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Movie Critic Eats Shoe Because Of Top Gun: Maverick

In the current Hollywood era of intellectual property being consistently reused, retooled, rebooted, and remade, only one thing is for certain: no pre-existing film is safe from a follow-up. Whether the movie came out five decades ago or just a decade ago doesn't matter, it's all fair game for studios to dig it up and use it again. Just look at the highest-grossing films of any given year from the 2010s and few people would blame you for thinking that you were simply looking at a list of movies that came out in the 1980s. It's a simple conceit to revive something people once loved, but there are always surprises to be had when it comes to just what gest revived. 

One such surprise has come in the form of "Top Gun." Released in 1986, the film follows the flight training of Tom Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. He encounters the charming Charlie (Kelly McGillis) and forms a bond with another pilot, Iceman (Val Kilmer). While the film was a hit back in the '80s, the Tony Scott-directed movie never got an immediate sequel. But what's the one rule about living in IP-era Hollywood? No film is safe. In 2022, "Top Gun: Maverick" finally continued the story of the titular fighter pilot. 

While "Top Gun: Maverick" is earning rave reviews, not every critic has responded in quite the normal way. One, in particular, found himself in a precarious position for having doubted that the film would ever see a second installment.

Matt Patches makes edible shoe of fruit

Matt Patches, a film critic and editor at Polygon, naively tweeted in 2010 that if a Top Gun 2 ever materialized he would eat a shoe. Being a man of his word, he actually did it.

On YouTube, Patches explains his initial doubt of Tom Cruise led him to make the bold statement, which a friend encouraged him to tweet. Now that the time has come and "Top Gun: Maverick" is in theaters, Patches' very public statement has come back to haunt him. Aside from various online friends encouraging him to complete the gesture, Paramount Pictures, which made the film, actually sent Patches a shoe-shaped cake. The critic, however, felt a cake would be too easy of a way out.

As he explains in the clip, Patches researched various types of real shoes to find an edible solution. When no options seemed to work out, he took inspiration from the 1925 silent comedy "The Gold Rush," in which Charlie Chaplin eats a shoe. In real life, the actor ate more than a dozen shoe replicas made out of licorice. So, in the video, Patches does something very similar and makes a shoe out of baked fruit. To up the ante even further, the critic wears the shoe outside in his yard before successfully consuming it. 

The hilarious video chronicling the event was posted to Patches' YouTube channel on May 26, the day before "Top Gun: Maverick" was scheduled to hit theaters.

It's more than just about eating a shoe

Matt Patches, being a movie lover, used the opportunity to eat a shoe to make something that's bigger than just a video about him eating a shoe. In the video, he references a ton of other films, because you might be surprised at just how many movies there are that involve someone doing just that. One of the most famous examples of this is "The Gold Rush," where the aforementioned shoe-devouring scene with Charlie Chaplin takes place. However, Patches also touches on a short documentary about filmmaker Werner Herzog. In the aptly titled "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe," the cinema maverick does just that after losing a bet, similar to Patches.

During all this discussion of shoe eating, Patches also throws in some fun "Top Gun" references. Performer Jerome LeBlanc, more commonly known as California Tom Cruise, appears as the "Top Gun" star challenging Patches to fulfill his bet and dropping the famous "no points for second place" quote from the original film. The critic also sings a fun parody of the film's theme song "Danger Zone" about the task he's performing. Additionally, he ultimately eats the shoe cake from Paramount Pictures as well.

However, Patches uses the video and its absurdity to leave viewers with food for thought. He asks those watching to take a break from the world around them long enough to embrace their silliness during difficult times, to eat their own shoe if the occasion arises, and to keep the laughter flowing.