I’m afraid I’ve written some not-nice things about Mr. Scott’s movies during my time here. DOMINO was one of my most hot-headed reviews ever, and after that I sort of used him as a symbol of directors who get carried away with the show-offy editing and lose all sense of filmatism. I don’t fool myself that Mr. Scott ever read that review or knew who I was, so I got nothing to feel guilty about there. But I just want to say that I certainly never meant anything against the man personally and I’m sorry that whatever he was going through pushed him to do what he did. Obviously a talented man who we all thought would be around longer and get more chances to win us back.
In fact, even in the trivial area of what-I-think-about-his-movies, Scott was turning things around. I had pretty much disowned him as a filmatist and skipped his movies after DOMINO, but somebody convinced me to watch UNSTOPPABLE and I thought it was pretty entertaining.
With TOP GUN and BEVERLY HILLS COP 2 Scott was instrumental in creating the look and feel of the slick ’80s and ’90s studio action movie. He basically invented Michael Bay movies before Michael Bay ruined them. Then he messed with the formula when he did a compromised but still very distinctive Shane Black/Bruce joint, THE LAST BOY SCOUT. For whatever that movie’s flaws are it’s still one that introduces Bruce passed out with a dead squirrel on his head. (Bummer that one of its most memorable scenes is the opening public suicide.)
Coincidentally I was just getting interested in Tony Scott again, because after I did all that NATURAL BORN KILLERS analysis a week ago I knew I had to watch TRUE ROMANCE again. I’ve been sitting on that review until after the EXPENDABLES related business, so I’ll post that after this. That’s easily my favorite of his movies, but I know different people have other ones they love. Seeing that again made me want to go back to CRIMSON TIDE, another Tony Scott I liked that fit in with the minor-Tarantino-works thread I was following. And my most-Tony-Scott-loving buddy convinced me a long time ago I gotta watch REVENGE (theatrical cut) but I haven’t gotten to it yet. So that’s in my future.
So consider this me pouring one on the curb for Tony Scott. He was a part of this genre we love, for better or worse. He did some good ones. Shit, I’ll even miss the bad ones. Sorry to see you go, bud.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.