Amid the recent mass shootings, the movie sticks to its roots in glorifying guns and fighter jets.

By Thacher Schmid, The Progressive

On May 24, the same day the blockbuster “military-entertainment complex” film Top Gun: Maverick came out, a man shot and killed nineteen students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.

As a society, we’re obsessed with gratuitous violence in films like Maverick while being horrified by mass shootings like those in Uvalde and Buffalo, New York. And while excessive gun violence in media is only loosely connected to gun violence in real life, it does reflect the particularly American obsession with guns and might to some extent explain how they’ve become so entrenched in our national psyche.

A movie poster for Top Gun: Maverick features Tom Cruise

A recent review in The New Yorker claims that Maverick is defined by a “perfect substancelessness.” That’s true, but only if we ignore all of the guns.

As a fourteen-year-old in 1986, I went with my father to see the original Top Gun, which featured a twenty-four-year-old Tom Cruise. But now Cruise is fifty-nine, and something is off. Why is he so teary-eyed? Why does he keep running full-tilt, for no reason? And why can’t I enjoy a Top Gun movie the way I used to?

Read More