Man on Fire (2004)
Frequently Asked Questions
Some viewers complain that this is a plot hole, but there is a likely explanation that is implied in the movie, though not outright stated. 'The Voice' said "I'm a business man. A dead girl is worth nothing. She is alive.". This means he lead the family to believe she was dead so they wouldn't try to get her back. As The Voice's nephew was killed in the ambushed exchange, it's likely he wanted a form of revenge. He considers himself a businessman, so killing Pita wouldn't gain him any profit. So The Voice likely would have sold Pita. Either as slave labour or in to child trafficking.
The dvd special features with commentary by Lucas Foster, Brian Helgeland, and Dakota Fanning this issue comes up in discussion and they state that the original idea was to increase the ransom amount but it never made it into the film due to time.
Creasy needed Aurelio as insurance to Pita's safety. It is made clear at the beginning of the film that 75% of the victims do not survive, and those that do will likely have body parts mutilated even if the ransoms are paid (the victim shown during the opening titles had his ear cut off before La Hermandad released him). So the circumstances for the final trade were: (1) Creasy in exchange for Pita, and (2) Aurelio in exchange for Pita being returned unharmed and all in one piece.
La Hermandad could not harm Pita in retribution for Creasy buckshooting Aurelio's hand off because Creasy had already done so before The Voice revealed to him that Pita was still alive. If The Voice did proceed to harm Pita, then Creasy would've done even more to Aurelio as well, and it would've been a lose-lose situtation for both men.
Creasy is willing, in the end, to sacrifice himself for the sake of Pita. Creasy undergoes a transformation early in the film; in the beginning he was an alcoholic loner who even attempts suicide but the round misfires. Pita manages to rouse feelings of compassion in Creasy and he develops a friendship with her, giving him a new found sense of life. When Pita is kidnapped and believed to be killed that is taken from him, and being a man with nothing to lose he is prepared to burn down the world till justice is served.
Upon the revelation that she is alive, Creasy must decide how valuable she is to him. Throughout the film, he shows he is prepared to do whatever is necessary for her (in getting justice), and for Creasy, to give up his own life for her is the ultimate sacrifice. Creasy would have likely never have done that for anyone in the past, and being a killer sees himself beyond redemption (if you recall his talk with Christopher Walken's character) and his sacrificing himself for Pita is his act of redemption and absolution. He was also critically wounded, and he probably didn't see himself making it past the day alive anyway, so he was more than happy to trade places with Pita, who was at the beginning of her life.
November 12, 2017: Deleted the QA "Is Mexico City Really Like That?" because it was an opinion piece written in the first person. FAQ pages are compiled by many contributors; they are not the places for editorials and personal opinions. There is no 'I' on a FAQ page.
November 14, 2017: Re-worded and tightened up "Why did "The Voice" lead Pita's family to believe she was dead?" slightly.