by Shelt Garner
I was impressed with how good Top Gun: Maverick was. I did find myself rolling my eyes a few times and I found much of the third act extremely contrived to pander to the audience, but, overall it was solid summertime entertainment that deserves its $1 billion global haul.
But one thing that was noticeable about the movie was the thing that was missing — there was no bang-it-over-your-head-woke message that was so ponderous as to be distracting. It was a good summer blockbuster and didn’t have any ulterior political objective. It wanted to tell you a tentpole movie tale (to the point that there was no T&A) and it definitely succeeded.
Blue and Red could watch the movie without either feeling vindicated or attacked, depending on your point of view. Of course, as has been noted elsewhere, the universe is oddly vague about what is going on — it comes across as nothing more than a scenario, not something that might happen in the real world. I’m assuming this is the case because of global box office considerations.
And, if you really wanted to get nit-picky about it, you could say that there WAS some latent wokeness in the movie because the obvious choice of Iran being the bad guy was avoided by simply not telling us who was being attacked. But that is a real over-thinking-things quibble.
I will say that if The Academy was smart — which it isn’t — they would shower this movie with nominations. It’s just the type of four quadrant movie that would probably get people back to watching The Oscars again. But, even though I love movies and The Academy, they’re probably going to pick woke, boring movies that turn off 60% of the audience for various reasons.
Another thing — Tom Cruise has a thing acting against brunettes. It would make a lot of sense if Phoebe Waller-Bridge didn’t pop up as a love interest for Tom Cruise in some Mission: Impossible movie at some point in the not too distant future.
Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t come across as anti-woke so much as non-woke. It’s just the type of summer blockbuster I remember seeing as a young man in the 80s. There was no particular political agenda, they just wanted to entertain the audience with a simple, understandable plot that lets people escape for a few hours. It really shouldn’t be that hard.
But the issue is — both the far Left and the far Right hate the idea of the “center” for different reasons. The far left sees the “center” as some sort of nefarious snakepit of the CIS white male patriarchy, while the far Right wants us all to watch entertainment better suited for the 1950s.
Anyway, go see Top Gun: Maverick. It really is as good as the buzz.