Even though I am product of the ’80’s, I have to say, I wasn’t as wowed as others in my family to go see Top Gun Maverick on the big screen. For its time, like VHS, the 1986 movie had a lot of action, excitement, mixed with a good dose of cringe. Added to this is the question, do I really need to re-live the old story line? And, let’s be honest, it was a promised released two-years ago, so I’m already let down by having to wait. It’s been, after all, 36-years since the original.
I am very happy to eat, not just popcorn, but my words. The movie is INCREDIBLE, and I don’t mind saying, I spent the cash to see it twice right where it belonged on the BIG SCREEN.
To be cliché, Tom Cruise had me at his “hello” …having been vocal that the concept for the movie was always for the big screen, he held true to this vision and despite pressure, did not cave to a streaming alternative during the pandemic. Knowing eventually people would gravitate back to where movies belong, in the theatre, he waited, maintaining the value proposition.
“That was never going to happen. Ever,” said Cruise of the sequel’s streaming-debut possibility. “I make movies for the big screen.”
Just before the start of the movie, there’s a short clip where Tom Cruise addresses the audience, acknowledging us for being part of the dream of putting this project together. Building his community to align with his projects.
“We made it for the big screen. And we made it for you, the fans. I hope you enjoy the ride.”
While some may scoff, I found myself reeled in. It really didn’t matter at that point whether I liked the movie or not. I had been recognized as part of the team. I had been valued for the part I play in the vision because in that moment I understood there is no need for a movie if there is not an audience to watch it as it was intended. I was ENGAGED.
This in turn made me view the movie from a different lens. What is culture, but community building?
Like the first movie, the culture lessons began with their WHY, mirroring the original title sequence of the Top Gun School. This time they corrected the previous error of “ensure” where the original said “insure”.
Inclusion was built in from the very beginning with the throwback to Kenny Loggins theme attached to the incredible actions of Navy personnel aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, referenced in the movie as USS Theodore Roosevelt. From gender, to disability, everyone had a voice, even if it had to be computer-generated artificial intelligence as was the case for Val Kilmer’s resurgence as Ice Man.
Successful leadership involves collaboration. This production worked in close cooperation with the US Department of Defence, not to have actors watch and then pretend to be enlisted Navy, but the actual people were there with the equipment, jets, aircraft carriers, on hand for their technical expertise as the real people. This maintained accuracy and credibility to what the viewer watched on screen.
Acknowledging the past to build the future
True, the storyline may be an age-old trope, but the action, the reason we’re watching in the first place was as authentic as possible. The cast were G-force trained as even the close-up cockpit shots are real flight sequences, not computer generated. In turn, communication was a necessary key to engaged everyone in the ultimate goal. This wasn’t going to be some special effects, make-up artist experience. If the actors were on board, trusting the process, they were dedicated to the part they played, gym work, aviation training, their own make-up, lighting, and in many cases, filming with the dash cameras set up in the plane.
This meant the producers may aim for perfection but had to accept imperfections. Accepting everyone doing their best possible and running with what it is to be a real human in an intense situation created a situational energy. In fact, the natural flaws of aligning so many moving parts is now attributed to the unique texture of the cinematography of this movie experience.
Overall, I would challenge anyone to view this movie without seeing the many culture-building elements of team building, co-operation, humour, and more.
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Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment, taxation, legal vary accordingly. Please seek legal, accounting and human resources counsel from qualified professionals to make certain your legal/accounting/compliance interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.