Man on Fire [2004] Movie Review Recommendation

Man on Fire [2004]

Based on a novel by A.J. Quinnell and directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun, Enemy of the State, Crimson Tide) Man on Fire is an almost perfect movie. This is a second attempt at the Quinnells novel, the first one from 1987 wasn’t that good, but the 2004 version is great. Although the original novel places the story in Italy, Tony Scott decided to put it in Mexico based on so many kidnappings that took and are taking place there. This is a nice touch, and it gives a movie a very serious and realistic note. With two highly polarized sides, it is pretty easy to pick your team and root for them throughout the movie.  My first movie with Denzel Washington was Ricochet and ever since then I have seen him in one great movie after another, giving spectacular performances, and Man on Fire is no exception. Mixing several genres, Scott created a movie that has its fair share of action, drama and thrills to satisfy almost any viewer, making a guaranteed viewing pleasure.

Mexico City is not a good place to live, not for the rich and not for the poor, with kidnappings happening on a daily or even hourly basis, its inhabitants have to be extra careful. Afraid for his daughters’ life, Samuel Ramos and his wife hire an ex-CIA operative Mr. Creasy not knowing that he’s a burnout, without a will to live (a perfect guy to hire for your security needs). Nine-year-old Pita Ramos now has a pretty weird but extremely able bodyguard, who goes with her everywhere. This relationship between the two of them, at first sight totally unlikely, will soon give Creasy a reason to live and Pita will have another father. But as always this is not going to last for long, still this is Mexico City.

Director: Tony Scott

Cast: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Marc Anthony, Radha Mitchell, Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke

Fun Facts: Denzel Washington was cast in this film because of a trip to a doctor. He ran into director Tony Scott in the waiting room of a medical office and the two men started chatting. Scott had not seen Washington in person since they worked together on Crimson Tide. Scott happened to see Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam the night before and seeing Washington made Scott think using of the two actors together.


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