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Man on Fire
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Web Site: www.manonfiremovie.com
Kiddie Movie: For goodness sake, leave the little ones at home.
Date Movie: She might get frightened and hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: Radha Mitchell wears some slinky clothes, but the sex is lacking.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots and lots of it.
Action: Some people run and get chased.
Laughs: A good chuckle or two.
Memorable Scene: Creasy chopping off fingers to get information.
Memorable Quote: Creasy to bad guy:  "That's what you have up your ass right now."
Directed By: Tony Scott
Produced By: Lucas Foster, Arnon Milchan, Tony Scott

Man on Fire
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:22 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I wish I were a bigger man. Alright, Iím pretty big now, but I wish I were better built, kinda like a football player, because then I might have had the guts to ask the guy who sat next to me what in the hell he was doing bringing his 5ish year old daughter to see "Man on Fire." Sometimes the rating people are right, and usually, if a movie is rated "R" for only for two things Ė language and strong violence Ė you can bet the language is really bad and the strong violence is really strong. That being said, it didnít surprise me that by the end of the movie the little girl was in tears, shading her eyes, and probably headed for some wonderful nightmares in the coming days. Iím wonder if mom knew. Anyway, enough of my shortcomings, what about the movie? I loved it except for the ending and the artsy shots that were really unnecessary.

For this movie we get the very talented Denzel Washington playing John Creasy. Heís a former government agent whose specialty was killing people. He had a friend while with the government, Rayburn, craftily played by Christopher Walken. Pretty much a drunk now, Rayburn suggests that Creasy work as a bodyguard for Samuel Ramosí (Marc Anthony) kid, Pita (Dakota Fanning). It seems lots of kids are being kidnapped in Mexico City, mostly the kids of rich folks, with the mob/gangs snatching them up for an easy payday. Creasy is distant and really doesnít want the gig, but Rayburn convinces him it might be a good thing. Pita is a firecracker, thinks the best of everyone, and works to break the wall that Creasy has built around him. Guess what? Of course, she does. So now Creasy is feeling a little bit better about life, when, low and behold, Pita is kidnapped, Creasy is shot multiple times, and while lying in the hospital, the money transfer goes bad and the bad men say they are killing Pita.

So, Creasy wakes up, Rayburn helps him out, and in a miraculous recovery time he is out seeking revenge on the people who took Pita. Now the strong violence kicks in, like a great scene where Creasy starts chopping of the fingers, one by one, and cauterizing the wound with a car cigarette light, of one of the bad guys as Creasy is trying to get information. And so, Creasy works his way up the bad guy ladder, taking them out one by one, as well as causing other harm and mayhem.

Iíll leave the story at that because there are some twists, maybe a little obvious, but twists nonetheless, that are interesting in the end.

Sometimes Denzel is good, sometimes bad, and this time he is great. Join him with the adorable Dakota Fanning and the always great Christopher Walken, and this film should be a knockout, and it pretty much was, except I didnít like the ending Ė it was too nice.

So if youíre looking for an over-the-top revenge flick, this is as good as any. You get some gratuitous violence, Radha Mitchell (she plays Samuelís wife) in some slinky clothing, and youíll probably like the connection between Creasy and Pita. The only problems I had were the movie was too long, clocking in at almost two and half hours and the ending was too nice.  The length problem could have been eliminated by getting rid of all of the artsy shots which I usually find unnecessary in any decent action flick, and the ending problem could have been fixed by making it a little more like something you would find in "The Sopranos" rather than the way they wrapped this movie.  In any case, though, leave your five year old daughter at home.

Iíll give "Man on Fire" 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It loses a star for simply being to nice at the end and 1/2 star for being too long.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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