Man on Fire Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 18, 2012
Cool movie where Denzel protects a litte girl at all costs.....what isn't awesome about that?
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2012
Tony Scott's Man on Fire gives meaning to the word assassin.The plot doesn't necessarily blow anything out of the park, but the way the story itself unfolds is what gives this film its entertainment value. Despite being a tad lengthy, as it approaches 2 and a half hours, the first hour of character development really sets up the the second half quite nicely.It's no secret that time does pass until the action shows up, but it is worth the wait. The violence is served with a good helping of blood and brutality, while also not going overboard as to be on the gruesome side; however, Tony Scott's visual effects tends to detract from, not just the action scenes, but the rest of the film as well.Denzel Washington is a solid choice as former agent Creasy. Dakota Fanning also lives up to expectations. The chemistry between the two is on the money and this is what really makes this picture work.Man on Fire does have a few disappointments, but all in all, it is one recommendable film.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
Tony Scott takes a typical story of redemption and turns it into one of his typical, albeit entertaining stylish frenetic action romps.

John Creasy is a burnt out, depressed, alcoholic ex-CIA agent turned mercenary who gets a new lease on life after he agrees to become the bodyguard to a precocious little white girl named Pita living in Mexico City with her affluent "new money" parents.

Slowly but surely, Pita starts to rehumanize Creasy and bring him out of his slump. He goes over the edge and returns to his violent past life however, when she gets kidnapped and held for ransom. And, as you might expect, there's a twist (like always) and the film is heavy doses of both heart, mayhem, and splattered wall to wall with both blood and religious iconography/symbolism.

Basically this is a lot like Taxi Driver in many repects, though not nearly as competantly made, memorable, or brilliant. It's solid, sure, but Scott's stylistic tendencies are a bit overbearing and distracting here. I know he included them as a way of trying to set this routine story apart from other films of this ilk, but it doesn't work out for him nearly as much as it should.

The dialogue is clunky, the film isn't quite as balls to the wall in some places (as it should have been), and, even though I am a fan of heavy religious symbolism, it feels way too forced here. Also, the subtext involving corruption in Mexico is a little trite and really glossed over instead of being insightful and full of depth.

I do like htis movie though. I mean, it's Denzel Washington kicking ass and taking names...what's not to like? Walken put in an okay supporting performance where he doesn't paly a villain this time, and yeah, this is the breakout film for little Dakota Fanning who does a decent job with the amount of screentime she's given.

All in all, this is passable, but overwhelmingly underwhelming in it's lack of focus and over the top with it favoring of style over substance. B-.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2012
Based on a novel which I didn't know and actually a remake of an earlier film from 1987, pretty much the same deal accept its set in Italy as at the time there were many kidnappings there.

This time Scott sets the film in Mexico City for its high scores in kidnapping and the grounded Washington takes on the role as Creasy. First thing I have to mention is how good this film looks, the Scott brothers know how to make films look sweet and this is no exception. You really get a hot humid, sweaty, sticky feel for this setting, you can sense the tension and stress on 'Creasy's' shoulders merely from the weather that swirls around him.
Mexico City is a vibrant colourful place and Scott makes full use of this with his camera angles and uneasy sequences which he seems to almost blur when combined with the native soundtrack and fast movements of the action, everything feels uncomfortable as you wait for the inevitable to happen.

The only issue I had with the film is its really quite predictable even if you have never seen the first film or read the book, Washington is stoic and owns his role but you know what's gonna happen at every turn. The film is also a bit slow really as we see 'Creasy' gradually gain 'Lupita's' trust and friendship which is needed of course but basically the fun doesn't kick in until she is stolen away, until then your just watching filler as it were.

I think the film wants to be epic but doesn't really make it, the cast is certainly aimed at a thriller epic and the musical score really really wants you to feel the emotion as it builds towards the end but I personally just didn't feel it. I think Tony tries to nick his brothers idea from 'Gladiator' with the haunting score towards the end, the kind of 'Clannad' type sounds do seem rather familiar.

Its a solid film with good performances but not as stand out as you would hope for, quite bleak and dirty with a real gritty essence but ends up becoming a typical vengeance thriller, better than most but nothing grand.
Super Reviewer
½ September 18, 2010
Sporadic and over-the-top editing is "Man On Fire"'s protruding feature that makes it stand out from the rest of familiar movies of this type of genre. Do I needa add anything we know about Denzel? He's a beast. End of story.

The first half of "Man on Fire" is simply dedicated to the character development between Denzel's character, Creasy, and Pita, played by Dakota Fanning. Regrettably, it doesn't pan out to be much of a palpable or interesting story arc, but once the action picks up, it's entertaining. Not much more, not much less. There's unique ways to Tony Scott decides to subtitle certain lines, even when its spoken in english. It's stylish and creates a certain artistic style for the movie. The same goes with the editing style. By the time the movie ends, we just kinda go, "Okay, I guess that was the ending." In terms of the narrative, it's obvious there is a solid conclusion, but there isn't a satisfaction of a well-rounded movie. Nevertheless, it's entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2011
When it comes to conceiving an action film few can match director Tony Scott, sure the man has made a few duds, but which director hasn't? When Tony Scott and Denzel Washington get together, they always make something terrific. Man On Fire is one of those films. Supported by an incredible , Man On Fire is the story of a man hired to protect a girl from would be kidnappers in Mexico. When she's kidnapped he vows to get her back to her parents. Man On Fire is one monumental action film that blends elements of a Thriller and Revenge film into one package. The cinematography is well done, and it becomes a character in it's own right. Man On Fire is a well plotted and executed film that delivers top notch acting and a great story. One thing that seperates Man On Fire from action films is the genuine human emotion and unfolding drama of it's story. The film is superbly well executed and is quite different from usual revenge films action due to the fact of the believable drama that unfolds on screen. You really end up sympathizing with some of the characters especially Rika Balleto and John Creasy. Of all the films that I've seen with Denzel Washington, Man On Fire is one of his best, and one of my personal favorites. Washington is exciting in the lead of John Creasy as he uses his skills as a trained killer to hunt the kidnappers of his employers daughter. Some other talents include Micky Rourke and Christopher Walken. Tony Scoitt has made an intense film that possesses everything you'd expect from an excellent action film. A one of a kind thrill ride.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2011
OK. So the formula for this film may be along the lines of textbook kidnapper flick but, and its a big BUT, it is excellent.

I found this film thought provoking, intense and actually quite emotional to watch. Sure its predictable as hell, but watching Denzel Washington play John Creasy, a role he seemed born to play sure was entertaining.

The relationship between John Creasy, the bodyguard and little Lupita, the girl he is protecting is captivating as the washed up ex CIA agent fights with alcoholism and discovers a reason to start living again. If thats not enough for you, Rachel Ticotin (Con Air, Total Recall anyone?) puts in a good supporting role as a reporter out to help John Creasy as he attempts to find the kidnappers.

Go watch it, Go Buy it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2010
I think Mr. Scott has proved that there is such a thing as being too artsy. To the point of disrupting story telling and that is bad thing. It had the feel of a bad music video. And what was with the subtitles? Anyway, in the end I was a little confused on what exactly had happened, but oh well.
Either way, I expected better.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2010
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2007
04/07/2010 (DVD)

Finally! I have made time to watch this and I am so glad I did, it's really good.

A real vengeful flick that fuels rage and turns hope into determination making it quite an emotional experience.

I must admit though, there were a few camera tricks that was sort of annoying but otherwise a very decent film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2006
A pulse-pounding and red hot edge of your seat action-thriller. It sets the screen on fire. It's riveting, powerful, incredible and totally unforgettable. A revenge movie classic filled with gun play, suspense and compelling characters. Director, Tony Scott's work is astonishing. A masterpiece. Dazzling, very well-crafted and superbly performed. Stylish, thrilling and exhilarating. A gripping, extraordinary, intense and emotional powerhouse. It takes you on a journey of redemption and revenge like you wouldn't believe. This is one unforgettable adrenaline rush. Denzel Washington gives an explosive performance. Dakota Fanning is the heart and soul of the movie. A wonderful and effecting performance. Christopher Walken is terrific.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
It's definitely one of Denzel Washington's better roles, in that he actually played a different character. The film itself is very impressive, Tony Scott's style is very unique and a lot of elements are quite original. The story was interesting and unique, even though kidnapped children is not exactly a new subject.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2007
OMFG Amazing!
this movie is brilliant and moving and really powerful!
i love this movie dakota fanning is brilliant and denzel washington is amazing!
the storyline is fantastic and the movie is just brilliant i cried at the end a lituraly blubbered my eyes out!!
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2007
Burned out ex serviceman Denzel Washington takes a job protecting young Dakota Fanning in Mexico City: kidnap capital of the world. Denzel of course grows to love his tiny charge, finding new meaning in life yadda yadda until...gasp! She's KIDNAPPED!! (I know! I never saw that one coming either!!) Yes, this workmanlike plot combined with the hugely predictable twists and garish colour filters all make this look like a big screen version of CSI: Miami, one of my least favourite TV shows of all time. But I must admit, the earlier scenes as Den and Dakota get to know each other work quite nicely and have a genuine warmth about them. The pacing is also pretty good considering its length and watching Denzel go bad-ass is always fun. But once again, Tony bloody Scott is his own worst enemy and ruins any possibility of drama or emotional connection with his trademark wandering focus, twitchy chronology and all round visual clap trap. There's quite a good film lurking in here, but I found myself grumbling "OH FOR F**K'S SAKE! JUST GET ON WITH IT!" every time something important happened because of Scott's inability to stop f**king around. One day, a shrewd producer will hopefully employ a bad tempered, starving Rottweiler to keep his ass out of the editing suite. Or even better, release an interactive DVD of his films. "IF YOU WISH TO TURN OFF TONY'S VISUAL BULLSHIT, PRESS THE RED BUTTON NOW."
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2007
This movie is ultimately, in my possibly not so humble opinion, about love. While I suppose the film could be seen as a sinister thing, I think to focus only on the destruction this film mounts would be a mistake: to the contrary, it is the darkness which makes the brightness so much more blinding, a study in the differences between destruction and construction.

I saw the film as a portrait - and a touching one at that. While there was no small measure of violence here, I found the violence not at all gratuitous. I was interested that another viewer saw the film as a throwback to an era when vengeance was cool: It was my impression that the director, or script, or actors, or whatever combination of these conspired to make the film what it was, invite the audience to draw its own conclusions about the place of vengeance in the world, rather than painting it in either strictly glorious or strictly ugly shades: it approached the complexity of life and the essence of love, it painted them in gentle hues on the screen, and then walked away to let them be.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
"Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting."

Denzel Washington plays a gritty, alcoholic character who finds a reason to live. And that reason is a lovable girl, played by Dakota Fanning, the most talented child actor I've ever seen.

"Man on fire" is a gritty, tough film with lots of violent scenes. We see Creasy cut off fingers, torture, blow up people who doesn't offer information about the kidnapping of Pita (Dakota's character). Creasy has nothing to live for and nobody to love but her, so his actions are ruthless but in my opinion, justified.

Tony Scott takes time in developing the characters and the bond between Creasy and Pita is one of the strongest I've seen on the big screen.

Scott's filmmaking technique is rough and unconventional at times but the fast editing and grainy picture fits perfectly the film.

"Man on fire" is a well made and important film in every aspect and a true masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2007
Now I know the capacity of the actor Denzel Washington after I watched this movie... He played the character John Creasy so strongly in this movie, which is for me it's great, it just showed that AMPAS did a great job for giving him an Oscar a few years ago... He build his character strongly, I can even felt that... The story itself just got confused the first time, but when the relationship between Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning goes well, the story become more interesting... And after the kidnapping, it just getting more and more interested to me... I become more curious to know what will happen next... The conspiracy that happen in this movie just great, even it's a little amusing... And how Creasy get rid of this kidnapping thing problem, it was brilliant for me... But, I kinda a little disturbed by the directing style when the bad guys calling... It just feeling weird and very inconvenient... But overall, it's a great movie to watch... Denzel Washington was great here, so does Dakota Fanning...
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2008
Average 80's style actioner, too much fast cuts doesn't make an action movie more "exciting".
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2007
I'd forgotten what a great film this was, it's easy to remember it for the first half of the film, which seems a little predictable and then the second half of the film takes on a completely different tempo. I really liked the quirky way in which the sub-titles appeared on the screen, it added to urgency and menace of the scene.

A great revenge film.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008
Denzel Washington rejuvenating his 21st century as nothin' but a badglass. Makes you not want to go to Mexico unfortunately.
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