R.I.P. Tony Scott. His death has come as such a surprise that I have little to say about it, other than he will be greatly missed, and I feel he had many more films to make. Here’s my tribute to the director.
5. Deja Vu/Unstoppable
Both very different films about travel (train and time) these are examples of Scott’s almost-great films. There’s a little something missing from each of them (Deja Vu annoys the shit out of me for not following its own time-travel logic, but I’ll get into that some other day) but neither film could ever be called boring, even though one of them is literally on rails. Also, Denzel Washington is awesome.
Controversially low, but Top Gun was always a little over the top for me, and I could never get past the camp value. It’s still tremendous, ludicrous fun, and Tom Cruise is on shining form as the renegade pilot.
3. The Last Boy Scout
It’s written by Shane Black, so it has to be on here fairly high up, even if second billing goes to a Wayans brothers. Bruce Willis gets to exercise his tried and tested schlubby detective schtick to great aplomb, but this is Scott’s film through and through.
2. Man on Fire
The best Scott/Washington collaboration, and the film in which Dakota Fanning is at her least annoying, watching John Creasy (Washington) on his descent through the hells of Mexico City as he struggles to save the little girl that made him a better man, it’s tough to get better than this.
1. True Romance
One of my favourite films of all time, this brought together one of the greatest casts in history (Slater, Arquette, Gandolfini, Oldman, Jackson, Walken, Hopper, Sizemore, Penn, Kilmer, Pitt, Rapaport), with a script by Tarantino, all held together by Scott’s mastery of shootouts, comedy and poking-fun at the studio system.