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Man on Fire (2004)

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

Director:

Tony Scott

Writers:

A.J. Quinnell (novel), Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,539 ( 22)
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... John W. Creasy
Dakota Fanning ... Lupita Ramos
Radha Mitchell ... Lisa Ramos
Christopher Walken ... Paul Rayburn
Marc Anthony ... Samuel Ramos
Giancarlo Giannini ... Miguel Manzano
Mickey Rourke ... Jordan Kalfus
Rachel Ticotin ... Mariana Garcia Guerrero
Roberto Sosa ... Daniel Sanchez
Jesús Ochoa ... Victor Fuentes
Gero Camilo Gero Camilo ... Aurelio Sanchez
Mario Zaragoza Mario Zaragoza ... Jorge Gonzalez
Charles Paraventi Charles Paraventi ... Jersey Boy
Carmen Salinas ... Guardian Three
Esteban De La Trinidad Esteban De La Trinidad ... Guardian Two
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Storyline

Hard drinking, burnt out ex CIA operative John Creasy has given up on life until he's hired as a bodyguard to protect nine year old Pita Ramos. Bit by bit, Creasy begins to reclaim some of his soul, but when pita is kidnapped, Creasy's fiery rage is finally released and he will stop at nothing to save her as he sets out on a dangerous, revenge fuelled rescue mission. Written by Freddie Bidwell

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sabotage his work, his fire will be released. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK | Mexico | Switzerland

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man on Fire See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,751,490, 25 April 2004

Gross USA:

$77,911,774

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$130,293,714
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production hired seventy local actors and 11,000 extras during more than three months of filming. See more »

Goofs

When Creasy first starts cutting the man's fingers off, the man is wearing/not wearing sunglasses between shots. See more »

Quotes

Rayburn: [as Manzano and his men are moving Creasy out of his hospital room] What's going on?
Manzano: Hospitals can be very dangerous places. Especially when you have killed two corrupt cops.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, when Jorge speaks Spanish to Creasy in the car, the stylized subtitles read "Don't fuck with me." For the home video releases, this was changed to "Don't mess with me." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Four (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

La Negra
Written by Rubén Fuentes (as Ruben Fuentes) and Silvestre Vargas (as Silvestre Vargas Vazquez)
Performed by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán (as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan)
Courtesy of Warner Music Mexico SA de CV
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Denzel VS Mexico City... with unexpected heart
10 January 2007 | by OttoVonBSee 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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