlete but I’m not sure his skill set measures up to the height of the net. Iceman and Slider look like pro beach volleybros. Goose shows he can bump and set, but I’m not sure he can spike or serve. Slider seems like a much better wingman. And athlete.




Who really won? The footage reveals that Mav and Goose take that last set but it sounds like both crews are all tied up, so we have no clear victor. Maybe if Maverick didn’t bail then we could finally have the conclusion Top Gun/volleyball fans have been wanting for decades.


Overall, it looks like a very close round. We see serves from everyone so you know it was a back-and-forth affair. The good guys appear to have the most successful slams and spikes which is odd because they are the undersized duo. It’s almost like Iceman and Slider aren’t quick enough to cover all that sand. We see a few times where they just can’t get to some of those balls. And their digs and bumps are all over the place. I hate to say it, but I think Iceman and Co. need a little more practice and coaching. Maybe they are so overconfident that they keep getting caught out of position. Then it doesn’t matter how good or quick you are. But honestly, that’s part of Maverick’s strategy. He gets in your head and makes you screw up. You get so focused on trying to wipe that smirk off his face that you give the game away.




Is there anything Tom Cruise isn’t good at? You can make some Katie Holmes joke here but never say he can’t play volleyball. They gave him the doc from ER as his partner and he still owns the beach. Maybe Gabrielle Reece and Dan Cortese could stand a chance against the pilots. I’m sure they will remake Top Gun soon enough and the three things they can’t get rid of are: fighter jets, Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” and the volleyball scene.


Thanks for taking a trip back in time with me. Let’s see what else we have in the SBS Film Vault. Until next time, cinefiles.


Danger Zone.



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