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Man on Fire is a good film, there is no question it has class written all over it, directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington the film is set in Mexico, it is gritty and realistic but has a fascinating story and a wonderful cast. The film, based on a book of the same name grossed over $77 million on release is regarded as one of Scott's best films alongside American Gangster and Top Gun, for me this is the best of the bunch, it is emotive and leaves you feeling absolutely exhausted by the end.
Denzel Washington is awesome in the lead role as washed up Private Detective, John Creasy, after years in CIA Black Ops he has lost any connection with the world and finds solace in a bottle of Jack Daniels, he has a pretty bleak view of the world and everybody within it.
One day a good friend and ex colleague, Rayburn (Christopher Walken) persuades him that he can make some good money by becoming a bodyguard in Mexico, John finds himself employed by Samuel (Marc Anthony) a rich Mexican businessman, to protect Samuel's daughter Pita (Dakota Fanning, on excellent form as always), following a number of high profile kidnappings of rich kids in the country. John see's this as a chance to earn some cash and takes the job on, as much as a favour to Rayburn the only person he trusts as anything else. As John begins to build a meaningful relationship with Pita and reacquaint himself with feelings of affection, love and friendship, Pita is kidnapped in a brutal manner which leaves John badly injured and seeking revenge. John vows to return Pita to her shellshocked mother or avenge her.
At this stage the story turns from an offbeat and at times buddy film into a tale of redemption. John has the chance to do the one thing he does well, kill people. He sets out to save Pita and do something good. As he vows to find the kidnapper and take out his family and colleagues we are treated to a tour-de-force of meaningful violence, as John takes on anyone and everyone with only one thing on his mind, Pita.
I have to say, I felt Denzel Washington was exceptional in this film, he doesn't try too hard, he is a man who shuns others, finds solace in the bottom of a bottle and relives his past misdemeanours daily with shame and regret. Washington could easily ham this up but he doesn't, he keeps things minimal, making every facial contortion or word count, he is a guy trained to calmly deal with the worst situations we could imagine, but obviously this means that somehow you need to release the pressure and he does it through booze and regret.
As the film begins we see this shell of a man and the cracks in his behaviour and personality are open, as he befriends Pita and finds purpose, we see more of the man he was than the man he now is, strong, funny, charming and absolutely in control, the start allows us to understand what our hero is having to overcome, the follow on helps us understand the man behind the mask. Washington is enthralling in the main role, he is likeable even though he is pretty obnoxious for the first 15 minutes of the film, Washington slowly elicits his personality to the audience and by the end you will be cheering him on every step of the way.
One of the most rewarding elements of this film is the unconventional friendship between Creasy and Pita, it develops naturally with childish jokes and questions and develops into something very deep for them both. When Pita is snatched you can literally see Creasy lose everything he has just regained and then find purpose to reclaim it.
Both Washington and Fanning are exceptional in their roles, the tender playfulness of their friendship is perfectly acted. You can see the big, gruff bear of a man open up to the sweet, precocious young girl who has no friends as her parents are so afraid of her being out in the open and possibly kidnapped.
Washington's gentle smiles after his disorientated opening are heart achingly realistic, and their relationship is so sweet and pure that it is easy to see how Creasy can regain his sense of humanity from it. When you compare his behaviour in opening up to the little girl to the private lost moments, utterly wasted on booze, we have a complex lead character and a really interesting ride for the viewer.
Fanning is brilliant, for a young girl, she never gets close to being annoying or stage-school like, she is beguiling and compellingly portrays a bright lonely young girl, who can see the nice guy behind her ogre of a bodyguard's emotionless mask. You can really appreciate how Creasy could want to protect this girl.
Able support is provided by Radha Mitchell as Pita's mother, Lisa, an American confused by the Mexican way of life, just as lonely as her daughter, she becomes angry that the kidnapping is almost accepted and rages against the shambolic police management of the case, her husband's behaviour means that the only person she can truly trust is Creasy and I felt there was an undercurrent of potential romance between the characters, however, that's for another film and the insinuation is much more powerful than any visual embodiment of this could ever be.
Marc Anthony is good as the slightly slimy husband, you never fully trust him or his motives and he is a good foil to the strength of character of many of the other main characters, in being rich, but somewhat weak of will.
It was really good to see Christopher Walken in a film role that didn't require him to play a generic villain or quirky, silly character in a comedy, in this film, he is a wise, grizzled old veteran and has seen a lot of things with his good friend which have shaped his own more positive view of life, he is the only person Creasy truly trusts and is there as able support throughout the film, he has many of the best lines in the film, when he is asked by Creasy to help resolve the problem of Pita's kidnap he eloquently remarks to a friend " A man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasey's art is death. He's about to paint his masterpiece". If that line alone doesn't make you want to watch the film, then I don't know what would!
I've read some stinging reviews of this film, some stating that the story is too obvious, the acting is clichéd and the direction is just a join the dots revenge fantasy which could have been created by anyone, I would disagree on all counts.
The film is sharp, it is visually very interesting with the sprawling urban chaos of Mexico City, it perfectly encapsulates the kind of environment Creasy is used to operating in, Scott provides some wonderful visuals which are memorable, whilst maintaining a fast paced and exciting visual style. It has a rough-hewed style which reminded me of some of my favourite Latin American films of recent years, such as City of God and Babel.
The film is sharp, it looks cool and will appeal especially to guys, as there is a level of machismo in the hero which brings out the baser level of the audience, but there is a sensitivity running through the film that will appeal to anyone. Washington and Fanning are excellent and the way they make their bond so realistic makes the audience really understand the subsequent hunt by Creasy to find the girl so enthralling. He is prepared to do anything to get her back and you understand why.
The breaking down of the emotional barriers created by Washington's character is interesting to watch, this is a major plus of the film, that it is action packed with a great story, but the main subkect is much more complex than your traditional hero.
Make no bones about it, this isn't a sweet story of finding yourself through a bond, this is a bloody violent film that never shies away from violence or looking at the corruption endemic in Mexican criminal gangs and the complex relationships they hold with society and the police, kidnappings are a threatening part of life in Mexico City and this is brought terrifyingly to life in the brutal scenario where Pita is kidnapped.
The action is brutal when it occurs, it is fast, gritty and doesn't dwell on heroism, there are no dodged bullets or the usual people jumping out of the way, if somebody hits you with a bullet, it hurts and there are no theatrics here at all, the film and its hero accept there is a great chance he will die in this rescue, the villains are nasty but their reasons for kidnapping are explained, this is just a well rounded and well thought out picture. The death count is high and I do accept unrealistic but it is done in a way which feels realistic and it's not until after the film finishes do you stop and thing, that it's unlikely that could have happened.
The film is long at over two hours and at times it switched between English and Spanish, as I didn't have subtitles, this got confusing as my Spanish is basic, but it fits the film and is very rewarding if you have subtitles or a background with Spanish language. I loved the touches of the corrupt and clueless police and their ways of dealing with kidnappers that confuse and disgust Lisa so much, this seemed so realistic and I genuinely appreciated that.
The soundtrack is a mix of Mexican music, classical to fill the chaos with some order, some Nine Inch Nails and some David Arnold, it is eclectic, mixes the nihilistic nature of the character with the more upbeat natural persona of the country and a touch of class in the classical tracks perfectly.
Overall this is a stirring and memorable film which really works on a number of levels, the acting is top drawer, the action excellent and the story is thoroughly enjoyable and involving, this is my second 5 out of 5 review in two days and is utterly deserved, I love this film and would implore you to give it a try.
This is a top DVD and is available in all good DVD stores and supermarkets, we, as we generally do bought our copy from Amazon, having originally watched the film on Satelite TV, we just felt it was a classic that we would watch again and again, we were right. It cost us £4.99, but is currently available for the bargain price of £3.63, alternatively, you can get this and Taken, another excellent revenge thriller starring Liam Neeson for £4.99.
The film has numerous fantastic quotes, most from either Washington or Walken, here are some of the best:
Elderly Man: In the church, they say to forgive.
Creasy: Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting.
Lisa: What are you gonna do?
Creasy: What I do best. I'm gonna kill 'em. Anyone that was involved. Anybody who profited from it. Anybody who opens their eyes at me.
Lisa: [Whispering] You kill 'em all.
Creasy: I am the sheep that got lost, Madre.
Creasy: Do you think God'll forgive us for what we've done?
Rayburn: Well, you know what they say. A bullet always tells the truth.
Rayburn: He'll deliver more justice in a weekend than ten years of your courts and tribunals.
Pita: There are some good things in this world.
Creasy: Oh yeah, like what?
Pita: Like meeting me.
Creasy: Okay, my friend. It's off to the next life for you. I guarantee you, you won't be lonely.
Creasy: There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?
Man On Fire is about a former Recon Marine called John Creasy (played by Denzel Washington) who travels to Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico, to visit his friend and former CIA colleague Paul Rayburn (played by Christopher Walken). Creasy admits he has become an alcoholic because of the horrors in his past and Rayburn encourages him to take a job as a bodyguard in Mexico City for businessman Samuel Ramos(played by Marc Anthony) who hires Creasy to guard his nine year old daughter Pita (played by Dakota Fanning) which he accepts. Pita quickly shows interest in Creasy, even though he remains distant due to his depression. After a night of heavy drinking Creasy fails an attempted suicide and later begins to form a friendship with Pita. A gang of kidnappers take Pita after a piano lesson and despite killing some of the assailants, Creasy is shot and is unable to save her. The Ramos agree to deliver a dead drop ransom of ten million as instructed by "The Voice", the mastermind of the kidnapping. The drop however, is ambushed by a group of Mexicans called "La Hermandad" and the money is stolen, resulting in The Voice saying Pita will not re returned. Creasy eventually leaves the hospital before fully recovering from his wounds and vows to Pita's mother Lisa (played by Radha Mitchell) that he will kill everyone who was involved with the kidnapping.
Even though Denzel Washington has made many great films this has to be one of his best! The acting is first class, especially from Dakota Fanning. The story is intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat through most of the film. Man On Fire also has to be one of the best kidnap and ransom, revenge and emotional, movies ever made, especially the final part of the film. There is plenty of action and suspense. My favourite scene must be when Creasy goes out to search for the kidnappers, and when he finds one of them, he inserts a bomb inside him and threatens him to answers his questions before he dies.
'Revenge is a dish best served cold'
I actually read quite a few reviews of this film by other people prior to writing my own because I wanted to get a few varied opinions and reasons for them. The contrasting reviews of the people who liked it to those that didn't was as dramatic as any I've seen before. Not only that but the contrast between those that liked it because of it's genuine human qualities and touching human connection story were probably out numbered by those that loved it simply because Denzil is one bad muther.
Either way it's always interesting to me to read others opinions on the films that I either love or hate. I can accept a negative opinion on a film I love if it's well constructed and if the points are well made. More about people who seem to have missed the point in a little while.
'Man on Fire' has been a big favourite of mine since the first time I saw it. I've watched it several times since and I always love watching it. The fractured style of the film is something that Tony Scott is well known for, sometimes it works (here it does obviously!) and sometimes it doesn't (Domino springs to mind). I like the burnt film edges and the fade in fade outs, I like the way the film has been shot mirrors the main characters state of mind and often his pysichal state.
The core of the film and why it is so brilliant is the human connection between the two main characters. Without thIS connection all of the violence that insues post kidknapping has no real meaning and it is without doubt this that sets Man on Fire apart from your average revenge thriller. That Dakota Fanning can share a scene so confidently with an actor as talented as Denzil Washington is a real tribute to her.
Pita: Do you have a girlfriend, Creasy?
Pita: Do you have a girlfriend?
Creasy: No. What kind of question is that, anyway? You're supposed to be studying history, okay?
Pita: It is history... Creasy history.
Creasy: No, that's ancient history.
Love Fanning or hate her there is no doubt that she has talent herself. That she manages to convey the necessary emotion in the scenes leading up to the kidnapping to absolutely convince us not only of her love for Creasy but also in his love for her. Not only that but it makes perfect sense, Creasy is a lost cause which is what initially draws Pita to him. Prior to meeting Pita Creasy had no reason to live, after she is kidnapped he is given one.
Man on Fire is always rated very highly and yet still so underated. I watched this for about the fifteenth time the other day and I think it just gets better and better the more you see it. There are complexities to the character John Creasy, alot going on under the surface that is never completely explained to the audience. What exactly happened to him in the past to not only make him a heavy acoholic but also to make him suicidal, measured assumptions can certainly be made but you can certainly miss alot from a single viewing. A bullet always tells the truth. He clearly regrets his past and obviously doesn't like himself too much
Alot of the negative comment I've read centres around the implausibility of a man in Creasys condition being able to do some of the things that he does. I just don't think it matters to be honest. It's made relatively clear that Creasy is dying, losing alot of blood and that he seems aware of this and it does become a simple race against time.
I should definately mention the strong support from Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken and Radha Mitchell. I cannot however stand Mr Jennifer Lopez Marc Anthony but this of course is a minor gripe given that the character is no more likeable than the man himself.
To me 'Man on Fire' does everything that I could possibly want from a film. The heart of the film lives within the heartfelt human interaction, the humour in the early part of the film, and then of course the extreme violence that has been given a reason. Anyone who isn't a little tearful come the closing credits has got a heart of stone. I recently read an article about films that make grown men cry and this was mentioned a number of times. The ending always brings tears to my eyes.
Pita : I love you Creasy, and you love me don't you?
Creasy: Yes I do
Five stars and one of my favourite films fullstop....and £2.99 for such an immense film is absolute lunacy!
I remember watching this for the first time and the only reason was because it had ma man Denzel on screen and I'm so glad I did, this was an absolute beauty!!! One film that I can possibly watch over and over again and not get bored of.
The film in set in Mexico where kidnapping is big business. Its simple they kidnap a rich families child, you pay the ransom and you get him/her back. If not then say your prayers. This brings panic to a whole load of these rich lot and security is needed. This also includes the Ramos (Mark Anthony and Radha Mitchell) family who need to protect their nine year old Lupita 'Pita' Ramos (Dakota Fanning) until they can renew their family ransom insurance which I'm assuming is not real. Anywho on the recommendation from Rayburn (Christopher Walken), John Creasy (Denzel Washington) is offered the job.
Creasy is an ex CIA and was partners with Rayburn back in the day but unlike Rayburn who's loving life Creasy has grown tired of it and is beginning to feel guilt over the years of work he has done and has turned to drink to solve his problems. But due to having nothing to do he accepts.
He starts his work but he makes it clear that he is not here to be a babysitter or anything, just to protect her. But Pita has different ideas and wants to be friends with Creasy and asks him question after question about him. At first Creasy gives her a piece of his mind but later that night realises that shes just trying to help him. From there on they have a special bond with each other and we see Creasy smiling again and enjoying life.
Just as things go are going well things turn for the worse when Pita is kidnapped just as she's coming out of her piano lesson. He tries to intervene but is badly wounded and collapses. Will he survive? If he does will he be able to save her?
Like I said above the only reason I watched this is because of Denzel Washington as I have seen him in other films (Training Day, The Inside Man) and thought he was a real good actor. In this film he does not disappoint one bit! His portrayal of a man damned bu his guilt is very impressive and very believable. His change from broken to revitalised progressed smoothly and at a very exceptional pace.
Dakota Fanning at the time played her role as Pita is similar fashion. She was a bubbly nine year old full of life. She also semms to act a little older than what she really is and is fully aware of what happening in and around her. The chemistry between the two of them couldn't of been better and it was a great feeling to watch them two develop the friendship and the way Creasy became a father figure to her when the parents were away on business. She even named a bear after him! :-D
They were a few supporting roles and I could not forget Mr Walken who plays Creasys ex partner and long time friend. The friendship between the both of them seemed real geniune from the start where he tries to help his friend bounce back to life all the way to the end where he talks to a reporter (What for I will not tell you!).
The roles of the newpaper reporters were played well, the way they could get any information they needed tp assist was very good. Micky Rourke was also in this film as the Ramos family lawyer, he did ok but not great as he wasn't used as much.
The film from the kidnapping to the end is full on non stop action and a word of warning, there are some scenes which some may not find suitable and not for the faint hearted so be warned! But it also didn't seem far fetched and could imagine it been done.
The film is set in lovely (well some parts) Mexico and this gives it a more authentic touch. You get to see the rich and the poor on the same street
and how they live side by side.
Overall I would defiantly recommend you watch this film. Actually go one better and buy it too, this is a must have for the DVD collection. The running time of the film is 140 minutes (2 hours 20 minutes) and I can tell you know you would not notice it one bit!
The DVD I have got didn't have any special features (:-() so I will be looking out for another with them and buy it.
You can purchase this on DVD for £2.99 on Amazon for a single disc or for £6.99 for a two disc edition. It is also available on blu ray for just over £11.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.
Will also be found on Ciao.
This is probably one of denzel washingtons best films to date. It has everything from dram to action and sports a very very good musical score (the main theme of which is by Lisa Gerrard of Gladiator fame). It starts of as a bit of a character study as drunked ex agent Creasey lands himself a job in mexico as a washed up body guard. The plot thickens as he becomes attached to the duaghter of the family that has hired him. Ultimately she winds up getting kidnapped and the deal to buy her back goes sour. Believing that she is dead he goes on a crusade to avenge her by taking out her kidnappers one by one. This film is both quite gripping and emotional. Denzel turns out a star performance as does dakota fanning and both lead roels have great chemisrtry. Well worth a look if you have not checkd it out already.
I watched Man on Fire a number of years ago when it was released in 2004 and watched it again last night and have to say despite it receiving some critical feedback when it first came out I think I've always thought it was one of Denzel Washington's strongest and best performances and it's high octane action from start to finish. It's probably not for the faint hearted though as is very violent. It reminds me of Kill Bill in many ways as he seeks revenge on just about everyone who has wronged him.
Denzel Washington plays Creasy who is an ex-assassin but is in a bit of as state in his own mind and is drinking and seeking to put right things that he believes he has done wrong in his own life. He accepts a job as a bodyguard offered by a friend in Mexico City to look after a young girl called Pita played by Dakota Fanning. Her parents employ him as Mexico has an alarming rate of kidnappings.
Creasy begins to get his life back on track with the help of the growing friendship between himself and this little girl. They form a strong bond and he starts to enjoy his life again.
Unfortunately things don't remain like that when Pita is kidnapped while he is is in charge of her and he is shot and seriously injured. He ends up in hospital and is visited by his friend Rayburn played by Christopher Walken who got him the job in the first place. As he lies in his hospital bed and recovers from his serious injuries he plots to bring down and destroy the whole organisation involved in the kidnapping. With no other thoughts but revenge he will make his sole mission to punish and kill anyone involved in this crime for what they have done.
The movie works well as the relationship is allowed to develop between Creasy and Pita first so we can see the true extent of the bond they have formed and why he is so hell bent on revenge against those responsible.
When the action begins it is quite violent on many occassions as he seeks out those he believes had a part to play in this kidnapping. Many of those he tortures as well so they will talk. It is believable though and involves flashbacks too as the events of the past are remembered.
The pace never lets up from the moment he gets back on his feet and the revenge mission begins to get to the truth. There are a few twists and turns as the movie progresses and I found myself transfixed to the screen. I thought Denzel Washington was fantastic in his role and offers the right amount of intimidation and also is a man on the edge of sanity as he battles with his own demons as well as the bad guys. He definately portrays his character as someone you would not want to mess with.
This movie races along to it's dramatic conclusion and I for one wasn't disappointed and found it very entertaining. Well worth watching, especially if you are a fan of Denzel Washington.
Creasy is a former CIA agent who now spends his time drinking and trying to forget his past. His friend Rayburn now lives in Mexico where he calls Creasy over to talk to him about a new job. Creasy gets the job of being bodyguard to Pita, whose parent fear for her life as there are over 6 kidnappings a day in Mexico.
Creasy starts his new job but he makes it clear that he is there to work and not befriend Pita, things change though when Creasy realises that Pita is trying to help him get his life back on track and soon they are good friends. Things take a turn for the worse though when Pita gets kidnapped after a piano lesson and Creasy is left for dead.
Will Pita be found safely and what will happen to Creasy if he survives being shot?
I had no idea what to expect from this film and only really chose it as it stars Denzel Washington and I do rate him as an actor. I have to say I found the storyline to be excellent and so to was the acting. The way the story came across was very believable and I think this was helped with the setting of Mexico. I did not find at any point it was getting far fetched or too over the top.
The acting throughout the film was super and Denzel Washington did a very impressive job in the role of Creasy, he came across as a damaged and disturbed man at the start of the film who spent his days trying to forget his past with the help of drink, I did enjoy seeing him change and soften as the film moved on and loved how he became another father figure to Pita when her parents were away. He had a lovely chemistry with Pita, who was played by Dakota Fanning, she too was excellent in her role. I think the way she came across as being older than her age showed and worked well, she was very street wise and understood all what was going on in the world and around her in Mexico. I think the way she took to the role of Creasy was great and very believable.
There were a lot of supporting actors in the film and the few which really stood out for me were those of Rayburn, played by Christopher Walken, he played the role of long time friend to Creasy and there seemed a genuine chemistry and need to help his character from him. I also found the role of newspaper reporter who turned out to know a lot of contacts to help Creasy was another good casting and a great addition to the cast. Mickey Rourke also starred in the film and he played the role of Jordan, he was good but not the best actor in the film by far.
The story was set in Mexico and think this is what helped to make it so believable as it is a dangerous country in parts and things like this do happen a lot. I loved the way the police were involved in the story and the underhand work of the majority of the officers. I did enjoy seeing life in Mexico and how rich and poor can live so close together and yet be so different. The houses and scenery which we saw looked very authentic and what I have come to expect from this country.
The special effects throughout the film were excellent and very well made. I did not notice at any point a badly added backdrop or gun shot which looked out of place of badly produced. I did think the effects which we saw more of towards the end of the film and the violence was also well made and at times looked horrific and so believable I had to look away at some of the things which happened.
The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features. The running time of the film is 140 minutes and although this may seem quite long I really did loose track of the time once I got into the film. The certificate is an 18 and I do definitely agree with this as there is a lot of strong violence and the nature of the storyline is quite a hard one for younger viewers. I paid the bargain price of £3 for this DVD in Tesco and I think it is well worth this amount.
I am going to recommend this film as it has a tough and hard hitting storyline, excellent acting and the violence only adds to the hardness of Creasy's character and storyline. Definitely one for fans of Denzel Washington.
Man on Fire - Action
Man on Fire got absolutely slatted by the critics and this almost put me off watching it. I'm glad it didn't and in truth I haven't met a single other person who hasn't enjoyed it.
Set in Mexico City, the kidnap capital of South America, Man on Fire follows Creasy, an ex-assassin played by Denzel Washington, who is seeking some form of redemption for his tainted past. Creasy takes a job as a bodyguard who is employed to look after Pita, a little girl, played by the charming Dakota Fanning.
Following a failed suicide attempt, Creasy begins to get his life back on track one step at a time. He sees this failed attempt as a sign. Creasy and Pita then begin to form a strong friendship. Creasy begins to smile again for the first time in years.
This happiness is then turned upside down when Pita gets kidnapped. With the help of his only friend Rayburn, played by the ever charismatic Christopher Walken, Creasy plots to take down the entire organisation that were involved in Pita's kidnapping. Anyone involved will be punished for what they have done.
I really enjoyed and appreciated the way director Tony Scott allows the relationship between Pita and Creasy to develop nicely before the action starts. This allows you to believe Creasy's love for Pita is genuine.
The action itself can be brutal at times but it is always believable. Everything the viewer witnesses could easily happen in real life. As soon as Pita is kidnapped the pace of the movie really picks up and it will have your eyes glued to the screen.
Washington plays Creasy to perfection, intimidating and destructive yet fragile and caring at the same time. Creasy is a character with nothing to lose. It is Creasy's unpredictability that Washington brings across so well.
Christopher Walken is as charismatic as Rayburn, Creasy's only friend. Not a huge roll for the talented actor but he plays it well.
The rest of the cast do a good job, with Marc Anthony and Radha Mitchell very believable as Pita's parents. I especially enjoyed Mitchell's performance following Pita's kidnapping.
With good direction and an accomplished cast, this all action game of cat and mouse twists and turns it's way to a dramatic conclusion.
Best Line: "He is going to paint his masterpiece."
First things first, misleading title folks. He is not on fire. I watched this all the way through and Denzel was definitely not on fire, unless you're talking about his acting. He delivers one heck of a blazing performance in this taut action thriller. Billed as a 'revenge Godfather movie' this is perfect film fodder for mid week blues.
Denzel plays a burnt out cop and assassin, who is hired to protect a young family in Latin America. Denzel's character Greacy is world weary and does not want the job, especially as it involves keeping an eye on curious youngster Daokota Fanning. He begins to warm to the job though and builds a strong bond with the girl.
Things start to go wrong though, when the kid gets kidnapped, sending the parents into emotional anguish as the kidnappers demand a ransom for her release. Greacy vows to exact an horrific revenge on the kidnappers and will stop at nothing until justice as been done.
This is a bloody, gritty and realistic thriller with remarkable performances from all involved. Washington is quiet at first before he starts to up the ante, turning into a violent avenger. Dakota Fanning is excellent as the kid and there are some superb supporting roles from Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke and Radha Mitchell. I was delighted to see eighties stalwart Rachel Ticotin back in a strong role too. This is a stellar cast and it really lifts the film.
The set up is superb too, director Scott takes his time to build relationships leisurely, before unleashing the mayhem. You know it is coming, but you don't know when and he keeps you guessing. Plot twists which will surprise, some shocking death scenes and stunning locations underpin this thriller. Despite quite a long running time, this is relentless and is one of the finest thrillers I have ever watched. Buy it, you won't regret it.
OMG! Brilliant action packed suspense thriller. Loved every minute of this move and seen in many times. Denzel Washington is a superb actor and one of my favourite actors.
Man on Fire is the 1987 film based on the 1980 novel of the same name by A. J. Quinnell. This remake of the story was filmed in 2004.
John Creasy (Denzel Washington) is a lost soul who drinks to forget. A former government operative searching for inspiration and redemption. An old friend (Christopher Walken) who lives in Mexico gets Creasy a job as a bodyguard for nine-year-old Lupita 'Pita' Ramos (Dakota Fanning), the daughter of Mexican Samuel (Marc Anthony) and his American wife Lisa (Radha Mitchell). Creasy's primary job is to protect Pita from the kidnapping attempts that are an increasing menace to the children of Mexico City's wealthy. A man of few words and many secrets, Creasy initially rejects Pita's friendship and is purely professional but soon a close friendship grows between them. When Pita is kidnapped despite Creasy's valiant attempts to save her, he will do anything to bring all of those involved to justice. Casey unleashes his full fury and this movie becomes a violent bloody action packed revenge movie.
A good emotional story line packed with brilliant action and fantastic performances from Denzel Washington and the growing talent of Dakota Fanning. Great seeing the legendary Chrisopher Walken and he does us proud as always. This movie is a 2 for 1 special offer. The first part is a film about friendship and the second part of the movie is a bloody action packed revenge movie. The film has a brilliant twist at the end and there is a scene at the end that will make you want to burst into tears and I'm a bloke, lol.
I was not particularly fussed about this film when it first came out. It was a few years later when I was round at a friends house for a movie night and she suggested we watch Man on fire which she had on DVD. I do generally like Denzel Washington as an actor so I thought why not.
The film was a little slow to start for me but it picked up considerably quickly and it wasn't long before I was enthralled.
Denzel plays an old CIA agent, John Creasy who is hired by Mexican business man Samuel Ramos (played by marc Anthony none other than J-los hubby!) to protect his 9year old daughter Pita , played by Dakota Fanning, who coming from a wealthy family is at risk from kidnapping.
John is reluctant to take the job but needs the money. He therefore takes it but trys to resist all of Pita's attempts to befriend him until eventually she gets under his skin and he fins himself becoming close to her.
One day however the worst happens and Pita is kidnapped and John, who took a bullet in the chaos, vows to not rest until she is found. The plot thickens as we realise that those who took her had help from corrupt policeman and a failed attempt to pay the ransom money ends with the money being stolen and no sign of the little girl.
Set against the backdrop of the corruption and danger that lurks in Mexico city, this film gives a fantastic portrayal of a young couple's worst nightmare. The film is full of action and fight scenes that are exciting and thrilling to watch. However it also contains moments of pure beauty and sadness, particularly in the relationship between John and Pita and the anguish he feels when looking for her.
I won't spoil the ending but I will say there are a few twists and turns along the way and it was one of the most heartbreakingly moving endings to a film I have seen. It had me weeping like a baby.
What I loved most about the film however was that the relationship between the troubled and brooding Body guard and the little girl did not seem contrived or unrealistic. It was done in such a way that it was very believable and endearing.
Denzel Washington made an outstanding performance and Dakota Fanning was fantastic as well. She certainly held her own amongst a strong cast of actors.
Denzel was also not portrayed in a typical hero way either. We were aware of his flaws and his problems which made him a much more 3 dimensional character and much more realistic. It also made the relationship and love that blossomed between him and the little girl even lovelier to watch.
Man On Fire is an amazing film from 2004 starring Denzil Washington and Dakota Fanning.
Denzel plays John Creasy, an ex CIA agent who is hired by a rich Mexican businessman, as a bodyguard for his nine year old daughter, Pita, brilliantly played by Dakota Fanning.
Pita is a sweet child who tries hard to befriend her new bodyguard, but Creasy just isn't interested. His character comes across as cold and hardened to the world, but Pita slowly but surely breaks through his shell. In time they become firm friends and both gain a great deal from that friendship.
This thriller really moves up a gear when Pita is kidnapped. There is so much action in this film but if I told you anymore, I would spoil it for anyone who hadn't seen it yet. Creasy, though is determined to do anything to get her back.
This is a violent movie and is rated 18. It runs for nearly two and a half hours but is well worth making the time to watch.
I found it to be an exciting film, which kept you on the edge of your seat. It was violent, sad, uplifting in parts and ultimately very moving. Both Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning played their parts brilliantly and there were quite a few other well known faces in it.
I would definately recommend it to anyone who hasn't watched it.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Tony Scott is known for his extremely glossy style of filmmaking, perhaps exhibited best in his solid Will Smith vehicle Enemy of the State. He does not know how to make a calm film, and will frequently dart around with freneticism and some of the most absurd jump cutting you'll ever see from a mainstream American filmmaker. Nevertheless, his effect does have its purposes, and in epic thriller Man on Fire, he finds a way to harness this energy.
The film takes place in Mexico City, which has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the entire world. As a result, lawyer Jordan (Mickey Rourke) recommends to wealthy hotshot Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) that he hires a body guard to protect his young daughter, Lupita "Pita" Ramos (Dakota Fanning). In this stead, he hires ex-CIA agent John Creasy (Denzel Washington), who goes out of his way to ensure that she stays alive, but when she is kidnapped in a surprise attack, he will have to put more on the line than he ever expected to win her back.
Although overlong, this is a cracking revenge thriller that sees Washington on top form, and the script doesn't take itself too seriously (one scene involving a block of C4 explosive inserted into a man's anus is particularly hilarious), although I wish Scott had been brave enough to use the ballsier alternate ending that appears on the DVD as the proper theatrical climax.
Despite the "glossy" look, the film is a great parable of revenge and family with an excellent performance from Denzel Washington and a solid turn from Dakota Fanning. It all ties together perhaps a little too quickly near the end, but this film is an intense and compelling thriller from start to finish.
This is a story about a relationship between a man (Creasy) and a little girl (Pita). It is based within Mexic City where kidnappings have been happening, Creasy is hired to be a bodyguard to Pita so she is able to go back to school. At first you follow the story of the relationship at first he is 'removed' and doesn't want a relationship but the more time he spends with her the closer they get. One day shes kidnapped and Creasy is shot down, when he awakes she has been gone for two days, there is an exchange of cash for her return but its goes wrong. Creasy goes out and seeks revenge on anyone that was part of the kidnapping, soon he finds himself face to face with her father as the plot of the kidnapping unfolds. The ending will likely to play with all your emotions. The story seems slow at first but once the kidnapping has happened you will be on the edge of your seat .
Man on Fire is an explosive film that keeps you gripped until the end.
Creasy (Denzel Washington) is a former assassin, who is all washed up and big on the alcohol. His friend hooks him up with a job to be a bodyguard to Pita (Daktoa Fanning), who lives in Mexico where there have been a lot of child kidnappings.
Pita warms to Creasy and starts to break down his walls and barriers, gives him a purpose in life again and they develop a very close bond.
Whilst in Creasy's care Pita is kidnapped (with Creasy being half killed in the process).
Creasy then calls out the assassin within and goes on a rampage to find whoever is responsible, who knew about or profited from Pita's kidnapping and make them pay.
He uncovers the goings on behind the mexican kidnappings in the process and "elimates" each person who took part.
Will not say anymore and spoil it!
The torture type scenes of the movie honestly make you cringe and Denzel is mind-blowing as Creasy, delivering a man torn apart with guilt and vengence.
One of the best films ever released.
Style trumps substance in Man on Fire, a slick, brooding reunion of Crimson Tide star Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott. The ominous, crime-ridden setting is Mexico City, where a dour, alcoholic warrior with a mysterious Black Ops past (Washington) seeks redemption as the devoted bodyguard of a lovable 9-year-old girl (the precociously gifted Dakota Fanning), then responds with predictable fury when she is kidnapped and presumably killed. Prolific screenwriter Brian Helgeland (Mystic River, L.A. Confidential) sets a solid emotional foundation for Washington's tormented character, and Scott's stylistic excess compensates for a distended plot that's both repellently violent and viscerally absorbing. Among Scott's more distracting techniques is the use of free-roaming, comic-bookish subtitles... even when they're unnecessary! Adapted from a novel by A.J. Quinnell and previously filmed as a 1987 vehicle for Scott Glenn, Man on Fire is roughly on par with Scott's similar 1990 film Revenge, efficiently satisfying Washington's incendiary bloodlust under a heavy blanket of humid, doom-laden atmosphere. --Jeff Shannon