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Home U.S. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Enters the Pantheon of Conservative Fan Fiction

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Enters the Pantheon of Conservative Fan Fiction

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Today’s newsletter is a guest dispatch from the New York Times Culture Desk. Mark TracyHe writes about Tom Cruise’s latest blockbuster, which regularly covers the crossroads of culture and politics, and the conservatives who sing its praise.

The sequel to the inevitable Tom Cruise blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick, is welcomed as a cinematic throwback.

Many critics say that the story of an increasingly obsolete pilot being recalled to teach young people today one or two things for the last one mission, in the film itself so subtly. Interpreted as no parable. The film uses relatively few computer-generated effects, now starring a 60-year-old cruise, and still earning over $ 1 billion worldwide.

But in praise from movie fans who enjoyed a realistic dogfight shot on a real plane with a real actor on board, another community expressed its value and the movie to prove its prospects. Accepted: Conservatives.

sampling:

  • Governor Ron DeSantis Florida: “A movie that isn’t overwhelmingly awakened can actually appeal to the average person.” (DeSantis wasn’t watching the movie at the time; he later on her birthday. I saw it with his wife for, he Said.. )

  • Fox news host Jesse Watters: “We wanted to see a perfect American movie, but we finally got it.”

  • Tomi LahrenConservative Sports Outlets OutKick and Fox: “The undeniable success of Top Gun is that Americans are fed up with WOKE and want to watch a good movie without a grand message of social justice. It’s proof !! “

What’s happening

There is a long tradition of conservatives grabbing cultural artifacts created by the entertainment industry, which are generally considered leftists and claim themselves.

“This goes back many years,” said Republican consultant Doug Hay. They feel surrounded by culture. That feeling is only heightened, and it is heightened because there are more entities behind it today. “

In a recent essay discussing films such as Top Gun: Maverick, Times co-chief film critic AO Scott said that one notable aspect of the conservative move is hostility to the entertainment industry. Insisted.

“Modern rights,” writes Scott. “Defines ourselves against the cultural elite who seem to be colluding to gather on the beach and impose their values ​​on the unsuspecting masses. In this account, Hollywood is in the academic world and in the news media. We are acting on a functional alert with. “

And the hostility of conservative activists towards Hollywood and other cultural taste makers has probably become more prominent than ever.

DeSantis, whose ability to guide the move may outperform other politicians (perhaps including Donald Trump), revoke the special taxes and autonomy privileges Disney enjoyed for his state’s huge theme parks. By doing so, I made this spring wave. The governor and the company clashed over newly passed state law that banned guidance on sexual orientation and gender identity in several grades.

So when “Top Gun: Maverick” participated in this cultural war with its simple and soothing patriotism, it’s a movie about how great US Navy pilots are, especially when fighting American enemies-conservatives. Alignment arrived naturally.

“When something comes out, it’s another version of’Rocky IV’.”-A 1985 movie in which a working-class boxer from Sylvester Stallone enters the ring with a Soviet fighter named Ivan Drago. -“It’s going to be something, because of the part of the base activists looking for something that isn’t critical of their values, they’re going to grab.”

This does not mean that Maverick, Hangman, and other pilots from the new “Top Gun” movie will confront the equivalent of today’s Soviet Union in any country. Like the first “Top Gun” released in 1986, the enemy is not clearly identified.

Also, conservative politicians and media personalities do not claim that the film makes compelling claims of policies such as tax cuts and gun rights. Their argument has nothing to do with what the movie is. It has nothing to do with that particular plot or character, rather than its mood.

“Being non-political is political,” said Christian Toto, a conservative film critic and website owner. Toto’s Hollywood..

He contrasted “Top Gun: Maverick” with several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and restarted “Ghostbusters,” with the gender swapped. Their efforts for inclusiveness-various castings, homosexual relationships-especially to a conservative audience whose antennas are already wary of filmmakers who see them trying to sneak spinach into them. , He said, could come across out of control. ..

A conservative allergy to such a filmmaking decision burns, Toto said, “the audience sends a message rather than being awkwardly placed there or organically woven into the story. When you feel that you are being done. “

Toto says that the appearance of pilots training for a bold assault in “Top Gun: Maverick” from different backgrounds seems to be more realistic details than a liberal message. I did.

“The cast is reasonably diverse. There are women as pilots,” he said. “But they haven’t commented on it. They haven’t scripted around it. These are very talented people who are willing to put their lives at risk for their mission. It is supposed to be. “

Boxing revenues are consistent with those of the Conservatives. According to Paramount, about 55% of the weekend’s first sales came from an unusually high percentage of ticket buyers over the age of 35.

According to Box Office Mojo, “Top Gun: Maverick” is making more money in the US and Canada than in other regions.

Ben Shapiro, a popular conservative expert who co-founded the website The Daily Wire, predicted in him. Acclaimed review The movie will work better in Japan than abroad. “The movie itself is pretty red, white and blue,” he said. “It’s supposed to be the background. This is the old way of doing movies.”

In an interview, Stanley Rosen, a professor of political science at the University of Southern California, who studies the Chinese film industry, said “Top Gun: Maverick” has a new idea that “Hollywood doesn’t need China as it used to.” Said that it represented.

The film’s success may indicate that Hollywood studios continue to change their storyline and release it to be more palatable to Chinese censors and spectators.

Rosen added that the argument that whatever the actual political message of the film was, it might have its own use.

“The debate about awakening, or whether this is Reagan nostalgia, is very good for box office revenue,” he said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is having lunch with Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington on Friday, two of his aides confirmed.

For Newsom, travel, It was officially designed to allow him to receive awards and discuss policy issues with lawmakers and Biden administration officials.Also serves as a kind of cleanup tour.

Thursday, Newsom said clearly In a whirlpool of reports by my Times colleagues and others, he favored President Biden becoming a Democratic candidate in 2024, with liberal voters another of the 79-year-old commander-in-chief. He suggested that he was not particularly keen on his term.

News reports, including this humble newsletter, could be a longtime ally and future enemy of the state in a fictitious presidential primary without Biden, with Newsom’s rise as a leader of the Democratic Party. He states that he may compete with one Harris.

These stories drew the attention of the Vice President’s office while entertaining the staff of the Governor of California. Both camps claim that there is no competition between the two leaders.

Newsom told reporters Thursday that Harris volunteered to be “great” as Vice President, and they “check in as we always do.” But he hinted at the unspecified “constraints” Harris faced in the office, saying “it was a difficult time for all of us in public.”

When asked what was on the lunch menu, Newsom’s aide joked: The usual. “

thank you for reading.

-break

Is there anything we think is missing? Is there anything you would like to see more? We look forward to hearing from you.Send us an email at onpolitics@nytimes.com..

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