The death of Tony Scott, 'Top Gun' and the '80s
As I sat in the theater last night watching the bloated, sci-fi movie "Prometheus" directed by Ridley Scott, I found myself feeling the need...for speed.
I found myself mourning the death of Ridley Scott's brother Tony Scott, the director and producer who died of an apparent suicide on Sunday.
While Tony Scott never received the critical acclaim Ridley did, he was one of the most influential filmmakers of the past three decades, director of "Top Gun," a movie which defined the '80s. More recently, he directed "Unstoppable" and "The Taking of Pelham 123."
"Top Gun," a movie about hotshot pilots in the U.S. Navy, captured the zeitgeist of the Cold War in the '80s and cemented Tom Cruise's career as a star. Sen. John McCain would never have adopted the title "maverick" without "Top Gun." Kelly McGillis was a cougar long before Demi Moore got together with Ashton Kutcher. Maverick and Iceman were the original bromance.
I would argue that his movies "Top Gun," "Crimson Tide" and "Spy Game" are an action-movie trilogy about the thawing of the Cold War.
His brother Ridley Scott tried very hard to meld the Bible and "Alien" in "Prometheus," out in theaters now. He did not succeed. The scene burned on my brain was one in which an albino giant getting eaten by an alien that looked like a vagina dentata. It made me wistful for aviator sunglasses, crisp white naval uniforms and the Everly Brothers.
Tony Scott's death feels like the end of the '80s, no matter how hard the fashion industry is pushing leggings and neon on women this season. I hope he is soaring in an F-14 in the afterlife. I'll hit the brakes and he'll fly right by.
Here is the trailer from Youtube user TheTrailerGal below.
Update 12:06 p.m.
A few readers have pointed out that the Everly Brothers were not featured in "Top Gun." The Righteous Brothers were in featured in the movie. So let's just say I'm wistful for all the bros who are not albino giants.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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