Top Gun and Days of Thunder are the SAME MOVIE
I took a hiatus from doing the show because I’m too busy getting money like your dad. Just kidding, my bank account looks kind of like your ex’s soul. Take that however you wish. I’ve never thought about doing a blog to preview an upcoming episode of a podcast. That’s because I thought about typing this up after I recorded the episode and realized the episode was short. In fact, the blog will probably articulate the point I’m trying to make better than the episode of the podcast. So, it’s time for a deep dive into one of the most poignant topics in the history of Worst Millennials.
While drinking beer and mowing my lawn, I was listening to a song entitled “Days of Thunder” by The Midnight. I love 80s/retro sounding music and that song is a banger. The song caused me to recall if Days of Thunder is a good movie. I still can’t remember if that’s the case. However, I stumbled upon something much more interesting than the quality of Days of Thunder.
Top Gun and Days of Thunder are the same damn movie. There’s no debating this. There’s no way you can change my mind on this. They are the same damn movie. Both movies are produced by the same company (Simpson/Bruckheimer) and feature the same lead actor in Tom Cruise. I could go in-depth with the similarities of both movies. I could talk about themes and parallels between other characters. For example, you could probably draw parallels between the characters of Viper from Top Gun (Tom Skeritt) and Harry from Days of Thunder (Robert Duvall). In fact, that would be fun to discuss, but I finished my film classes a long time ago.
In Top Gun, Cruise plays Pete AKA Maverick. Days of Thunder’s protagonist is Cole Trickle. That is a ridiculous sounding name. Maverick and Cole are both young hot shots entering into a new environment. For Maverick, it’s the Top Gun school at Miramar. For Cole, it’s NASCAR. Apparently, he didn’t have enough money to get a good enough car to win the Indianapolis 500. I just want to quickly state that Cole finding a way to get to Indy, with a ragtag crew of misfits, and ultimately succeeding would’ve been a far more interesting movie. But Jerry Bruckheimer decided to save that “ragtag misfits against all odds” angle for something else.
The unorthodox, and outright dangerous, methods that they use to complete tasks rub some the wrong way, but others see the methods as effective. Both characters develop a rivalry with a person who is less than thrilled with their reckless and dangerous behavior. Top Gun’s Iceman chomps his teeth and has all sorts of homoerotic banter with Maverick.
Days Of Thunder gets Rowdy Burns, played by Michael Rooker. Rooker, who has looked old for arguably his entire career, is awesome in Days. He’s one of those actors that plays himself in almost every role and makes it work. He’s like a journeyman version of Clooney or Denzel. I digress.
Eventually, Cole and Maverick’s dick swinging finally hits them in the ass. Maverick and Iceman are chasing whatever the hell a MiG-28 is. Maverick wants to take it down and tells Iceman to back off. When Iceman obliges, Maverick ends up flying through his jet wash and it gets Goose killed. What a dick move.
Cole’s tragedy comes in the form of a huge crash where he smashes into Rowdy’s car. The crash is absolutely insane. I don’t know much about stock car safety from 30 years ago, but I’m almost certain they should be dead.
The tragedies force both characters to question themselves. But it certainly doesn’t stop them from trying to beat the cheeks of their ridiculously intelligent love interests. Cole gets all snug in the pants after he meets Clare, a neurosurgeon after his accident. Maverick gets super unethical by banging a civilian Top Gun instructor nicknamed Charlie.
Orgasms are apparently the highest form of clarity because our heroes get back in the game to save the day. And how do they do it? By working together with their bitter rivals in Iceman and Rowdy respectively to overcome a greater threat. Iceman and Maverick work together to kill some MiG-28s, which apparently were supposed to be North Korean. Cole drives Rowdy’s car to defeat hot shot rookie Russ Wheeler (played by Cary Elwes). The climactic scenes of both films end with both the protagonist and their foils bonding in an extremely goofy way. It’s quite brotastic.
TL;DR Top Gun and Days of Thunder are the same movie.