Gov. Ron DeSantis is not known for his cinematic criticism, but he embraced sight unseen one box office boomer this week.
At a press conference in Fort Walton Beach, DeSantis warmed up the crowd by asking if they’d gone to see the new Tom Cruise movie.
“Now everyone’s going so crazy over the latest iteration of ‘Top Gun,'” DeSantis said. “I have not seen it. I’ve heard really good things about it. Has anybody seen it?”
Members of the crowd cheered in delight.
“I do want to see it at some point. I think it’s just, you know, it’s like any movie that’s not, like, overwhelmingly woke can actually appeal to normal people,” DeSantis said of 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the iconic original movie released 36 years ago.
While “America’s Governor” hasn’t seen the movie, many others have ponied up for this paean to U.S. militarism: The movie has exceeded $600 million in global receipts already so far, with at least $334 million of that being domestic.
DeSantis’ declarations of wanting to see the second movie come after commentators on the left warned conservatives would message off the film.
The left-of-center Vanity Fair sniffed that the movie was the right’s “latest culture war crusade,” a “patriotic anti-woke display of militarism and masculinity.”
That piece highlighted hosannas for the sequel from conservative pundits like Ben Shapiro, who lauded the “awesome” way the film depicted the military as “a bunch of good-looking young people who are going out to defend the country … and the international order.”
DeSantis, of course, served in the U.S. military long before he launched his political career.
He was a commissioned U.S. Navy JAG Officer, deployed in the global war on terror as an advisor to a U.S. Navy SEAL Commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star.