I’m glad Top Gun 2 is delayed – it would be tasteless to release it now

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The Maverick Delta variant ended Tom Cruises Maverick in Top Gun, at least for a few more months. Well phew. Top Gun 2, the sequel to the best recruiting video ever made by the US Air Force and Navy, would have seemed a bit tasteless against the backdrop of the harsh spotlight Afghanistan has cast on the limits of US military might.

When the first outing came out, he did his best to make the clash with the Flying Comrades Mig look cool, even though the Cold War was about to end and America was gearing up for it. assume the role of the world’s only superpower (for a while).

Fans of the movie would tell you that the technically dazzling dogfights with ill-defined opponents that Maverick and his cronies engaged in – their nationality is never discussed – was just a facade. The film was actually a study of a man’s obsession, his tragic pride, and his ultimate redemption.

But if there is something to this, there is also a good reason for Time magazine describing “the chauvinism of the Reagan era” as one of the (presumably ironic) reasons why “Top Gun it’s still great ”.

Time was right to note that the film presents itself as an “incredible” historical artifact. And a cultural one. It was a defining movie of the 1980s, a movie every teenager wanted to see. Lots of Brits had to sneak into juvenile cinemas because of the 15 certificate (which my brother did). If the classification seems severe, it should be noted that the release occurred before the introduction of 12.

Since its release, the world has, if possible, become an even messier place than it was then. And its multiple “hot” wars require very different equipment to fight. Fighter pilots can, and continue to do, push themselves “to the extreme” in dizzying machines in an attempt to control the air. But they’re not very good against a fanatic ready to detonate a suicide bomb in the middle of a crowd.

Super fit, beautiful as flyboys – and, these days, the girls who were late invited to join in on the party a while back – aren’t very good against them. Joystick jockeys in pokey rooms are more of the thing, and without the need to squeeze into a tight flight suit, they can afford to eat as many burgers as they want.

They have been featured in movies and TV shows. But not the ones who sell glamor because it’s a dirty business, worthy of the messy, dirty and ill-organized withdrawal that they helped control. A withdrawal that has left too many friends and allies of the West to fend for themselves under the keen eyes of a murderous regime.

I’m not sure if the sequel, while it matches the admittedly very impressive technical accomplishments of the first film, will have the same impact upon release, in part for these reasons. Also, ask yourself this question: What is “Maverick” – the last person you would want as a winger, really – for anyway?

Americans’ actions, often (but not always) with the British as the still-loyal second president, were often questionable during the Cold War era. Some of the things they did were morally indefensible, especially in their own backyards.

Think of Chile, Nicaragua and Grenada; think of the general support for fascist regimes which were no more acceptable than the communists they opposed.

Most of us who live in democratic societies still knew which side of the Cold War barrier we wanted to be on. As imperfect as they are, our systems were infinitely preferable to the totalitarianism that existed behind the Iron Curtain, even if it meant putting up with the missteps of the “leader of the free world” to preserve it.

Now it is not at all clear that America can claim to be that. There is no certainty that it will exist much longer as a democracy given how the Republican Party has turned away from it in favor of unconditional support from a fascist demagogue named Donald Trump, a man who is said to be the bad guy. perfect for any budding movie producer.

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