Let’s say it: Tony Scott’s movies are crap, saved only by a fetishizing of the way in which male human beings bristle, relax, and warm to other males. I have a good memory of The Hunger including one of David Bowie’s few excellent film performances, plus enjoy a few sketches from the otherwise repulsive Tarantino-scripted True Romance and a couple of saliva-on-the-cheek shouty scenes between Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide, his (and Tarantino’s) take on The Caine Mutiny. Glenn Kenny:
Scott’s technical facility and specific cinematic aesthetic was of course often put to use in the service of evil, or, as some once called it, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. As someone who began in advertising, Scott was accustomed to selling, and in my own more concern-trollish day, I found it pernicious that Top Gun so convincingly sold its melange of jingoism, macho, inverted misogyny, militarism, and so on. As Quentin Tarantino’s analysis of the movie demonstrated, those qualities were arguably oversold in the movie, which makes it in a sense laughable, and in a sense kind of deep. When the selling is less successful, as in Days of Thunder, the result diminishes in enjoyable absurdity and increases in hatefulness.
My last post on was on the connotative differences in queerness. Loathing Top Gun separated me from most kids in elementary and high school. Forget the absurdities more obvious now: Giorgio Moroder reduced to motorcycle exhaust noise and Kenny Loggins syllables; Tom Cruise seducing a man who happens to be played by Kelly McGillis (that she’s come out in recent years gives the movie a Sirk-ian doubleness and irony it doesn’t deserve); the camera’s slobbering lust for men in various states of deshabillé e. The movie is boring. There’s some Soviets who need to be shot down and men who need to be glowered at and flirted with, but what else?
I’ve never met anyone who thought “Take My Breath Away” a romantic song.