Top Guns: Combo Pack

The team behind the X-rated hit Pirates takes on a Tom Cruise classic with its latest adult blockbuster

From The Penetrator to A Clockwork Orgy, Batman XXX to Spankenstein, the adult film industry has a long tradition of parodying mainstream movies. In recent years, adult studios have become more and more ambitious with their porn parodies, thanks in large part to the increased availability and enhanced features offered by today's 'prosumer' visuals effects and editing software packages - the same kind of tools that allowed Gareth Edwards to create his recent critically-acclaimed micro-budget sci-fi drama Monsters.

While not the most prodigious operators in this particular area of the adult film industry, Van Nuys-based Digital Playground is undoubtedly the most celebrated thanks to the double-whammy of Pirates and its sequel Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge. These lavish Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired blue-movie blockbusters set a new standard for the industry, combining hardcore action with extravagent action set-pieces featuring armies of CG skeletons and battle galleons. At the same time, this delightful duo broke new sales records for the adult industry and scooped  countless awards along the way. The only question now is how do you top that? Well, you can't go far wrong by choosing an even more popular film as your inspiration. Which is why Digital Playground has the 1986 Tom Cruise smash Top Gun firmly fixed in its sexy sights for its latest million-dollar bonkbuster!

Directed by Digital Playground MVP Robby D, Top Guns is the studio's biggest production to date. Not only did it make use of three real jets during the shoot, the film also boasts an incredible 280 special effects shots in its final cut and features a remarkable roster of talent from the Digital Playground stable, including fan-favourite Jesse Jane, Piranha 3D pin-up Riley Steele, Kayden Kross, Stoya, Selena Rose, Raven Alexis, Erik Everhard, Tommy Gunn and Cody Bangs. Impressive credentials – but can Top Guns possibly live up to expectations?

Jesse Jane and Riley Steele take centre stage as the best female pilots in the Air Force. Fed up of always having to give in to their male compatriots during combat simulations, the girls take matters into their own hands and show the boys what they're really made of – only to end up in hot water with the military brass. All of which eventually leads them into conflict with their arch rivals, Navy fliers Kayden Kross and Stoya, as they vie for the position of 'Top Gun'. But the four fly girls have to put their differences aside when things get dangerously hot up in the air - and even hotter in the aircraft hanger when they get back down to earth.

Clocking in at a whopping 153-minutes, Top Guns is a million miles way from the rather grubby adult movies you (probably) encountered as a teenager. While it's not as extravagant a production as either of the Pirates... movies, this is perfectly understandable as its ambitions lie elsewhere. Packed with action, gags, special effects and money shots, this is essentially the Michael Bay of adult films – only it's about one-hundred times more coherent than any of the bloated cinematic monstrosities that Hollywood director has ever churned out. And much more fun.

Of course, no amount of computer-generated dogfights and general movie-spoofing is much use in an adult movie if the sex scenes aren't up to scratch. And here's where Top Guns really succeeds thanks to six red-hot, high intensity scenes that show just why Digital Playground's performers are so popular with its legions of fans. And unlike Pirates II, which was so bloated in every other department that most of the footage from the naughty bits was left on the cutting room floor (or, more precisely, presented outside of the movie as Extended Sex Scenes) in an effort to squeeze everything in, Top Guns' 153-minute run time is perfectly paced. Which means that there's plenty of time for the good stuff.

Picture: Shot digitally in HD, it's no real surprise that Top Guns looks pretty damn snazzy on Blu-ray. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the AVC 1080p encode provides plenty of fine detailing and some excellent colour reproduction. Skintones are handled extremely well – if you think they sometimes look a little orange, just check out the comparatively pasty Top Guns actress Stoya to see how accurate it all is – and there are no obvious technical issues with the disc. The hi-def encode also does a pretty good job of showcasing the film's visual effects. Okay, so we're not talking about a mega-budget Hollywood blockbuster here – but the CG FX are generally pretty sharp, with most of the faults being covered up by artificial lens flare (which appears in every single visual effects shot).
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: If the disc disappoints anywhere, it's here. Given the type of movie it was making, you might have hoped that Digital Playground would go for broke with the soundtrack for Top Guns. Some exciting surround sound sonics would certainly add another layer of authenticity to the aerial combat sequences. But sadly, it wasn't to be. Despite featuring a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix (what, no lossless audio?), Top Guns proves to be a resoundingly front-focused acoustic experience. Sure, there's some steering across the front of the soundstage during the film, but there's nary a peep out of the rear speakers or subwoofer when those planes are zipping around unleashing hell on each other with missiles. It might not be the kind of 'rear activity' your traditional adult movie audience is after – but to us this just smacks of being a missed opportunity.
Audio rating: 3/5

Extras: The single-disc Blu-ray features a solid selection of bonus goodies for you to check out. These run from traditional features like the 31min Behind the Scenes documentary and five deleted scenes to more surprising stuff like a 2min Making of VFX showreel and even a 7min Bonus Sex Scene (an apparently unscripted moment featuring Jesse Jane, Riley Steele and a lucky cameraman). A short blooper reel, animated photo gallery (containing 40 publicity stills) and a collection of 14 trailers for other Digital Playground titles round out the extras on the disc. It's also pleasing to see that all of the bonus features are presented in hi-def.

This Combo Pack also includes a two-disc DVD version of the film. Disc One is given over to an anamorphic 1.78:1 presentation of the film itself accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, while all of the extras are relegated to Disc Two. This second disc repeats all of the bonus features found on the Blu-ray disc - with the exception that the photo gallery is presented twice (once animated, the other manually-operated) and the number of trailers for other titles is doubled-up to 28.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Despite disappointing audio performance, this great-looking piece of adult entertainment finds Digital Playground breaking new ground for the industry yet again!

Digital Playground, All-region Blu-ray/R0 DVD (US Import), £23 approx (, On sale now