A great review of a movie that there was no chance I'd be seeing

Brett on Top Gun Maverick:

"Top Gun: Maverick" is a movie where our heroes are trying to start World War III. The US military is selecting pilots for a bombing run over an Iranian nuclear facility near completion, one which was built "in violation" of an internationally-recognized treaty. This, of course, is the exact opposite of what happened in real life: the US violated the JCPOA agreement with Iran, and the Iranian government continued to obey it even when we no longer were.

At no point in this two-hour monstrosity is it ever mentioned that the Iranians would strike back instantly, sinking the aircraft carrier that Cruise took off from and beginning a war that would annihilate millions of innocent lives. In fact, from the perspective of international law, the Iranian government would be in the right to do so, as Tom Cruise just executed an illegal and unconstitutional act of war on a foreign power without congressional approval. If every single one of our plucky heroes had died during their training montages, it would have made the world a safer place. [...]

Even if one can ignore the rabidly bloodthirsty nature of this movie, it is still absolute garbage. The morals of this story are, and I am not exaggerating in the slightest: soldiers should ignore orders to stand down, and you should take actions without thinking about them. Our heroes follow these lessons throughout the story and are constantly rewarded for it. It is a child's understanding of bravery and honor, coated in thick layers of some of the most painfully sentimental slime that Hollywood has ever produced. [...]

"Top Gun: Maverick" is a 131-minute long advertisement for death. Aggressively unoriginal, wildly irresponsible with its messaging, historically revisionist, and shamelessly jingoistic in the name of providing fellatio to arms dealers. This is a masterwork of propaganda in defense of some of our nation's worst traits, and it's an enormous success. I left the theater depressed and forlorn.

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13 Responses:

  1. CSL3 says:
    1

    I love how Leah Remini's response to the film's success has essentially been, "Yeee-no. Did y'all forget this dead-eyed nutcase (Cruise) is the most high-profile member of a tax-dodging space cult?"

    • jwz says:

      Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is absolutely horrifying, even if, like me, you thought you already knew a lot about the space cult.

      • CSL3 says:
        2

        Oh yeah, I saw it - and the book is creepier, going into more detail.

        Hell, just personally remembering their all-out "war" on South Park, Cruise's couch-jumping, and just the fuckin' auditors who'd hang around outside of BART makes it unbelievable that these assholes still operate... then I remember that the same could be said about the NRA.

  2. Krisjohn says:
    1

    My wife made me go. I agree with both the linked review and Leah Remini's take. Fortunately we didn't pay "X-treme Screen" prices but, even if it was free, the cost to my time (and soul) was too high.

    • shaoyu says:

      Your wife made you go to learn the lessons in this article, or enjoy the jingoistic propaganda in the film?

  3. tfb says:
    1

    I think it is only allowed to enjoy films which are mindless fun and have lots of c̶o̶o̶l̶uninteresting s̶p̶a̶c̶e̶aircraft doing slightly implausible things if they are set in space.  And even then only some films set in space are allowed (Solaris? original version yes, remake no, Star Wars? only ironically, Iron Sky? yes, and so on).

    This is because people who think things like aircraft and other technological things are cool and fun to watch have only very small brains: not like our big brains at all.  They are, really, little more than train enthusiasts who, as we know, are really subhuman – a little above the gypsies perhaps, but only a little.

    Their intellect is simply too limited to be able to distinguish between watching the machines do things which they find somehow interesting and the awful morals of the thing: by watching it they will inevitably be lured into some American-supremacist mindset and immediately start voting for Trump and probably rioting.  It is sad, but they must be protected from this sort of thing.

    OK. I mostly went because of the cobra thing (which I'm not sure F-18s can actually do, even the new bigger ones with more computer, but that's not the point).  And the planes were indeed fun, even if the physics of part of the thing they needed to do was wrong I think (somehow going upwards fast involves high acceleration for long periods).  I knew the politics would be execrable (and I thought it was Iran too for most of the movie, but I think it turns out to be really North Korea probably).

    Because, you know, I like watching cool machines do cool things filmed really well but also I can distinguish between that and the atrocious politics of the thing.  Who knew?

    • tfb says:

      By the way: where's the strikethrough option?  What even is a visual editor worth if it doesn't have that?  I mean, seriously, I had to go and find something which made unicode strikethrough characters like some kind of caveman.

  4. CSL3 says:

    Oy... and apparently they used deep-fake tech for Val Kilmer's voice.

    Mind you, I know the guy had life-saving surgery for throat cancer and I would never fault him for getting back in front of the camera, but deep-fake tech is still creepy AF.

  5. thielges says:
    1

    A few days ago I watched the original Top Gun for the first time just to see what all the fuss was about.  Turns out it is a load of schmaltzy sentimentality mixed in with some ten year old's fantasy about jet fighters.  Hard to believe that it is on so many people's top ten list.  But, hey, now I know where those quotes and quips I've been hearing over the last few decades originate.

    Unrelated I've been trying to track down a short art film.  It was filmed in the Berlin Stasi HQ in Lichtenberg just after the wall fell.  There's no dialog, just ghostly bureaucrats floating zombie-like through hallways and up and down the paternoster.  Simultaneously unnerving and calming.  I went through dozens of titles matching "Stasi" in IMDB and about the same number of clips on Utube.  Nothing came up.  If anyone recognizes this description and knows the title please let me know.

  6. Jim says:

    I understand he has a Taiwanese flag on his jacket.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IxQJwwlREl8" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  7. Phil says:
    4

    Why do you hate fun? The plot is basically the trench run strike on the Death Star, there's a Luke and everything. Instead of X-wings it's F18s. They never say who the adversary nation is, they never say Iran or any other. Just go in and enjoy the big picture and sound and a tub of popcorn and m&ms and soda and enjoy. Geesh.

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