Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The Left Can't Seem to Wrap Its Head Around the Success of 'Top Gun: Maverick'

The Left Can't Seem to Wrap Its Head Around the Success of 'Top Gun: Maverick'

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

If you haven’t seen the sequel to the 1986 breakout hit “Top Gun,” then stop what you’re doing and buy tickets now. I haven’t been that stoked after a movie since the early aughts.

I’m not alone in my opinion, either. “Top Gun: Maverick” is forecasted to be Tom Cruise’s first $1 billion movie, and every weekend, the film seems to rake in more and more cash. Sure enough, I plan to make a return visit to the theater to see it again. It’s that good.

(READ: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Met All Expectations, Save One)

But as usual, the woke scolds are seeing the movie’s success and are scrambling to cover it with a narrative before people can reach their own opinions about it.

You see, the movie doesn’t really engage in politics. It never carries a message for one side or another. It’s purely driven by characters, dynamic situations, and top-notch action that relies on very minimal CGI. It never denigrates men with tired feminist narratives, nor does attempt to check unnecessary identity boxes. The movie is so apolitical that even the villain is kept shrouded in mystery the entire time. The mission Tom Cruise’s “Pete Mitchell” must train his students for is against a country that’s never named.

It’s just pure, unadulterated cinema.

Leftist journalists can’t register this, but it’s not stopping them from trying. The Guardian immediately told fans that its success isn’t due to being pro-American or anti-woke, right in the title, and then proceeded to tell everyone that it has a conservative bent while admitting the movie is apolitical:

All that said, Top Gun: Maverick does have a conservative skew; it’s just a more streamlined version of the conservatism of (contrary to these ding-dongs’ assertions) so many movies with blockbuster aspirations. Despite some scenes where Maverick reflects on his past and his legacy, especially a touching moment with his former rival Iceman (Val Kilmer), the movie is a sleek empty vessel that defaults to endorsing the status quo.

In other words, Top Gun 2 is studiously “apolitical” in the way that rightwingers love, because it allows them to claim just-plain-folks victory where white male/military dominance have no sociopolitical dimension – they’re the default, the normal thing.

Taking a step back, you can see the mentality of the leftist journos that currently dominate mainstream media. That which is “apolitical” is actually “conservative.” If it doesn’t carry the message, then it must be right-leaning by default. Naturally, all that is conservative is bad which means not engaging in political pandering of any kind is bad. It satiates the white male patriarchy:

Pleas to keep “politics” out of movies have an implicit definition of politics that includes radical concepts like “non-white actors” and “more than one woman”. Some leftwingers inadvertently play into this too, when we detect the insidious conservative agenda in movies with ideological or provocative ambiguities.

Does the movie skew conservative? No, but when you’ve drifted so far to the left that everything is viewed through the lens of identity and class struggle, anything that doesn’t compliment your worldview becomes “conservative.” I truly believe the author of this piece doesn’t understand just how far he’s sunk into his own ideology. He sees “monsters” where there are none and is now charging at them through his writing.

It’s just a windmill, dude.

Salon (remember them?) took a very similar tack in reassuring themselves that it wasn’t anti-wokeness that made the movie successful and weirdly focused on balls:

However, “Top Gun: Maverick” does something those films don’t, in that it comforts a demographic that may harbor grave concerns about its impending obsolescence, its waning influence, and declining potency.

In short, this movie validates the viability of old balls of every size and sort, from raisins to apricots.

Salon’s argument is that conservatives like the movie because they’re all old and white, and the movie appeals to aging people who are being pushed out and replaced, much like Maverick:

Long before all of that kicks in, though, we see Maverick being cut down to size by Ed Harris’ leathery Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain, who is keen to replace the likes of our hero with drone technology. “The future is coming, and you’re not in it,” he growls before adding, “The end is inevitable, Maverick. Your kind is headed for extinction!”

Once you understand that part of the equation, you may get why conservatives are desperate to claim this as their movie.

To that portion of the audience, “Top Gun: Maverick” is a two-hour, 11-minute Cialis ad, starring a guy with flexible hips who can still climb a ladder to clean his own roof gutters.

Ignorance about the right aside, the Salon writer falls into the same trap that one from the Guardian did. Interestingly, it’s the same trap that some right-leaning figures have fallen into as well.

The fight is over whether or not the film is “anti-woke.” It’s not anti-woke, because it doesn’t engage in politics. It doesn’t bother with political concepts. It’s just good storytelling that anyone can enjoy if they would take off their political blinders and enjoy the movie for what it is.

And what it is, is a well though-out sequel that took time and effort to be a solid piece of cinema. Its continuity from the first film makes sense; the characters and their motivations make sense, the problems and the solutions both make sense, and the stakes make sense.

If anything counts against the left, it’s that the film is a loud message to Hollywood that apolitical movies with solid screenwriting, acting, and apolitical marketing are a winning formula. Don’t preach, just do the best job you can to make a solid film that entertains. That’s it. It’s not a message the activist left wants Hollywood to hear, but Maverick’s box office returns are saying it pretty loudly.

I recommend you go help it get louder by seeing it yourself.

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