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Genre: Drama/Action
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken
RunTime: 2 hrs 26 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: NC-16

Opening Day: 9 September 2004

Synopsis (Courtesy from 20th Century Fox) :

Oscar winner Denzel Washington stars as a government operative / soldier of fortune, who has pretty much given up on life. In Mexico City, he reluctantly agrees to take a job to protect a child (Dakota Fanning) whose parents are threatened by a wave of kidnappings. He eventually becomes close to the child and their relationship reawakens and rekindles his spirit. When she is abducted, his fiery rage is unleashed on those he feels responsible, and he stops at nothing to save her.

Movie Review:

"Man On Fire" takes place in Mexico City, ranked third in the world for kidnappings and known for it's congested traffic and pollution but that doesn't mean that it is without it's merits. Director Tony Scott shot the movie with a gritty, richness in architectural and cultural history feel. Interpersed with quick cuts, enhanced editing techniques, Scott's visual treatment of MOF is almost identical to his last effort, "Spy Game" which is stylish in cinematography while retaining the essence of the story.

The plot is simple. Denzel Washington is John Creasy, a burned-out ex-CIA assassin who has given out on life. Pursuaded by his best friend, Rayburn (played by the ever-reliable Christopher Walken), Creasy decides to play bodyguard to an industralist, Samuel Ramos's (Marc Anthony now husband of Jennifer Lopez) daughter, Pita (Dakota Fanning of "I am Sam", "Uptown Girls"). But when Pita is kidnapped, Creasy vows to get back the girl and kill those who are involved in the kidnapping.

Washington is impressive with his portrayal of Creasy, a man who have lost all purposes in his life but regained his strength, emotion and humanity through the relationship with the nine year old he is assigned to protect. The prying Pita slowly builds up the emotional attachments with Creaser through her pestering questions, swimming lessons, undenied bursts of energy, an obvious opposite soul to the sullen Creasy. The first half of the movie dwells more on the relationship between Creasy and Pita. For the rest of the movie, Creasy with his ignited fire in him goes on a rampage seeking out the kidnappers and Pita. Rounds of bullets are fired, men are tortured mercilessly thus earning the movie an NC-16 rating. The plot thickens when Creasy found out there are more than meets the eye behind the kidnappings.

MOF is recommended for the high intensity level of human emotions displayed. You might not agree with Creasy’s way of seeking justice but at times depending on circumstances, the normal way of doing things might not achieve the desirable end results. As Creasy says, "Revenge is a dish best served cold". We have heard that before in last year "Kill Bill". I agree with that.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus Tee


. Taken (2008)

. American Gangster (2008)

. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

. Rogue Assassain (2007)

. Deja Vu (2006)

. Transporter 2 (2005)

. Unleashed (2005)

  Publicity Stills of "Man On Fire" (Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

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