What Went Wrong With… Ridley Scott?

A caricature of Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott is such a disappointment, both in terms of filmography and personality. His films have been waning since the 1980s, slowly getting more and more mundane as the years have progressed and yet his legion of toady fans (which includes critics and members of the public) keep their knees firmly bent and their lips fully puckered every time he releases one of his overrated yet lacklustre movies. Scott, given that he originally worked in the advertising sector, is a precursor to the likes of Michael Bay and Zack Snyder: style over substance. Blade Runner is an example of this; it’s one of the most overrated films of all time, with Media Studies tutors and Film students fawning over its visuals. I’ll agree that it looks good but Blade Runner‘s pace is sluggish and the plot is almost non-existent (as opposed to the completely depressing sequel which at least had a point). Fittingly, Scott’s 1984 advert for Apple Mac is arguably his best creation; it’s short and to the point, and its stylised aesthetic is easily sustained for a minute or two without the viewer realising there’s not much plot. Maybe Ridley should have stuck with advertising…

We all like to fondly remember the sci-fi classic Alien and science fiction geeks may like to hold Blade Runner in high standing too. There’s also folk who see Thelma And Louise as a flawless movie (most likely because of the ending) but even in his so-called heyday, let’s not forget that Ridley Scott made Legend which resembled a big-budget, garden centre Santa’s grotto. Despite starring the utterly brilliant Tim Curry, Legend was utter wank. It seems to me that Ridley’s fans are very selective with his output, ignoring the bad and focussing on the good, which keeps Scott’s name in an idealised and inaccurate state of awe.

Legend isn’t Ridley’s sole venture into crapdom. In no apparent order, let’s go through Scott’s predominantly shite filmography: he ruined the follow-up to Jonathan Demme’s classic Silence Of The Lambs with the drab, disappointing, and completely non-thrilling Hannibal, he had a hand in wrecking the Alien franchise firstly with the slightly above-average Prometheus (which ripped-off elements from Quatermass and Hangar 18) and then with the way-below-average Alien: Covenant which was a slog to get through (not only because of Ridley Scott’s half-hearted direction but because of the sub-par writing and the bland “actors” such as Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride). The Martian is another one of his overrated creations, going through Michael Bay/Roland Emmerich filmic cliches but gaining Alfred Hitchcock-level acclaim. And that’s not all. If you recall, American Gangster, aside from glamourising snitching, had a web address on a billboard in the background – in the 1970s – amateur night! Then there’s the fact that he whitewashed history with the utterly appalling Exodus: Gods And Kings, he made the cringey and gaudy embarrassment The Counselor (watch it if you want to see Cameron Diaz’ sexually assaulting a Ferrari) and Black Hawk Down was released just in time for moronic Americans to go along with the highly questionable War On Terror. There was also the overtly militaristic and wannabe feminist yet completely flat G.I. Jane, the terrible and forgettable Robin Hood, and oh yeah, A Good Year was a riveting tale (not) about investment banking and wine 🙄. So that’s a couple of decent films (one definite classic) to a dozen pieces of filmic trash. And this is the guy we’re all supposed to look at in wonderment? Piss off!

Inspired in his younger days by racist H.G. Wells and raised in a military family, is it any wonder why his films stray away from anything that disagrees or looks unfavourably at the status quo? His films which are based on real-life events such as 1492: Conquest Of Paradise and Kingdom Of Heaven shied away from the truths about the native American genocide or the Crusades respectively. When it comes to Ridley Scott’s films, most are just blinkered history for bigots. And then there’s the non-historical flicks. In Black Rain, we have a corrupt white American cop who is a better detective than any and all Japanese officers… he’s on the take but so what? He works hard! There’s the black gang member with AIDS in Hannibal who couldn’t care less about her own baby but the white Clarice rushes to save it from its mother’s offensively, stereotyped blood. All The Money In The World is a wannabe-touching tale about one rich bloke who is overtly evil but we’re supposed to feel sorry for his descendants who don’t get their “fair” share. So that’s xenophobia, racism, racism again, and some form of anti-classism arse-licking. How cool and worthy of admiration.

Racism is of course, a common thread in Ridley Scott’s work. According to Scott’s filmography, people of colour are either inept or in control of drugs, hell, the Latino cop in American Gangster is an addict whereas the righteous white cop is beyond corruption. Of course Scott doesn’t write his own movies, like his spiritual offspring Bay and Snyder, he doesn’t have that much talent. Like Michael and Zack, Ridley selects what he likes and sticks to what he knows: fashion-shoots, adverts, music videos, and subtle bigotry elongated to two hours. You can tell that Scott is (or would be) bad at writing a screenplay; he had one of the worst acceptance speeches of all time at the 2018 BAFTAs, where he read his badly-constructed lines like a primary school child, making uneducated dolts like Prince Harry seem like an orator by comparison.

Aside from plot, Scott is also a director who keeps Hollywood firmly stuck in the past, both figuratively and literally. If you don’t recall, Ridley made the outdated and incorrect excuse that the public won’t pay to watch an ethnic minority actor over a white one. The way in which he stated this bullshit was worse than the actual stance:

“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such”

If Scott was in charge of casting, there’d never be a Rami Malek or even a Mena Massoud. Nobody of colour would be allowed to progress to stardom whereas “Chris so-and-so from West Bubblefuck such-and-such” would be taking every fucking role going. Scott is so backward that I’m surprised his knuckles don’t drag on the floor when he walks to and from set.

So what’s the point in working for Hollywood for decades without building-up your rank and influence? Film-makers like Francis Ford Coppola argued with the studios to get Marlon Brando cast in The Godfather and that was his seventh-ish film. Coppola fought his corner and won and the choice was right. Exodus was Ridley Scott’s twenty-second cinematic release, and yet he went along with a conventional and hackneyed casting decision that resulted in a played-out, uninspiring, flop. You’d have thought that a man in his late seventies (at the time) would have grown some (wrinkly) balls. One thing has and will always be true of studio execs: they’re closed-minded arseholes, and going along with their tried-and-tested ideas is the antithesis of being an artist. We’d never have billion-dollar grossing movies like Black Panther and Aladdin if this kind of prejudicial way of thinking was widespread. If Ridley had his way, we’d still be whitewashing every bloody role. Okay, I’ll concede that the character Mindy Park in The Martian who was changed from an Asian to Caucasian isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things but to whitewash Moses and Ramesses II is the pinnacle of white-man revisionism.

Aside from being a wuss and a liberal racist, Ridley Scott is also a liberal sexist. When I say “liberal”, I mean a less obvious but just as destructive variant of bigotry. A liberal bigot may not be slapping women or shooting unarmed black people but by failing to change, by not challenging societal wrongs, they’re on the same spectrum of twats. Remember when Scott re-shot his gloomy and forgettable biopic All The Money In The World? Actor Michelle Williams was credited first in the opening titles but she was paid the least for her re-shoots whereas Marky Mark’s bland-arse was paid the big bucks. The reason for these re-shoots was because original star Kevin Spacey was embroiled in sexual assault allegations but whilst trying to digitally “rectify” this situation, Scott and co kept the racially-motivated physical-assaulter Mark Wahlberg in the cast. This re-shoot was obviously not morally motivated but rather financially; it was a time of #MeToo protests so nobody gave a fuck about an “a-list” star allegedly blinding a bloke in a racist attack but a celeb groping some 18-year old bloke was the crime of the century. This rush to fit-into the zeitgeist showed two things; that either Hollywood wants to appear as though they’re doing something and they’ll bypass due process for good press (what if the allegations turned out to be false?) or worse, that they knew what Spacey was allegedly like but did fuck-all for years, which in turn makes their sudden taking action faker than their attempt at inclusivity. But I digress. Back to Ridley Scott.

What may look good as a 30 second advert doesn’t captivate you when it’s 1 hour 30 minutes or 2 hours long. Scott knows his films are missing something; that’s probably why there’s two cuts of The Counsellor, three cuts of Blade Runner and four of Legend but his divvy fans act like this somehow bolsters his filmography. Nothing like a straight, old, white man getting inexorable praise for making heaps of celluloidal dung. If you take fellow advertiser turned director, Tarsem Singh’s first two films The Cell and The Fall which were also visually stunning, you could argue that these two movies were his Alien and Blade Runner. Tarsem’s films were filled with beauty and style and yet nobody took to them; film fans or critics, and crucially, when his filmography similarly began waning, Hollywood, critics, and film fans abandoned him. So why does Ridley get chance after chance to make crap whilst being adorned with almost constant praise? Is it because his skin is the right shade of white?

It’s obvious to anyone with eyes and ears that Ridley Scott’s movies aren’t flawless. If not blowing smoke up the military’s backside, or venturing to the farthest arse-ends of space, he brings us poncey topics like sailing or wine; overrated and overblown nonsense or outright trash. Take one of Scott’s so-called “best” films, Gladiator for instance; in ancient Rome we have Maximus Decimus Meridius Annoyingus Bastardus’ wife who clearly has botox in her face, and then there’s the high contrast and random slow motion that would make Zack Snyder cum in his casually-Islamophobic shorts. There’s also arbitrary slow motion and flashbacks in American Gangster, another overrated flick. With the mud on the lens in the bike chase/fight scene in Black Rain breaking the fourth wall in an amateurish kind of way, if any of this shite had been done by any other director, they’d be mocked by most, but not our beloved Ridley Scott. Fuck knows which and how many dicks he’s sucked but outside his early career, he rarely gets critiqued and his standing in Hollywood is never tarnished despite making numerous flops, a shit-load of filmic feculence, and non-inclusive, prejudicial casting choices.

This miserable, po-faced twat is exactly the kind of old, white, male Hollywood celebrity that kept the film industry firmly in the hands of white, hetero, males, shunning talented minorities in favour of talentless Caucasian pricks (literally). Now resorting to recycling his early filmography with the upcoming The Last Duel sounding very similar to the boring The Duelists, not to mention another Alien prequel, and Gladiator 2 in the works, we can safely say this wrinkly old codger is not only stuck in the past but he’s also a stick-in-the-mud.

Not So Great Scott.

16 replies »

  1. It’s hard to know where to begin with this silly indictment. The writer is obviously a black gay or trans person who will spend PRONOUN HER life feeling slighted by the cruelty of the cosmos.

    Ridley Scott is one of the most revered directors in history for his succinct control over the narrative of a film- even his “bad” films transcend most of the garbage of other directors (who apparently have the correct number of participants of color in their films).

    The writer apparently intentionally leaves out American Gangster- a film better than anything the writer has done with a thesaurus his/her/ entire life. Where was the racism there?

    Diversity ruins entertainment. Actors should and must be chosen on their talent, and how they fit into the story. Diversity is why SNL is so painfully awful now. Go read a derivative poem from Amanda Gorman to get that warm sappy feeling. Ridley Scott basically defined Sci-Fi film noir with Blade Runner, and palpable scares worthy of Kubrick in Alien.

    Really- get a life.

    • It’s hard to know where to begin with that contrived and moronic reply. The commenter is obviously a miserable, old, middle-aged white man who rides dicks of even older overrated white artists on the basis that they’ve made one or two decent movies.

      It’s plainly obvious that you didn’t read the frigging article that got you so irate because:

      1. I never mentioned diversity or quotas, I mentioned whitewashing which is INACCURATE casting
      2. The article wasn’t just about racism you daft twat, it was about sexism, xenophobia, militarism, and being overrated
      3. I did mention American Gangster – three times – but don’t let that get in the way of your pissy little white-man rant
      4. Ridley’s garbage movies (of which there’s lots) aren’t better than anyone else’s garbage movies. Trash consisting of empty wine bottles and Demi Moore’s hair isn’t inherently better than trash containing Michael Bay’s pubes and empty Voss water bottles
      5. I acknowledged Blade Runner’s aesthetics, but c’mon, it’s one of the most boring fucking films of all time
      6. I have no frigging idea what it’s got to do with Ridley Scott but SNL is shite because of shite comedians. Or are you saying that Kristen Wiig or Mikey Day are better comedians than Kenan Thompson because they’re white?
      7. If I uploaded my driver’s license and it showed a Caucasian man with “strong” Anglo-Saxon features would my opinion become valid? No? Then what’s with your opening sentence?

      Since I never once mentioned my race, sexual orientation, or whether I’m cisgendered, your comment reads like a cliche of a fat, red-faced gammon: moaning about diversity and gender pronouns when those two topics are nowhere to be found. The umpteen times I’ve criticised someone of colour or female on this site, nowhere do I see outrage like this but criticise any overrated white codger and you prejudiced fuckwits come out of the woodwork to vent your racist spleen.

      At the very least what this shows is that Ridley Scott fans are old bigoted boomers (excuse me, the “silent generation”) which he attracts because he is one himself.

      Now fuck off back to the old folk’s home granddad, you don’t have much life left to get.

    • I checked, and yep, you didn’t read the article Douglas/Ridley. He mentions American Gangster twice. You are conditioned Ridley/Douglas, by bigotry.

  2. I think Ridley Scott aka Douglas aka A Racist Homophobic Cunt got rather upset over the truth about himself 😂😂
    My advice to ‘Douglas’ would be, read an article fully before you start pointing fingers.
    PS I hate Ridley Scott, I agreed with every word in the article, especially the reply from the author to you Douglas 👍.

  3. I think Ridley is an example of a director whos been dining out on two movies. Alien, Blade Runner, Alien, Blade Runner, Alien, Blade Runner — Thats all his fans will ever mention (including the **** who commented above). These are his second and third films in the space of three years but nothing has been in the same league in the next four decades and yet hes still regarded as one of the great directors. When actors and directors get old critics (even those who were once critical) start ignoring the substandard films and become dishonest about their career. Its a combination of Respecting your elders and being a suckhole.

    • I agree. There’s lots of infallible creatives that the public aren’t allowed to have a differing opinion of. Nothing like a skewed perception of someone:

      1977 The Duellists – AVERAGE
      1979 Alien – EXCELLENT
      1982 Blade Runner – AVERAGE/OVERRATED
      1985 Legend – POOR
      1987 Someone to Watch Over Me – POOR
      1989 Black Rain – AVERAGE
      1991 Thelma and Louise – GOOD
      1992 1492: Conquest of Paradise – POOR
      1996 White Squall – N/A (Haven’t Watched)
      1997 G.I. Jane – POOR
      2000 Gladiator – AVERAGE/OVERRATED
      2001 Hannibal – POOR
      2001 Black Hawk Down – AVERAGE/OVERRATED
      2003 Matchstick Men – AVERAGE
      2005 Kingdom of Heaven – POOR
      2006 A Good Year – POOR
      2007 American Gangster – AVERAGE/OVERRATED
      2008 Body of Lies – AVERAGE
      2010 Robin Hood – POOR
      2012 Prometheus – AVERAGE
      2013 The Counselor – POOR
      2014 Exodus: Gods and Kings – POOR
      2015 The Martian – AVERAGE/OVERRATED
      2017 Alien: Covenant – POOR
      2017 All the Money in the World – AVERAGE

      You can agree or disagree with SOME of these scores but there’s no denying that out of 25 films at least half are incredibly boring or outright shit. One definite classic, maybe two, possibly three but that’s a 12% success rate max.

      His sycophantic fans can stay in cloud cuckoo land but Ridley Scott is no flawless filmmaker, his filmography proves it.

  4. Blade Runner is neither average nor overrated, American Gangster is in no shape or form average or overrated. Both are amazing films. The rest I tottally agree with.
    Regarding the text…I honestly think this man started getting senile earlier than people realised, the other stuff you talk abaout seems like mostly made up honestly. Dude just got old quicker than we realised, so his work suffered, thats it.

  5. You know, I actually like Legend. Mainly because my love for 80s fantasy has resurfaced through the years but it does have a certain style and you have to appreciate the puppetry and creature makeup in the film.

    • Yea some of the dialogue is kind of off as well. The entire premise does feel kind of broken. If you compare it to the lord of the rings structure, there doesn’t seem to be an a-b storyline. But still, it has a nostalgic place for me. I do prefer Willow over it.

  6. I’m glad you wrote this article because he got into Hollywood because he’s a commercial director and is British but NOT in a good way.He was good when he did Alien and Blade Runner yeah its slow but you can tell that was his sctchick if only he stuck with it and NOT drive to goofy militaristic chick films we would have a different legacy.But NO he was selected to fill what Kubrick didn’t want to be a filmmaker enslaved to studios.What I don’t get is he calls himself a legend but yet still follows the same ridiculous formula Hollywood been practicing for decades.And WHY did Ridley wanted make a movie about Moses for tell me somebody when he said he was a atheist.And he completely is racist in casting when the truth is out there.But yet he made American Gangster which had black folks portrayed negatively but NOT as Bible characters very racially bias indeed.Scott really needs to retire before he really starts to ruin SciFi and Historical epics.

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