Top Gun Maverick: Hollywood abandons ‘Woke’ and the CCP
8 June 2022
You’ve heard the saying ‘Go woke, go broke’ due to various film and television instalments being rejected by audiences for their virtue-signalling and pandering to the Woke mob.
The backlash against Disney for their opposition to Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights Bill and corporate plans to increase transgender ‘representation’ in their films serves as an example. Recently, Netflix told a bunch of their employees that if they’re offended by politically incorrect material then they should consider finding other jobs. Perhaps the writing is on the wall for Wokeness in the entertainment industry…
Is the cultural tide turning?
Viewers are cancelling their subscriptions to these platforms. They’ve had enough. No self-respecting individual wants to be preached at because of their ‘white privilege’ or heterosexuality when they watch an action movie. Decent parents don’t want their children exposed to pernicious or radical adult concepts in Disney films.
Another familiar saying is, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Top Gun: Maverick proves that the old formula for American action movies still works fine.
Admittedly, when I first heard they were making a Top Gun sequel, I dreaded the thought of it. I imagined a group of unattractive millennial pilots moaning about America’s history of racism, as though the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement never took place, and celebrating their diverse sexuality and genders as they fly F-18s in the name of ‘equality’ with rainbow flag patches on their uniforms.
Mercifully, that doesn’t happen in Top Gun: Maverick. There isn’t a hint of Wokeness in this movie. It’s a refreshing and welcome relief from the ideological propaganda that permeates modern Hollywood.
Fifteen years ago, Top Gun: Maverick wouldn’t have been considered particularly noteworthy and, in a way, it isn’t. It’s a formulaic action film in which the character arcs are predictable and the dialogue rather bland. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell is repeatedly told by his superiors that he’s too reckless and therefore ‘grounded’, only to be immediately promoted because he’s the best guy the Navy has. His initial task is to teach a bunch of ambitious, good-looking young pilots how to undertake an impossible mission, which he ends up leading himself because he’s so awesome. It’s cliche, but sometimes cliche is good.
The Top Gun sequel stands apart from a lot of what Hollywood releases these days because it’s a classic, exciting American movie, and a reminder that movies are meant to be enjoyed. These days, it’s easy to forget that movies are supposed to be fun, and that’s what this movie is. Because it’s fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s an antidote to the Woke, nihilistic garbage that Hollywood often produces. This is likely why it’s been so successful.
Perhaps the movie’s avoidance of Wokeness is attributable to the involvement of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who worked on the first Top Gun, and Tom Cruise himself, who is also a producer. These are old-fashioned guys making an old-fashioned movie. The result is that what would once have been an enjoyable, standard-issue action film feels strangely nostalgic and is elevated as a result. There are themes of fatherhood and courage, and Tom Cruise gets the (older, but not bad-looking) girl at the end, who practically does nothing the entire film except be attractive to Maverick. At no point does anyone berate Pete Mitchell for being a white male who isn’t aware of his privilege. Superb.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Maverick is a commercial success despite not being released in China. Many box-office hits, such as the Fast and Furious and the Star Wars franchises make millions because Chinese audiences love big American films, perhaps because they provide sweet relief from their oppressive communist government. This means that anything which might offend the CCP is excluded from most films.
Remember John Cena’s apology for referring to Taiwan as a country while promoting the latest Fast and Furious instalment? The CCP scrutinise the whole film-making process, from production to distribution, ensuring that nothing that undermines the party’s propaganda makes it onto Chinese screens.
Initially, it appeared that the new Top Gun would be no different. When the first trailer for Maverick was released, Pete Mitchell’s bomber jacket from the original film had been altered so as not to have Pete’s patches depicting the Taiwanese and Japanese flags. Hollywood had kowtowed to the communists again. However, the final product sees these patches back on Maverick’s jacket, and the film remains unreleased in China. There is speculation that this may be the result of a Chinese film production company pulling out of financing the film’s distribution. Whatever the reason, the film is a hit, and it succeeded without bending the knee to the CCP.
Hopefully, this will send a message to Hollywood executives that there is a market for good, old-fashioned American movies, with endearing stars like Tom Cruise (Scientology and all) and even Val Kilmer, whose appearance is handled with sensitivity and grace. Old Glory waves triumphantly in various scenes. The main characters are proud to serve their country. The pilots from the other (unnamed) country are the bad guys and you cheer when they get blown up. Best of all, there is no forced diversity or tokenistic characters. Rather, they’re there to do a job, and they get on with it, unworried by the make-believe cultural issues that the modern western Left are obsessed with.
Maverick’s box-office success is accompanied by the success of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, a film that I haven’t seen and don’t care about, but was also not released in China. It’s not certain why, but it might have been because of a gay character, or a scene in which an Epoch Times magazine can be spotted. The second Doctor Strange film has grossed over $910 million, and is the highest grossing film of 2022 so far. Hopefully, Hollywood’s relationship with the CCP is changing.
It would be great if this movie signalled a trend of Hollywood not caring what the CCP does. This brutal regime recently locked down Shanghai for two months, even slaughtering pets in the name of ‘Covid Zero’. The fact that they wield so much influence over Western entertainment is concerning. Maverick could also be a signal that films which don’t go woke are more appealing to audiences than the usual Woke rubbish and can achieve box-office success.
As simple as Top Gun: Maverick is, it’s exciting, not just because of the gripping action scenes, but because it shows that there is an appetite for classic, big, and kind-of-dumb American movies that won’t take any trash from the CCP or the Woke mob. Take note, Hollywood; don’t think, just do.