Jerry Bruckheimer films are some of the highest grossing, most explosive action movies in Hollywood. For many years, it seemed like everything Bruckheimer touched turned to gold. He had his hands in cinema since the early ‘80s and has produced some of the best television shows on network TV in the last decade. Bruckheimer has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and continues to hit home runs in the box office on a consistent basis.
Jerry Bruckheimer debuted in the ‘70s and he had a few successful movies, including “American Gigalo” and “Flashdance,” before skyrocketing to the moon with his megahit "Top Gun." This movie made his leading man, Tom Cruise, a star and introduced the world to one of cinema’s most iconic directors in Tony Scott. This movie remains one of the most influential films of the ‘80s and set the table for all the action, adventure movies that came after it.
While Jerry Bruckheimer's biggest collaborator at the start was Don Simpson, it is the producer’s relationship with action director Michael Bay that remains better know. The two worked together on many of Bay’s biggest hits and it all began with the 1994 buddy cop flick “Bad Boys.” The movie remains similar to other buddy cop flicks at the time, but thanks to Michael Bay’s eye for explosive action and Bruckheimer’s large pocketbook, the movie became a huge hit. More giant action films followed from the duo, including “The Rock” and “Armageddon.”
“Remember the Titans”
By the time 2000 rolled around, it was clear that Jerry Bruckheimer films offered the biggest and best in action flicks but the question remained asking if high concept movies was all that the producer could accomplish. He answered that question with the 2000 sports movie “Remember the Titans.” While the on-field action was still larger than life, the story was scaled back from a normal Bruckheimer movie as it focused on racial tensions in a local southern high school. The film remains one of the better sports dramas of the last decade and proved Bruckheimer was a man of many skills.
“Black Hawk Down”
Jerry Bruckheimer films and Michael Bay attempted to make a big, epic war movie with “Pearl Harbor,” but it was a critical flop, a movie with great effects but little in the way of a decent story. Luckily, Bruckheimer did not put all his eggs in one carton and also worked on another war movie, this time with master director Ridley Scott. “Black Hawk Down” is everything that “Pearl Harbor” was not. It is a great action movie with a ton of heart and proved to be a larger success than the Michael Bay production ever hoped to be.
It is easy to think that Jerry Bruckheimer films simply looks for the biggest and best action movies to stake its claim to and sits back, watching the money rolling in. However, the producer also is known to take gambles on properties that may not look like “easy money” up front. When Bruckheimer backed the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie in 2003, he was banking on the Disney World amusement park ride morphing into a successful film. We now know that it did grow into a successful franchise, but at the time, it was a risky proposition that paid off and proved that Bruckheimer still has that golden touch.