Watch Maverick’ as ‘Insidious Military Propaganda’ – Latest News

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Watch Maverick’ as ‘Insidious Military Propaganda’ – Latest News

An opinion piece published by MSNBC on the eve of the Oscars has called the smash hit Top Gun: Maverick the “most insidious movie” at the awards.

It further cautions the Tom Cruise epic stands poised “to become canonized as a highly decorated film” even as it salutes warfare and those who are involved in it through thinly disguised “military propaganda.”

Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC Opinion Writer/Editor, contributed the article under the headline: “‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is the most insidious movie at the Oscars.”

The piece begins by acknowledging the film’s success “in a cinematic climate in which superhero and CGI-animated films have saturated the silver screen, it was a breath of fresh air to see dazzling live-action aerial combat scenes involving real actors (trained to withstand G forces by real pilots) and (mostly) real planes.”

After that concession to creative excellence, the embrace of already well-publicised leftist objections to the film begins.

The author takes the stridently pro-masculine film to task for allegedly perpetuating myths of noble warriors fighting in a just cause. It reads:

But “Top Gun” is as insidious as it is entertaining. It does not merely revive a forgotten human-centered spectacle; it also beckons for a return to accepting the American war machine as a beacon of virtue and excitement. It’s a poisonous kind of nostalgia, one that smuggles love of endless war into a celebration of live action.

“Top Gun” is literal propaganda: In exchange for access to military aircraft, the producers of the movie agreed to allow the Defense Department to include its own “key talking points” in the script. Perhaps equally important, the script had to be written in a manner that flatters the military in order to secure the buy-in of the Pentagon. (Even then, defense officials requested “revisions” to the characters and their actions.) This collaboration in jingoism is evident throughout the script.

The minor rebellions of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, played by Cruise, against his higher-ups in the military are minor diversions from his obedience to the logic of empire. It should be no surprise that just like with the first “Top Gun” movie, released in 1986, the military viewed the sequel as a promising recruitment tool, and ran U.S. Air Force ads before showings of the movie with imperialistic lines like “the entire sky belongs to us.” While the first movie helped rehab the military’s poor reputation in the wake of the Vietnam War, this one diverts from the failed war on terror, and comes as defense officials eye the rise of China.

The author goes on to say he has no objection to anyone enjoying the film, but adds he hopes “it tanks at the Oscars. It’s possible to make thrilling action without so brazenly priming the public for warfare.”

He goes further to dispute the nature of applauding the combatants because in the film “War is portrayed purely as a source of glory and camaraderie for Maverick and his colleagues, who are all attractive people and manage to pull off their daring mission with zero casualties.”

Despite the leftist talking points against Top gun: Maverick in the piece, cinema goers profoundly disagree.

It was the highest grossing theatrical release in 2022 with a $719 million haul. That represented around 10 percent of the total $7.5 billion in domestic ticket receipts collected last year.

Ultimately, when set against the backdrop of Iran and a troubled Middle East, the author thinks it injudicious to show a fantasy film about warfare all while “gamifying the use of lethal technology and geopolitical intervention as a contest of precise oneupmanship.”

The non-woke Top Gun: Maverick is, to the author, easily dismissed as a vanity project and recruitment poster for the military:

While it’s unclear so far what effect the new movie has had on recruitment, early indications are that even trailers for the new movie produced increased interest in enlisting in the military. As every branch of the military faces recruitment problems, a beloved movie that makes war look thrilling and bloodless could be a solution.

Read the MSNBC piece here

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: [email protected]

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