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Missouri wants to be Top Gun, but imitates a whole different kind of Airplane

“Looks like we picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue!”


Directed By: Barry Odom

Starring: Kobie Whiteside, Jordan Elliott, Kelly Bryant, Jonathan Nance

Synopsis: With a stated goal of a Top Gun-like performance, Barry Odom directs the Tigers to a comedy of errors in which no one comes out looking good.


[author’s note: When we started The Revue at the beginning of the season, we were hoping it would be a lighthearted way to look back at the week past — a good time to reflect on the not-so-serious side of rooting for college football. That being said, I must say this very seriously — this revue in no way reflects my feelings about the 1980 comedy Airplane, a movie I love]

After putting together a string of stinkers, Barry Odom’s cast and crew came out with a statement.

Visually referencing the aesthetic of the 1986 action classic Top Gun, Barry Odom’s team seemed determined to make a statement. Much like the high-flying, good-times-having Tom Cruise flick, the Tigers wanted to shake off the rust of the past month and deliver a rip-roaring good time for the audiences that still chose to punch their ticket at this box office.

In the end, Missouri does imitate a movie about flying. However, it turns out this Airplane is nothing more than a comedy of errors.

Chasing after the season he seems to have lost, Barry Odom directs and stars in this film. Set aboard a seemingly normal Saturday flight, Airplane quickly diverts from action-adventure to slapstick comedy.

Surely, you can’t be serious, you may be asking. Well, I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley. Missouri’s Airplane has moments of levity — you’ll find yourself remembering certain moments of Kobie Whiteside and Jordan Elliott’s performances for a long time — but in the end can’t hold up under the dead weight of Derek Dooley’s offensive (zing!) work. Things get so bad at some point that you just have to laugh through the slight fever, dryness of the throat, dizziness, rash, severe muscle spasms, drooling, digestive system collapse, uncontrollable flatulence and reduction to a quivering piece of junk.

At the outset of the film, there’s enough hope to think things might actually be going smoothly. Ryan Walters, continuing a streak of his own solid performances, goads his crew members into putting up yeoman’s work on the margins. And while early returns seem to be less than satisfying, there’s still some hope that the movie will be worth it in the end. In fact, Tucker McCann even makes two field goals. (But that’s weird... he never makes two field goals at home...)

However, when it comes to putting together a good first act and a good movie, it’s an entirely different kind of football altogether. (It’s an entirely different kind of football.) Things really start going down hill once Missouri fans are forced to choose between punts and field goals (ah yes, I remember — I had lasagna) and Walters’ defense can’t stop the tide of sickness that swept over the Missouri crowd. As fans drag themselves down the aisles one by one, you can practically hear Barry Odom’s voice over the PA system, “There’s no reason to panic. Now it is true that we’ve lost four games in a row. But everything here is just fine. We’re leading this program, free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.”

By the end of the film, things are in complete disarray. Players are fighting and falling over with injury while a host of coaches in headsets try to guide them on how to land this plane gracefully. And while the plane does eventually land, it’s not before we’ve all had to suffer through the fourth consecutive bomb Missouri has put up. The bad news is the fog gets even thicker from here, and Barry Odom’s seat is only getting waaaaaaaaaaaaarmer.

What a pisser.