Revenge (Tony Scott – 1990)

* 05/01/21 *

Sorry folks for the huge late night text – you don’t have to go through anyway and this is all Tony Scott’s fault, actually.

In Tony Scott’s top best movies, I always put the same 3 ones: True Romance (1993), The Last Boy Scout (1991)… and the one everyone has completely forgotten: Revenge, released in 1990.

I don’t love the movie because it’s perfect. It’s pretty fucking far from perfection, actually, and this is exactly why I love it so much.

I love it because of the way it desperately tries to push every « over the top » button available on all elements (dark glasses during night scenes, gigantic sunsets AND sunrises, venetian blinds on all windows, useless smoky fans, repeated eroticism, leather snake boots, fat sweating Mexicans) not because it is trendy at the time, but exactly because the crew feels it’s getting old fashioned at that precise moment.

I really LOVE the way this movie is blindly acting like we’re still in middle 80s and as if the audience hadn’t seen Fame, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Nine 1/2 weeks and all the Adrian Lyne/Alan Parker/Scott brother’s over-the-top aesthetics for almost 10 years now.

« Days of Thunder » released the same year will be a great hit for Tony Scott and he will have a long and quite interesting career ahead (especially post-2000) but to me « Revenge » is like a bug in the matrix, a fascinating failed success, a freeze-framed nostalgic gesture, a last attempt not to see it’s time for another decade to come with its own visual codes.

On top of the violent and nihilistic plot it develops with some spicy notes (who’s actually ‘revenging’ here ?), something feels sick, crippled and almost involuntarily desperate in this movie, which gives a precious vibe I can’t get enough of.

Last point: here is one of the cases where the director’s cut is actually destroying the movie compared to the theatrical version, which confirms the overall feeling I just described above: Tony Scott edited his own 25-minute SHORTER version years later, destroying most of the strange mood Revenge had, deleting some ‘useless’ scenes that I loved to make it more ‘right to the point’ – and inevitably completely pointless doing so: a preview of the exhausting and restless way of editing movies we’ll see later in the 90’s: more speed, less thinking. So if you want to discover that one… go for the 124-minute version and not the director’s cut.

So… Revenge: a strange and fascinating object in between times, struggling with a declining visual style on one side and already being butchered to get ready for the fast and superficial upcoming decade on the other.
Oh and by the way, the movie’s got a cast including Kevin Costner, Anthony Quinn, Madeleine Stowe, Tomas Milian… AND MIGUEL check-my-huge-fucking-nose-right-there FERRER.

Gotta love « Revenge ». ❤