Tony Scott is one of the most underrated filmmakers in the history of cinema. The majority of the cinephilia world has been exposed to his entire filmography due to their box office success. By hook or by crook, he doesn’t get the reputation he deserves, like Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorsese, when he very well should be. Tony Scott’s films were all superior in panache; he was an action auteur that pushed the boundaries and pioneered experimental techniques. Tony Scott was the big daddy of blockbuster films that never failed to entertain the masses. Anybody who thinks Michael Bay’s style is cool and innovative quite possibly neglects to comprehend that Tony Scott’s style is what Michael Bay is employing. The dissimilarity is he uses the techniques twofold, while Tony Scott still directs to tell a balanced story and refrains from excessive use of substance in his filmmaking methods.
A valid proposal is to presume the question: which Tony Scott are we referring to?
His directorial debut, a dark, stylish, blood sucking, erotic vampire film-noir is the perfect Halloween cult film not enough people have seen. The film was The Hunger (1983), starring one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, the legendary David Bowie, with the beautiful American, Italian-rooted Susan Sarandon, and the gorgeous French actress and model, Catherine Deneuve. This film stands on its own when put up against the proceeding fifteen film’s of Scott’s filmography and is incomparable to anything he’s directed. The Hunger is stylish, explicit, and its Tony Scott at his most artistic. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we’re reminded that after studying as an artist at the Royal School of Art in London, Tony Scott carried over his creative flair and poured it into his directorial debut, expressing his truest essences as an artist. The Hunger is a modish, stimulating and gothic picture. It’s vogueish, chic, arousing, elegant, bloody and lustful.
There was a period in the late 1980s, after The Hunger, where it wasn’t cool to like Tony Scott due to the reputation he had built with 2 subsequent films: Top Gun (1986) and a sequel, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). This is where he commenced his first two collaborations with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer (who would later produce for Michael Bay several times). The second installment of the Cop Trilogy is arguably the best and opens up with a solid action sequence followed by constant witty humor. Tony Scott does a perfect job in capturing the true feeling of Los Angeles as a city. Perhaps, the societal noise around Scott’s criticism needed time to dissipate because he was criticized as becoming a commercially driven director after making these two films. Nonetheless, Tony Scott honed his craft in marketing and advertising by directing commercials prior to Top Gun. Taking into consideration his commercial experience in conjunction with his studies as an artist and it should be of no wonder how he made 16 stunning films throughout his monumental career.
We may refer to the aforementioned as the first Tony Scott; the Tony Scott of the ’80s.