“Top Gun: Maverick” has triggered columnist Zeeshan Aleem of MSNBC, to call it “the most insidious movie at the Oscars” and warns against “canonizing literal military propaganda.”
Conservatives have praised the movie for bringing American exceptionalism back to the big screen and storing pride in the American military, but Aleem is concerned its six Oscar nominations will salute the American military and feed an appetite for war.
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“‘Top Gun’ is as insidious as it is entertaining,” Aleem wrote. “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.”
Aleem, who is American born, warns the movie is too tidy with U.S. military.
“‘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,” he wrote. “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.”
Disney’s “Avatar: the Way of Water” is the only movie to have grossed more in 2022 than “Top Gun.”
“I don’t object to anyone’s enjoyment of the film, but I hope it tanks at the Oscars,” Aleem wrote. “It’s possible to make thrilling action without so brazenly priming the public for warfare.”
Aleem denounced the movie for its “absurd salute to defending the military industrial complex” and a quoted “Don’t think, just do” as “a fitting slogan for the U.S. foreign policy establishment — consistently eager to intervene in other countries without thinking carefully about whether it’s right or if it will be effective.”