Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, Marc Anthony, Radha Mitchell
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 146 minutes
Style trumps substance in Man on Fire, a slick, brooding reunion of Crimson Tide star Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott. The ominous, crime-ridden setting is Mexico City, where a dour, alcoholic warrior with a mysterious Black Ops past (Washington) seeks redemption as the devoted bodyguard of a lovable 9-year-old girl (the precociously gifted Dakota Fanning), then responds with predictable fury when she is kidnapped. Prolific screenwriter Brian Helgeland (Mystic River, L.A. Confidential) sets a solid emotional foundation for Washington's tormented character, and Scott's stylistic excess compensates for a distended plot that's both repellently violent and viscerally absorbing. Among Scott's more distracting techniques is the use of free-roaming, comic-bookish subtitles... even when they're unnecessary! Adapted from a novel by A.J. Quinnell and previously filmed as a 1987 vehicle for Scott Glenn, Man on Fire is roughly on par with Scott's similar 1990 film Revenge, efficiently satisfying Washington's incendiary bloodlust under a heavy blanket of humid, doom-laden atmosphere. --Jeff Shannon
Your resume is quite impressive. 16 years of miltary experience, extensive counter-terrorism work. I'm surprised anyone could afford you, what's the catch?
How does that affect you?
Coordination, reaction time. Top professionals try to kidnap your daughter I'll do the best I can but the service will be on par with the pay.
What if amatuers try?
I'd probably kill 'em. That likely?
No. No one is to know about your drinking. That includes my wife.