Director Tony Scott sadly took his own life on Sunday after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. His feature film directing career spanned over 25 years. He was never a critical darling but over the course of his career his films grossed well over a billion dollars. Tony mainly directed action films, he didn’t branch out into other genres like Ridley has but he was good at directing action films almost to a fault. He was well known for his frantic camera style and his love of color filters which over time seemed to become more important than the story he was trying to tell. Tony Scott’s career was far from perfect, the second half of his career had far more misses than it had hits. Regardless of the state of his career at the time of his death Tony Scott influenced my love of film at an early age and I will always treasure those films for the rest of my life. To celebrate his contribution to film Movies Hate You Too wants to take a look back at his top five films.
5. Days of Thunder- We all know it’s just a Top Gun ripoff with Nascars instead of F-14s but it doesn’t really matter because it’s so much fun. Days of Thunder wasn’t a box office success when it was originally released in the summer of 1990 but it found an audience on cable TV and VHS. Looking back at Days of Thunder twenty-one years after its release it makes you wonder, “What were they thinking?” Knowing what we know now about Tom Cruise why would he do a Nascar movie? Aside from Ricky Bobby has America expressed a great interest in Nascar films? How did Nicole Kidman become a neurosurgeon by age 23? These are all good questions that I have no answer to and could honestly care less about. Days of Thunder is ridiculous to the extreme and I just don’t care.
4. The Last Boy Scout- If Days of Thunder was ridiculous than The Last Boy Scout is ‘redonkulous.’ Written by Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black The Last Boy Scout is so over the top it’s not even funny. Private eye Bruce Willis is partnered with ex-quarterback Damon Wayans to solve a the murder of a dancer (Halle Berry) with ties to a corrupt politician and pro-football owner. The Last Boy Scout is an incredibly violent and cynical film that uses the word ‘fuck’ 102 times in 105 minutes which breaks down to more than one ‘fuck’ every minute when you cut out the opening and closing credits.
3. Crimson Tide- The first of four collaborations with Denzel Washington and undoubtedly their best. Watching Denzel Washington square off against Gene Hackman almost takes your breath away and is one of the best scenes Tony ever put to screen. Crimson Tide is one of the few submarine films where the drama inside the sub is more exciting than what’s going on outside the boat. Sadly Crimson Tide was the last Tony Scott film I truly enjoyed aside from Man of Fire which is a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion.
2. Top Gun- This film was a game changer in a lot of ways. Not only did it launch Tom Cruise into a whole new level of stardom but it opened a lot doors for Tony that hadn’t been open before. It was also the film that for a brief moment in time eclipsed his brother’s work. Looking back at Top Gun now it’s hard to take the film seriously, it’s a walking gay joke but it became a part of American mythos.
1. True Romance- Not only is this my favorite Tony Scott film but it’s also one of my favorite films of all time. Quentin Tarantino wrote the script which was originally written in Tarantino’s signature non-liner style which Scott promptly changed. The cast is brilliant, the film’s energy is palpable, it’s love story is intriguing, and it features not one, not two, but three of the best stand offs that you’ll ever see on screen.
RIP Tony Scott, you will be missed.