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In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Samuel Ramos
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Mariana Garcia Guerrero
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Victor Fuentes
Gero Camilo ...
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Jorge Gonzalez
Charles Paraventi ...
Jersey Boy
Carmen Salinas ...
Guardian Three
Esteban De La Trinidad ...
Guardian Two
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Storyline

A wave of kidnappings has swept through Mexico, feeding a growing sense of panic among its wealthier citizens, especially parents. In one six-day period, there were twenty-four abductions, leading many to hire bodyguards for their children. Into this world enters John Creasy, a burned-out ex-CIA operative/assassin, who has given up on life. Creasy's friend Rayburn brings him to Mexico City to be a bodyguard to nine-year-old Pita Ramos, daughter of industrialist Samuel Ramos and his wife Lisa. Creasy is not interested in being a bodyguard, especially to a youngster, but for lack of something better to do, he accepts the assignment. Creasy barely tolerates the precocious child and her pestering questions about him and his life. But slowly, she chips away at his seemingly impenetrable exterior, his defenses drop, and he opens up to her. Creasy's new-found purpose in life is shattered when Pita is kidnapped. Despite being seriously wounded during the kidnapping, he vows to kill anyone ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge is a meal best served cold See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hombre en llamas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,751,490 (USA) (23 April 2004)

Gross:

$3,894,070 (Japan) (21 January 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In A.J. Quinnell's novel Dakota Fanning's character in Italy was named Pinta. After director Tony Scott's changed the film's setting to Mexico and discovered that "Pinta" is Mexican slang for "whore", he had the name changed to "Pita" and made her full name Lupita. See more »

Goofs

When Creasy chases Aurelio Sanchez into his house, the weather is clear, but just as he opens the door for the first time with the small boy, it's raining outside. In the roof scene a few moments later, it's clear again. See more »

Quotes

Creasy: Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting.
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to Mexico City. A very special place. See more »

Connections

References The Fan (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Mickey
Written by Michael Chapman and Nicolas Chinn (as Nicky Chinn)
Performed by Toni Basil
Courtesy of Razor & Tie Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sugaroo!
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Denzel VS Mexico City... with unexpected heart
10 January 2007 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Alcoholic mercenary Creasy (Washington) is all washed-up, until his friend (Walken) finds him a job in Mexico City, as bodyguard for a rich family's little girl Pita (Fanning). The taciturn man and melancholy girl slowly develop a strong bond... that is utterly shattered the day that Pita is kidnapped and that negotiations are sorely mishandled.

"Man on Fire"'s title works against it. It proclaims an adrenaline-fueled action film, when in fact what we get is very different. What could be mistakenly thought to be a prologue (Creasy is introduced, meets Pita and the relationship is shown) constitutes a good half of the film's running time. Washington and Faning are on top form, the former tortured and angry and the latter endearing without being cloying, so it is a tribute to Scott and screenwriter Helgeland that the film takes its time showing their odd relationship. This makes things all the more hurtful and outraging when she is captured in a kidnapping that leaves Creasy severely scarred, both emotionally and physically.

The film earns its title in the second half, not because of non-stop action - which it fore-goes in order to give us something more pondered and cruel - but because Creasy is literally ablaze with silent fury. As he hunts down anyone who participated or profited from Pita's kidnapping, dismantling rings of Mexico City's tower of corruption, his methods get bloodier while his movement actually get slower. Creasy races against time and his own likely death, as a tragic figure who's newfound reason to live has been taken away from him.

The performances are fine, with great turns from the two leads and superb supporting turns by the always reliable Christopher Walken and Jiancarlo Giannini. What sometime detracts from the film's quality is Tony Scott's now signature messy visuals. While some shots are magnificent, reminiscent of brother Ridley's work, some are almost trashy and epilepsy-inducing (some unnecessary hyper-MTV editing). the man redeems himself by handling his actors with care, superbly illustrating his environment and creating a stark atmosphere.

This is a precious oddity: a quality blockbuster.


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