Next up in my Denzel Washington mini season is a film directed by Tony Scott from 2004. They went on to work together on no less than five films including Crimson Tide, Déjà Vu, and The Taking of Pelham 123. The movie I’m reviewing here however is the action, drama Man on Fire in which Washington plays a wash-up former CIA agent tasked with protecting Dakota Fanning’s character. So without further ado here’s my Man on Fire blu-ray review.
- Man on Fire (2004)
- Genre: Action, Drama
- Directed by Tony Scott
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 1
- Released By 20th Century Fox
- Blu-ray Released: 9 Feb 2009
A wealthy Mexico City businessman Samuel Ramos hires an American bodyguard John Creasy (Denzel Washington) to look after his nine year old daughter Pita (Dakota Fanning) and fulfil the requirements for his kidnap and ransom insurance policy.
However Creasy is far from the top of his game and despite being a former CIA operative he’s also a mentally burnt out alcoholic. This is reflected in his lower fee. Would Samuel Ramos really take that risk with his daughter’s life?
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Tony Scott whilst the cinematography is handled by Paul Cameron. Personally I found the film to be very well made with nice use of camera angles and such. One effect that both works and can become a little annoying is the blurring style effect that conveys Creasy’s state of mind and alcohol addiction.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Harry Gregson-Williams & Lisa Gerrard.
Acting / Characters
This time Denzel Washington portrays a former CIA operative, John W. Creasy that’s seen and done too much killing to the point in which he ceases to be able to do his job effectively. In fact you could say he’s lost his purpose in life and his believe in life.
The films other key character is Pita, a nine year old girl played by Dakota Fanning. The friendship that develops between these two is at the heart of the film and ultimately is why the film succeeds.
However the rest of the cast isn’t too bad either with Christopher Walken making pretty much any film that much better just for having him in it. Meanwhile Mickey Rourke takes on the role of lawyer to the Ramos family.
In fact the rest of the cast put in some pretty good performances that helps to keep you invested in the storyline.
- Denzel Washington as John W. Creasy
- Dakota Fanning as Lupita (Pita) Ramos
- Christopher Walken as Paul Rayburn
- Radha Mitchell as Lisa Ramos
- Marc Anthony as Samuel Ramos
- Giancarlo Giannini as Miguel Manzano
- Mickey Rourke as Jordan Kalfus
- Rachel Ticotin as Mariana Garcia Guerrero
- Roberto Sosa as Daniel Sanchez
- Jesús Ochoa as Victor Fuentes
- Gero Camilo as Aurelio Sanchez
- Mario Zaragoza as Jorge Gonzalez
Conclusion: Man on Fire (2004) Film Review
Man on Fire is both action packed and story driven which ultimately creates a moving and compelling story arc. Washington really is on fire as he produces another fine performance. Yet he is matched on the acting front by the rather excellent Dakota Fanning. She plays the nine year old daughter of an allegedly rich family in Mexico. She produces a truly astonishing and perfect performance that really makes the film come together.
If you enjoyed my Man on Fire blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
Conclusion: Man on Fire Blu-ray Review
The Bluray is a 2009 release and as you would hope comes with a flawless presentation. The image quality is perfect and I have nothing negative to comment on.
On the extras side of thing there’s a documentary, music video and several deleted scenes which reveal a completely different focus of storyline was shot and then discarded. In the released version the film places the emphasis on Creasy’s friendship with the nine year old girl Pita Ramos and the fact that he’s in effect become more of a father to her than her real one.
However in the deleted scenes it shows the more stereotypical storyline of Creasy having a sexual relationship with Pita’s mother Lisa (Radha Mitchell). Had they gone down that route Man on Fire would just be a good but not outstanding film. Making it about the bodyguard looking after the rich family’s young daughter really brings the film to life.
- Commentary by Tony Scott/Lucas Foster/Brian Helgeland/Dakota Fanning
- Vengeance is Mine: Reinventing “Man on Fire”
- Deleted Scenes
- Photo Gallery
- Music Video: Kinky – “Oye Como Va”
On to my movie rating for Man on Fire (2004)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: GOOD
Amazon UK Links
Man on Fire (2004) is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version
So that’s my Man on Fire blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Summary: Man on Fire (2004) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Man on Fire (2004)
Duration: 146 mins
Director(s): Tony Scott
Actor(s): Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken, Radha Mitchell, Marc Anthony, Giancarlo Giannini, Rachel Ticotin, Mickey Rourke
Genre: Action, Drama
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Both Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning put in sublime performances in this must see action, drama.