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.