WATCH: Trailer Released for China’s Blatant ‘Top Gun’ Knockoff


A CGI rendering of the J-20 — China’s premier fighter aircraft — is front and center in the new movie trailer. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Wikimedia Commons photo.

Tom Cruise’s massively successful Top Gun: Maverick recently broke even more movie records, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing movie in North America and the twelfth-highest-grossing movie globally. This comes after Maverick became the first movie ever to be the No. 1 movie on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. With Maverick reminding Western audiences how cool fighter pilots are, China seems to have felt the pressure to assert its own dominance in the skies.

A new trailer for Born To Fly reveals a blatant Chinese rip-off of Maverick, complete with moody pilots competing for supremacy in flight school and not-so-great CGI dogfights. Just as Maverick showed off a series of America’s most formidable aircraft, Born To Fly aims to showcase China’s best aircraft, including its fifth-generation J-20. Comparable to Russia’s “F-35 Killer,” the J-20 is the delta-winged jet that appears in the trailer’s opening sequence.

This isn’t the first time China has made blatant propaganda in the guise of a big-budget blockbuster. Last year, China released the $200 million war movie The Battle at Lake Changjin. The heavily biased representation of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir remains the most expensive film China has ever produced. It followed a string of Chinese action movies meant to celebrate China’s military, including Wolf Warrior (1 and 2), Operation Red Sea, and Sky Hunter — another Top Gun-esque celebration of Chinese air power. But for all the commercial success those movies found in Chinese theaters, even Born To Fly can’t help but look like a goofy ad for a free video game.

Read Next: How Val Kilmer Used Artificial Intelligence To Speak Again in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He is a US Marine Corps veteran and a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.
More from Coffee or Die Magazine
The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford will spend at least one more day in Virginia.
Ford’s technological glitches included propulsion problems, hinky elevators, and gremlins in the catapults.
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now” is one of the most recognizable war movies ever made, yet few fans are familiar with the insane story behind its production.
Get a peek inside the Army’s competition in which the soft skills of interrogation and human intelligence collection meet the hard reality of field tactics.
An Army doctor and her wife, a Johns Hopkins doctor, colluded to try to give high-ranking US officials’ health information to Russia.
The Norwegian military recovered a US Air Force CV-22 Osprey, which had been stranded on a remote island nature reserve since early August, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, with a crane boat.
An Air Force sergeant will face a general court-martial to determine whether he orchestrated an “insider attack” on a US outpost in Syria in April that injured four service members.
Putin’s speech denied the battlefield reality in Ukraine and pushed conspiracy theories about a Western cabal conspired to “destroy” Russia.
Prosecutors failed to prove Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays torched the Bonhomme Richard in 2020.
Hurricane Ian brought torrential rains, high winds, and massive flooding.