Published Work

Man on fire

Set in Mexico the movie is a power packed action thriller bringing out the delicate nature of a child kidnapping and one man's struggle to bring justice to the victims.

Cast: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, Marc Anthony
Director: Tony Scott

The economic turmoil within Mexico has forced many businesses to shut down. Wealthy families in an effort to profit from whatever little their investments may provide are forced to sell off their businesses to American buyers. Following this many locals have been forced out of jobs and this unrest has led to an increase in crime rates within the city.

Local gangs in an effort to make a quick buck are kidnapping family members for ransom and horror stories of how non-payment has resulted in deaths have been floating around.

John Creasy (Denzel Washington) a burned out and inebriated ex-marine, is recommended by his friend Rayburn (Christopher Walken) to assist a family is such a situation. The Ramos family have just recently been relieved of their previous bodyguard and with the sudden increase in the kidnappings are worried for their 9-year old daughter, Pita (Dakota Fanning). Coming with such high recommendations Creasy is offered the job easily.

The story unfolds as Denzel gets into an emotional attachment with Pita. Eventually, although expected, she is kidnapped. In the process of protecting her Denzel is shot repeatedly but not before a valiant shootouts with the bad guys. While in medical care, the ransom delivery is botched and news of the death of Pita is delivered to the parents.

With his newfound purpose in life suddenly gone a wounded Denzel vows to the mother of the child to find the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice. And no one can stop him.

The movie is good viewing material and keeps you thoroughly entertained. Despite much of a storyline, half of which is easily anticipated, Denzel manages to bring some life into it. There is nothing half hearted about his acting and this one-time Oscar winner stands tall with conviction. Denzel is so likeable that it makes you believe that the role was tailored to his acting and not the other way around, although these days it is difficult to even distinguish the two.

The cinematography is recognizable of similar movies with intentional jump cuts imposed on the viewer. Most of the time it signifies a semi-colon in the rhythm of the movie and is often used by the likes of Quentin Tarrantino.

Overall Tony Scott has managed to create an atmosphere of high paced action when there wasn't any; a tact possible by only the very talented. This coupled with a family drama surrounding the scenario make it a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

"Man on Fire" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has pervasive brutal violence and obscenity.