Sad news in the world of film today… Tony Scott, the prolific director of action blockbusters Top Gun, Crimson Tide, True Romance and Man on Fire among others, died on Sunday after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles. Although the reason for his suicide hasn’t been confirmed as yet, unconfirmed reports via ABC News suggests that Scott had been recently been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer… truly tragic.
Scott, the younger brother of fellow iconic filmmaker Ridley Scott began his career directing commercials and branched out into films with the vampire drama The Hunger in 1983. Although it wasn’t a success, and was criticized for its style-over-substance mentality – a criticism that would follow him for the rest of his career, the film showcased Scott’s trademark energy and penchant for atmospheric visuals – something he would put to great use in his follow-up, the worldwide smash Top Gun. The phenomenal success of Top Gun would not only pave the way for Scott but also helped establish Tom Cruise as a mega-star. Beverly Hills Cop 2, Days of Thunder and Revenge soon followed, establishing him as one of the premiere action filmmakers in Hollywood.
By the time the ultra-violent The Last Boy Scout, and my two favorite Scott films – the Tarantino-penned True Romance and the taut Crimson Tide – came around, Scott’s reputation as a master of kinetic, over-stylized action movies was confirmed. While The Fan was a rare miss for him, Enemy of the State, Spy Game and the terrific Man on Fire helped keep him at the forefront of the action game. Although his later works, including Domino, and the Denzel Washington trio of Taking of Pelham 123, Déjà vu and Unstoppable weren’t up to par, they still bore Scott’s unmistakable frenzied style… something that will endure as his lasting legacy. Scott is survived by his wife Donna Scott and their twin sons. He was 68.