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Coma finale just as exciting and scary as any Tony Scott film

Dave Masko's picture

It was one of Tony Scott’s final projects before his suicide last month; thus making last night’s “Coma” finale on A&E that much more profound and scary.

Coma’s finale episode Sept. 4 continued to explore man’s primal fear of being put under anesthesia and waking up in a coma. While it was a short miniseries at only four hours, the film had a message that lingers: “Don’t let them put you under.” In fact, the "Coma" miniseries logo features that warning along with the names of the creators of this medical thriller – Tony Scott and his brother Ridley; who are both considered to be in the league of top movie directors and producers of all time. Sadly, it was just two weeks prior to the Labor Day premiere of “Coma” on A&E that Tony Scott, 68, committed suicide by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles on Aug. 19 at approximately 12:30 p.m., stated investigators from the L.A. Police Department. Overall, this two-part remake of the science-fiction classic “Coma” was well received by both fans and critics who both tweeted and wrote in leading newspapers that the miniseries on A&E was both a top-notch thriller and “very entertaining.”

Tony Scott’s suicide overshadows “Coma”

The suicide of this “Coma” co-producer – who oversaw filming in Atlanta, Georgia, last year – seems to overshadow “Tony’s message to take precautions when going into hospital,” tweeted one fan who, like many others, understood why this film based on the 1977 best-selling novel by Robin Cook was aimed at today’s extreme desire for transplantable human body organs.

The “Coma” miniseries will now be remembered as part of Tony Scott’s legacy said his brother Ridley who developed the program with him for airing on A&E; while the network will continue to show both parts 1 and 2 of this film during the month of September. "Coma" was written by John J. McLaughlin and directed by Mikael Salomon.

In turn, Salomon told TV Guide in a recent interview that the Scott’s wanted to modernize the original “Coma” film that was a huge hit back in 1978 after it followed the 1977 release of Cook’s book of the same name.

Salomon – known for his superb directing work on the World War II miniseries “Band of Brothers” – explained in the recent edition of TV Guide that “we’re now in a world of stem-cell research and black-market organs, things that weren’t imaginable back when the novel and the movie were all the rage. Today, people feel a great sense of alienation and isolation when they go to the hospital, as if they’re on some sort of assembly line in a factory. And "Coma" is their most hellish nightmare.”

"Coma" now part of Tony Scott’s legacy

The day after Coma executive producer Tony Scott’s suicide, ABC TV News reported that “Scott had an inoperable brain tumor;” while his widow told L.A. Police investigators that “the tumor claim was absolutely false.”

As with real-life mirroring fiction, last night’s finale of the “Coma” miniseries also left fans wondering “who are the real bad guys?”

For example, most fans tweeted after last night’s final episode that the real “bad guy” was clearly hospital chief of staff Theodore Clark, played by James Woods.

However, other viewers said “it’s the crooked medical system we have today that’s the real bad guy who determines who gets an organ and who doesn’t.”

Also, after Tony Scott’s Aug. 19 suicide jump from the Vincent Thomas Bridge – where the famed British director filmed many stunts for his action films – the L.A. Police confirmed they found “a note left in his car, parked on the bridge, and a note at his office for his family,” reported the L.A. Times; while also reporting how “witnesses said Scott did not hesitate before jumping. His body was recovered from the water by the Los Angeles Port Police.”

During his funeral, many top actors paid tribute to him, added the L.A. Times. They included: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, Dane Cook, Peter Fonda and Keira Knightley.

In turn, the Times quoted Cruise as stating: “He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable.”

Tony Scott’s films – prior to this “Coma” miniseries on A&E – include: “The Hunger,” “Top Gun,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Days of Thunder,” “The Last Boy Scout,” “True Romance,” “Crimson Tide,” “Enemy of the State,” “Man on Fire,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,” “Unstoppable,” and “Déjà vu.”

Tony Scott explains his film style
Tony Scott was quoted in a June 2009 interview in Cinema Blend about his directing and producing style that fans today said is “clearly Tony Scott in his new "Coma" film.”

In turn, Scott said this about his way of shooting a movie: “It's about energy and it's about momentum, and I think the movie's very exciting, and it's not one individual thing. The true excitement comes from the actors - that gives you the true drama - and whatever I can do with the camera, that's icing on the cake. I wanted the movie to grab you. I use four cameras and I maybe do three takes - so the actors love it. Maybe I move it more than I should, but that's the nature of the way I am.”

Sadly, those words of Scott’s seem to sum-up the look and the excitement generated during the recent “Coma” miniseries finale with lots of action and drama but, in the end, the viewer is left guessing “why?”

Image source of the “Coma” miniseries logo that states that the late Tony Scott and his brother Ridley are its creators. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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