Top Gun ‘insidious’? Hell no

I won’t watch the Oscars and I won’t bet on Best Picture. When it comes to wagering some bettors go with their heads while others go with their hearts. If I bet and my heart dictated my choice I’d pick “Top Gun” or “Elvis,” leaning toward “Top Gun.”

John Nantz is a retired FBI Special Agent. He wrote last summer:

“Top Gun: Maverick” represents a feeling Americans have been missing for almost two years—pride in a rugged American exceptionalism. “

Americans have endured almost two years of predictable-as-clockwork hate mongering and anti-America rhetoric from the Democrat Party.

America is tired of being berated by a senile old man backed by the party of infanticide, race-hate, and America-last policies.

But “Top Gun: Maverick” is a break from all this. It’s a movie about something profoundly American—teamwork and the triumph of the individual.

Top Gun is a break from all of Joe Biden’s miseries, and a welcome reminder of what it looks like to be great, noble, and free.

It’s no surprise that Zeeshan Aleem, writer and editor for the wacko lefty MSNBC Daily hates the feel good America-loving “Top Gun.”  He wrote Saturday:

“Top Gun” is as insidious as it is entertaining. It beckons for a return to accepting the American war machine as a beacon of virtue and excitement. It’s a poisonous kind of nostalgia, one that smuggles love of endless war into a celebration of live action.

The script had to be written in a manner that flatters the military in order to secure the buy-in of the Pentagon. The military viewed the sequel as a promising recruitment tool, and ran U.S. Air Force ads before showings of the movie with imperialistic lines like “the entire sky belongs to us.”

I don’t object to anyone’s enjoyment of the film, but I hope it tanks at the Oscars. It’s possible to make thrilling action without so brazenly priming the public for warfare.

The subtext of bombing a nuclear enrichment site, which could very well be in Iran, is a striking choice that betrays a bellicose worldview. It revives the neoconservative conception of preventive warfare — the idea of using force to eliminate threats to American power before they can emerge.

It’s a particularly loaded scenario to portray at a time when, in the real world, the Iran nuclear deal is hanging by a thread and hawks are eager to scrap diplomatic efforts and green light bombardment of the country. 

In other words, it’s a fantasy of war that could actually play out in real life.

The hell with Zeeshan Aleem. Give me Gwilym Mumford, editor of The Guide at the Guardian. He wrote on Friday:

The film that even Steven Spielberg has called ‘the saviour of cinema’ deserves credit for reviving the industry – but more than that, it’s a genuinely great blockbuster that truly hits deep.

When it comes to picking a best picture winner, there are many factors that may sway Oscar voters. Great performances, gorgeous cinematography, cultural relevance – all significant, sure. But if I had a ballot, I would go with the film Steven Spielberg reckons saved the entire industry:
Top Gun: Maverick.

Spielberg’s breathless aside to Tom Cruise at the oscar nominees in February – “You saved Hollywood’s ass and you might have saved theatrical distribution” – was notable for who was saying it, but wasn’t exactly an original observation. After all, people have been calling Top Gun Maverick cinema’s saviour ever since it roared into multiplexes last summer, and quickly grossed $1.5 billion.

As much as possible of what we’re seeing on screen is real: the actors really did fly in fighter jets (albeit as passengers rather than pilots), and Cruise dragged the cast on to a brutal three-month training program to prepare them for the intensity of flying at such speeds. The results can be seen on the screen in those thrilling time trials and dogfights: action scenes that genuinely pop, a rarity in a sea of muddy superhero CGI.

Top Gun: Maverick is a heady brew of nostalgia. It’s why so many people have gone back to cinema again and again to experience that rush of wheels leaving asphalt. And when it comes to best picture, that should count for something.

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