The Plane-issance: How Aviation Took Over Dad Entertainment

From Maverick to Masters of the Air, the resurgence of plane-centric films and TV shows has captivated audiences and solidified its place in the Dad Cinema canon.

Over the holidays, fathers disappointed the entertainment industry as Michael Mann’s Ferrari failed to gain traction at the box office. Despite the allure of a biopic about Enzo Ferrari and the impressive portrayal of ’50s-era sports cars, the film struggled to recoup its production budget. However, this setback should not overshadow the recent success of Dad Entertainment, particularly in the realm of aviation-themed media. From Top Gun: Maverick to the Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air, the plane-aissance has taken flight, captivating audiences and solidifying its place in the Dad Cinema canon.

The Four Pillars of Dad Entertainment

Dad Entertainment encompasses several subgenres, including car racing, naval adventures, submarine thrillers, and aviation-focused narratives. Films like the Mad Max franchise and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World exemplify the appeal of these categories. However, aviation-themed movies have seen a recent surge in popularity, with Top Gun: Maverick leading the charge.

Maverick’s Soaring Success

Top Gun: Maverick, a legacy sequel to the iconic 1986 film, paid homage to its predecessor while delivering exhilarating aerial sequences. Tom Cruise’s daring stunts and the film’s nostalgic undertones resonated with audiences, making it the highest-grossing movie of 2022. Maverick’s critical acclaim and commercial success set the stage for a plane-centric renaissance.

Expanding the Plane-aissance

Following Maverick’s triumph, the plane-aissance expanded its reach beyond the big screen. Devotion, a biopic about Navy pilots during the Korean War, and Plane, a Gerard Butler-led action thriller, continued to explore the allure of aviation. These films tapped into the nostalgia of ’90s action movies while embracing the excitement of high-flying adventures.

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Television Takes Flight

Television has also embraced the plane-aissance, with Apple TV+’s Hijack and the highly anticipated Masters of the Air leading the charge. Hijack, a thrilling series set aboard a hijacked plane, provided popcorn entertainment with its high-stakes narrative. However, Masters of the Air, a nine-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, elevated the genre to new heights. Focusing on the U.S. Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group during World War II, the series combined harrowing depictions of aerial combat with heartwarming camaraderie.

The Drawbacks and Future of the Plane-aissance

While the plane-aissance has captivated audiences, it is not without its flaws. The lack of significant female characters in Masters of the Air hampers the series’ potential for diverse storytelling. However, the series still delivers on its promise of immersive aerial combat and nostalgic Dad TV touchstones. As the plane-aissance reaches its peak, with no immediate successors on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the genre will continue to soar.

Conclusion: The plane-aissance has taken Dad Entertainment to new heights, captivating audiences with its thrilling aviation-themed narratives. From Maverick’s box office success to the critically acclaimed Masters of the Air, this resurgence has solidified its place in the Dad Cinema canon. While the genre is not without its flaws, the plane-aissance has provided a glut of entertainment that will keep dads sated for years to come. As the plane lands on this monumental period, it’s time to applaud the captivating journey it has taken us on.