September 26, 2023

The 7th of June was spent well watching the sequel of the 1986 full grosser “Top Gun”.
The movie started shooting 10 years ago and was supposed to be shown in 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Box office sales of $124 million in the United States and $257M abroad in three days, was a grand slam.
The Paramount/Skydance producers joy however was dampened by a lawsuit for copyright infringement as the heirs of writer Ehud Yonay’s who wrote the magazine article “Top Guns”, claimed that no permission was granted for the sequel.
Worth mentioning are a few classic lines which made me imagine I was the lead star; nay being referred to.
On being old, Tom Cruise, an ageing U.S. Navy pilot is Pete “Maverick” Mitchell tasked to train juniors for a suicide mission to attack a nuclear facility.
He reported and was rebuffed by Commander Harris “Thirty plus years of service, combat medals, citations, the only man to shoot down three enemy planes in the last 40 years. Yet you can’t get a promotion, you won’t retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die. You should at least be a two-star admiral by now. Yet here you are!”
The only explanation is that as his name says, he is a maverick, an unorthodox or independent minded person, insubordinate stubborn and naughty which has no place in the uniformed hierarchy.
On being a stickler for the rules, he first met his bookish trainees during orientation and asked how well they knew the flying manuals and everyone proudly raised their hands.
He then dumped the manuals in the trash bin, “Well the enemy knows all these too!”
The rules are basic which of course we must know and master, learn grammar and sentence construction before becoming a poet or a writer but we must use our imagination and innovate. Use talent and skills that are not found in the rules or manuals.
Think outside the box.
On choosing a leader, Hangman was the best among the pilots but Maverick did not pick him as he is all about himself. He chose Rooster, son of Goose, his wingman in part 1, who died in his arms.
A leader must work and take care of his team. To emphasize teamwork, part of his syllabus was football at the beach. The commanding officer did not like it, “We have a mission to prepare for, we don’t have time for play.” But that’s the point making them play was learning about team building.
There were too many parallelisms in life in this movie.
The line: “It’s the pilot, not the plane!” High tech as gadgets may be, who uses it and how, makes the difference.
There too is Rooster letting go of his hatred for Maverick, blaming him for his father’s death. Grief consumes life and to be alive we must let go, liberate ourselves from unnecessary hate, stress, and guilt.
And a final note “If a mission is risky but important, attempt must still be done, even if failure is highly probable”.
Like love, Milton says “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Haay movies.