After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life, before he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters and can't stand idly by.
Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
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
Captioning mistranslation. Fuentes tells Samuel that he has been authorized to participate "ex officio", and the caption translates this as "unofficially". However, "ex officio" means "by virtue of the office", in this case Fuentes' position in the Anti-Kidnapping Division. See more »
Creasy's art is death, and he is about to paint his masterpiece.
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Special thanks to Mexico City. A very special place. See more »
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 »
Deedrah Reload (GMS Remix)
Written by Frederic Holysweski
Performed by Deedrah
Courtesy of Spun Records
(Contains a sample of "380 Volts"
Written and Performed by The S.U.N. Project
Also contains a sample of "The Rush"
Written by Riktam, Bansi and Chicago
Performed by Zorba
Courtesy of Spun Records/Tip World) See more »
Denzel VS Mexico City... with unexpected heart
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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