An alcoholic bodyguard goes after a Mexican brotherhood
after they kidnap the little girl he swore to protect.
Man on Fire (2004)
Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Brian Helgeland
Starring Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell, Christopher Walken, Marc Anthony, Giancarlo Giannini,
Mickey Rourke, Rachel Ticotin
Remake of 1987's Man on Fire
Based on the novel by A.J. Quinnell
Man on Fire was a badass action movie that packed a surprisingly high amount of narrative heft and emotion. Led by the always impeccable Denzel Washington, this film refuses to be the average "lone wolf versus the mafia" film and aspires to be something more akin to drama.
The performances were all solid, with Dakota Fanning being the real standout. Fanning was one of the few child actors who wasn't extremely annoying, and her chemistry with Washington helps make this film and their relationship more believable. Man on Fire started out as a typical action film, but about halfway in this film takes a drastic turn left and becomes something that I believe would inspire such revenge thrillers as Taken and John Wick.
I definitely think this film is worth a watch, particularly for its brutality and innovative methods of torture and murder. Denzel Washington was not the actor that people expected to become a reliable action star, but he has proved time and time again that he can more than handle it. With this film, he surpassed my expectations and delivered an action flick that was far from perfect, but ultimately enjoyable.