Well, it looks like I am wrong about something kind of big. A few weeks ago, after seeing the movie, I gave Top Gun: Maverick a bad review. This is actually a bit scary because I actually felt the moviegoing public had some depth to their character. I stand corrected.
I was reluctant to watch the movie in question because, despite the media machine that surrounds Tom Cruz Mapother, he is quite simply an asshole. He is openly against medical science (psychiatry mainly) and would rather see me, me personally, tied into his personal cult Scientology, paying all I can afford for books and courses, being under the control of very nasty people instead of living on my own, expressing my views about his garbage freely and openly while I maintain good mental health and exercise in a stable environment.
I can’t deny it, there were good things about Top Gun 2. But for most experienced aviators (which I am not, though I did spend 3 years in the Air Cadets and later learned how to fly small planes) a lot of it is crap when it comes down to technical details. Then of course there is the problem that almost all their action plot is stolen from Star Wars: Episode IV (The movie that really changed history).
But, Dear reader, as long as you don’t listen to what Scientologists have to say about psychiatry, I am happy. I really bear little ill will to Tom Cruise, gay or not gay. I just tend to get upset when I read comments about him saying how wonderful he is and how good an actor and all that. I want to give the person a little credit, I really liked the stunt he did in one of the Mission: Impossible movies where he hung on by his fingertips to the outside of the plane. The crazy bugger actually did that. And, the movie Top Gun: Maverick delivers, there really are some incredible action scenes in it. But he is not a good actor. He is an attractive actor who has chosen his plastic surgeons well. He is 60 and he barely looks a day over 60. What bothers me is that they talked on and on before the movie came out about how real they made things and how they flew with real pilots, and about 25% of the plot (the part they didn’t steal) is based on the idea that some rogue nation can afford the next generation of fighter planes and keeps a working stock of old American planes airworthy, and that no massive war breaks out as a result of US ships levelling an airfield in an unfriendly nation. And a flight of planes bombs a factory. What a lot of people don’t understand is that all of the plot, the stolen 75% and the rest, is about death and destruction, killing and doing those things in the name of America.
Just to go back to the type of planes, the Americans were using F-18s, which are way out of date. There are alternatives like the F-35 that are rolling out around the world, and certainly in America, but the movie jokes around about how modern the F-18s are when actually they have been getting close to obsolete for years.
Now, I want to make a number clear that will make more sense. Around the world, Top Gun: Maverick made $1Billion dollars. That is one thousand million dollars. It would be one thing if the movie were about really saving lives in America or some nation far away, but the movie is about killing, cold-blooded killing. Anything above the plain fact that people fervently cheer when an ‘enemy’ who no one has bothered to explain why they are the enemy, is blown out of the sky.
And then we come to the central idea of this blog entry. The movie is about Tom Cruise and how wonderful he is, not about winning, not about team work, not about love or aviation. The movie is a love letter from Tom Cruise to Tom Cruise. Let me give you a quick run-down of some of the plots of his movies:
Top Gun: He’s a pilot. He’s a good pilot. He runs into adversity, loses his nerve and stops being a pilot. Then, a good looking woman comes into his life and convinces him he’s the best pilot.
Cocktail: He’s a bartender. He’s a good bartender until he meets with adversity and loses his nerve, then meets a beautiful woman who convinces him he’s the best bartender.
Days of Thunder: Tom is a driver. He is a good driver, until he meets with adversity and loses his nerve, then a beautiful woman comes into his life and convinces him he is the very best driver.
I’m sure Tom Cruz Mapother is full of charm. He goes all out to make people feel special. And then behind the scenes he allows horrific things to go on in the name of religion in the cult he is #2 from the top in. Maybe he just needs a beautiful woman to come along to restore his confidence and convince him he is the best cult leader and he will no longer be #2.