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Top Gun: Maverick 2022

I unabashedly adore Tom Cruise and freely admit it. Just one and a half years my junior, he has delighted me with his filmmaking for a good portion of my life. He and Opie Taylor are perhaps my favorite filmmakers.

Neither of them ever do shit films and these days, that counts for a lot. I even liked Cruise’s Vanilla Sky while everyone else hated it.

What a run Tom Cruise has had in every area of making a film—it’s Risky Business—and this is going to be his biggest achievement in a world where it costs big bucks to achieve and stay achieving. Hollywood, for all its faults, always gets one thing right. It used to be solidly performance at the box office. That’s blurry now, because of all the ways to distribute a film. But still, films have to make big money and there’s only a few who do that consistently, every time. Cruise is one of them.

They don’t make shit for films. Every film is a big fucking deal. And box-office performance is still the gold standard.

This one is easily the toughest, most almost-mission-impossible film ever made. There is no comparison in terms of cost, level of difficulty, and…wait for it…training the actors for their piloting roles as aircraft-carrier-based US Navy Top Gun pilots.

It’s unprecedented. Usually, the actor has to get lean and ripped or fat and lazy to take on a role. For this, you have to train to take up to 8 times earth’s gravity without shitting your pants and losing your composure for a long time. …No, the sci-fi gravity emitters and stabilizers in zero gravity have not been invented yet. This one’s actually real…so set your childish fantasy-brain aside for a couple of hours, drop the can of Coke, stop masturbating, clean your sheets, shout up from the basement, and say something nice to your mother.

…But how do you train your body to withstand 1,600 pounds of force on your butt, with every other tissue and fluid vying to join your butt in a puddle, right on that ejection seat?

You fly in fighter jets until you make it or break it. About 10g is the upward limit, and one reason you always see those jet-jocks in body girdles from the ankles up is that it’s a low-tech solution for what it takes; Otherwise, the blood rushes down, starves the brain, you pass out. Not good when flying a military fighter.

I’ve only done about 2-3g flying aerobatics in a prop plane. That’s easy. This is a whole other world.

…I can’t recall when it was that Cruise first announced that he was really going to do a sequel after 30 years. I was a Midshipman at Oregon State when An Officer and a Gentleman was released in 1982. On the occasions where we wore those dress whites on campus, that was cool in terms of the things 20-ish young guys brimming with testosterone find cool. Top Gun was released in 1986 after I’d been in the fleet for a couple of years and living in Japan. It must have been great back then to still be a recruit in an NROTC unit on a college campus, signalling your membership in the club by dressing in navy uniform. Nonetheless, on some port visits it was requested that we go out on the town in uniform. This always increases your chances a lot, if you catch my drift.

The film was originally scheduled for release in the summer of 2019 but because of its raw complexity in terms of the flight sequences, it was pushed back a year, to the summer of 2020. We all know what happened then.

In an interview just a few days ago at Cannes, Cruise said that releasing it via streaming and rental was “never going to happen.”

I myself found this frustrating, as so many other films went that route in the face of the global scaredycat school children that infest the planet, now…cowering in fear of anything they see on their TEEVEE fucking idiot box. Stupid fucks.

I’m really glad he held his ground and I didn’t understand it fully until I watched the final trailer a few days ago—and have probably watched it a dozen times since. It’s the extended trailer where half is just cuts, and the other half is an explanation that will have you nodding that this had to be saved for very big screens. Unfortunately, no IMAX here in Phuket, and even if there was a big screen of some sort, it would be dubbed in Thai, English subtitles. No thanks.


I published a post just earlier about my personal struggle in not being able to soundly finish a job I started. Feel free to look that up but this is the important link. It’s a GoFundMe for a rural Thai family. I updated it a bit a go with some pics. Here’s the house I built 100% out of my own pocket and is free and clear.

Now I’m working on getting them started in a small boutique clothing shop in a university district. More details here.

I understand that some are loath to donate to a GoFundMe campaign for the criminal thing they did to the Canadian truckers. I get it, it’s just that in shooting the messenger (of money), it harms the beneficiary. Nonetheless, I’ve created a campaign on the Christian site, GiveSendGo and in appreciation for how they stepped in for the truckers, 2% of all donations go to their organization right off the top.

Thank you. And, as a reminder, just as important as anything you can donate to this cause, please share one or both campaign links on your social networks, friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers. It’s completely unpredictable how any person anywhere, anytime can be personally and privately touched.

I’ve been at this—derailed in all my grand plans—for over two years and I’m still touched. It’s the best and coolest thing I ever did in my life and I’m inviting you to have a little taste of that. My gratitude will be eternal.

…Especially if you find me a whale.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

3 Comments

  1. Lothar Nikoley on May 23, 2022 at 05:13

    Just reserved 2 seats at El Dorado Hill IMAX for June 07/2022

  2. Greg on May 24, 2022 at 01:13

    Saw it last night and I liked it. Some good nostalgia moments. First movie I’ve seen in the movies in many years. Good representation of “diversity”. Top gun crew had a girl, a latino, two AAs, but no fat lgbtq+ non-binary person with blue hair. Therefore i cant recommend the film

    • Greg on May 24, 2022 at 01:19

      i forgot and an asian

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