Director Tony Scott — the man who brought us fast cars and fighter planes piloted by Tom Cruise, runaway trains, vengeance (Denzel-style and Anthony Quinn-style), and magical spirit-guide Elvis in the bathroom mirror — died yesterday in an apparent suicide.
Though he never achieved the critical-darling status of his Oscar-nominated brother Ridley, Tony Scott's contributions to that most entertaining of movie genres, the popcorn blockbuster, cannot be overstated (unsuprisingly, many of his films were produced by the like-minded Jerry Bruckheimer). Herewith, a tribute in trailers. Explosions ahoy!
The Hunger (1983): vampires David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve sink their fangs into ingenue Susan Sarandon. "A modern classic of perverse fear" (and sunglasses. So many sunglasses ... so awesomely '80s).
Top Gun (1986): Speaking of awesomely '80s, do you feel the need ... the need for speed?
Days of Thunder (1990): This is the movie where Tom Cruise (as a NASCAR driver named ... Cole Trickle) met Nicole Kidman (playing ... a brain surgeon). Plus, Robert Duvall as The Gruff Trainer/Coach Dude Who Makes All The Inspirational Speeches.
True Romance (1993): Scott directs hot new thang Quentin Tarantino's gritty script about lovers on the run (Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, never better), now a classic. A highly enjoyable, highly imitated example of edgy 1990s style, with a killer supporting cast. (Brad Pitt playing a couch-dwelling stoner at the height of his early hunk-dom = brilliant.)
Crimson Tide (1995): Speaking of QT, Scott's hugely successful submarine thriller (starring Denzel Washington, who would go on to star in many more Scott films) featured uncredited script-doctoring by the then-hottest talent in Hollywood. Gene Hackman is the other lead. Also, nukes! Missile keys! Mutiny!
Enemy of the State (1998): Hackman returns in this Will Smith vehicle. Smith was post-Men in Black (yeah!) but pre-Wild Wild West (noooo!). Contains the ultimate action-movie line: "You're either incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid."
Man on Fire (2004): Washington again, as bodyguard to precocious kidnap risk Dakota Fanning.
Deja Vu (2006): Washington yet again, in maybe Scott's most mind-bendy movie. The government totally has time-travel technology, y'all.
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009): Denzel returns, this time in a remake of the 1974 subway thriller, with John Travolta as the baddie.
Unstoppable (2010): Scott's last completed film stars, yes, Denzel, and Chris Pine as hero conductors tasked with stopping a runaway train (which is actually A MISSILE THE SIZE OF THE CHRYSLER BUILDING!)
Ok, and just for fun: 1991's The Last Boy Scout (early-period Bruce Willis FTW) and 1987's Beverly Hills Cop II. RIP Tony Scott.