“If you think, you’re dead.”
Feat. Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
UNCHARTED TERRITORY. In 2022 UFO’s are real, and movies
are dead. Or I should say, they were. Until? A career best box office smash for the planet’s biggest movie star. Is he an alien?🤷🏽 These new Roaring 20s keep getting stranger.
Top Gun’s superiority is known the moment its ace first appears on screen to forward the movie, breaking the fourth wall. Cruise employs this unconventional tactic to inform us that no less than *10* years of love went into the production. And it shows. The film is as technically flawless and riveting as the mythical flight mission it portrays. Plan on peeing your pants in the first five minutes.
Despite my infatuation with this movie, a sobering thought crosses my mind. And it’s bullshit that in 2022 we are close enough to the precipice that I feel I need to ask this question in an otherwise joyous movie review, but what if in 10 more years we look back and see this movie as a military recruiting masterpiece? The film is so impressive it would have us believe that the coolest people on Earth are actually U.S. Navy pilots – that in order to win your father or brother’s love you must kill for your country. Combine these toxic notions with what seems like an ever growing number of people with low self-esteem and a death wish and you have quite the volatile situation. A WW3 type of situation. Get my drift? On this topic Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times says it is, “best not to think too long or hard about … the fetishization of U.S. military might” in this film. I am inclined to agree. This movie has far too much heart to be propaganda (Or is that exactly why it is?🤔).
No. You see, after all, Maverick is a metaphor – for individual determination, moral integrity, and audacity. The world needs more mavericks, but of the Martin Luther King or Atticus Finch variety, not fighter pilots. It’s just that the camera eye has been particularly fond of the aeronautical niche community since its inception. The airplane and motion picture were invented just 15 years apart. 🎥1888, ✈️1903). Both created by daring individuals. Both exquisite forms of escape. The marriage of flight and film makes a ton of sense, actually.
And century’s worth of movies has proven The Pilots’ charm equally cinemagenic as their marvelous flying machines. Something about that boyish smile behind a pair of tinted aviators lowers our inhibitions, and tells us that whatever we’re doing “is okay.” It’s the assurance every moviegoer secretly craves.
In 2022 there’s no sweeter sound than the screaming of a supersonic angel of death. In the age of anxiety, on the brink of annihilation, Jerry Bruckheimer and the forever 21-year-old myth of a man, Tom Cruise drop Top Gun Maverick, a bomb of a movie that fully and unequivocally lives up to its name, invites us not to think, but to lose ourselves to the cinematic experience. So bring the sativa and snacks, wear an adult diaper, and enjoy the ride, man.