Man on fire

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Man on fire


Man on fire was an action film cast in 2004. Tony Scott directed the movie. The action-thriller is based on a 1980 novel that bears the same name written by A. Quinnell. The main actor is Denzel Washington who portrays the character John Creasy, a sad and former alcoholic. The plot is based on Creasy’s job as a bodyguard to Lupita Ramos aa nine-year-old daughter to Samwel Ramos. Paul Rayburn suggested the job intending to help his friend recover and give him a purpose in life (Bevan).

One day during his daily bodyguard routine, things go wrong when Lupita is kidnapped, and Creasy is fatally wounded. Creasy notices that the police are involved in the kidnap and uses other means to expose the corruption that has become the daily routine of the police federation. Creasy befriends Mariana Garcia, a famous journalist that offers to help him in the investigation. Now Creasy had gotten so close to Lupita that he decides to take matters into his own hands. The investigation becomes soar as there are lots of killings in the way. He even interrogates Lupita’s father, Samwel and when he learns that Samwel is involved Creasy leaves his suicide gun to him and suggests that Samwel atones for his sins. Samwel commits suicide leaving his daughter fatherless. Creasy dies in the rescue process of Lupita (Bevan). The movie was a box success despite contrasting opinions and reviews.


Some critiques use the phrase that the film starts well but goes all out violently in the second half. The movie has a 39% rating on Rotten tomatoes. Other critiques unsympathetically argue that Creasy should have been displeased with the killings and also taken a moderate approach with the investigation. While Quinnel, the author of the book admits the violent nature of the movie. Quinnell states that if anger is not restrained, the outcomes are often awful. He is pleased with the way Denzel Washington plays the character, Creasy. The movie meets the character perception of Creasy, a depressed alcoholic man.

Nevertheless, other critics are pleased with the mouthwatering shooting of the film. The movie is like eye candy to some. Such phrases are common among critics who are pleased with the use of colour filters. According to them, the colour filters suit every scene. The format of subtitles is also merely dazzling. Instead of the standard method of running them at the bottom, the director decided to let them pop up randomly on the film, which is captivating (Pouransari, Hadi & Saman Ghili).

The title “man on fire” works against it. Viewers expect a fantastic adrenaline-fuelled action film right away, but that takes time until the latter half of the movie. However, there is a long latency period required to build a relationship between Creasy and Lupita. The strong bond is essential to give Creasy a purpose and suit the need for revenge. When Pita is kidnapped, Creasy goes on a revenge rampage. The movie earns its title in the latter half because Creasy is filled with silent fury. His actions demonstrate this. He hunts down anyone and everyone that was involved in the kidnap and the process dismantling the towers of corruption in Mexico city.

Denzel Washington’s performance was powerful for a non-original story. Creasy is introduced to the viewers as a drunkard, hopeless and depressed individual. The director uses these displeasing traits to sympathize the actor to the general audience. When the connection to Lupita is finally formed, one cannot help but feel Creasy’s anger. The first part of the movie was critical to keep the viewer glued to their sits and ponder on what was going to happen next. It is impressive that the director was able to create various twists to the plot, such as the father being a culprit together with the police force. Every director usually tries to pull together scenes that the audience can be able to relate to and get angered and sympathize at the same time. The hero outshoots and outwits the bad guys in Mexico. What is fantastic is that Creasy appears to be homeless, yet he has a regular variation of wardrobe and weaponry. The techniques involved are bloody, he is even shot in the process, and during the late minutes of the film, Creasy races against time to save Lupita. He should have sought medical help instead of being so reckless.

On the other hand, the performances are great with right turns and excellent support from Chris Walker and Jiancarlo Giannini. The only distracting stuff is Tony Scott’s signature muddled pictures. The length of the movie is disturbing, and one may forgive Scott for the scanty plot if it was shorter. Some are genuinely magnificent, while the others are trashy and epileptic. However, the director redeems himself by handling his actors superbly and also by making fair use of the environment to create a good atmosphere for the movie.

As the movie continues in the latter half, many people die, and critics argue that one may indeed think that the film should be over only to be introduced to a whole new chapter. This then begs the question of the law of economy of characters which states that a movie contains no non-essential actors. An actor with an insignificant role should be avoided. The plot of the movie is involved yet disappointing at the same time. All critics have their angle to glamour at this piece of art. Even with the disappointing storyline, the director included great actors to compensate for the limited plot (Janicke, Sophie, and Arthur) The narrative picks up the central concept of action movies that depicts a hero that tries to save someone willingly. As displayed in the story, the hero is unselfish and even gives his life for the young lady. This is the most disappointing part of the story where the viewers expected Creasy to come out alive. The screenplay was outstanding with a few hiccups.


Movies often play significant roles in society. They are often necessary for entertainment. Films may be used to educate society. With such audacious roles, the directors have a significant role to play to ensure the audience is glued to the screen. The director must organize the scene, the plot of the story, atmosphere. The emotions of the movie usually draw an influential audience. Therefore, the directors must perform their roles. Even the choice of actors is very critical. As seen in the movie, Denzel was quite a performer as always. Massive regards to him for delivering such a masterpiece.

Works cited

Bevan, Joseph. “Man on Fire: Tony Scott.” BFI. org. uk 5 (2014).

Janicke, Sophie H., and Arthur A. Raney. “Modeling the antihero narrative enjoyment process.” Psychology of Popular Media Culture 7.4 (2018): 533.

Pouransari, Hadi, and Saman Ghili. “Deep learning for sentiment analysis of movie reviews.” Technical report, Stanford University, Tech. Rep. (2014).

Sahu, Tirath Prasad, and Sanjeev Ahuja. “Sentiment analysis of movie reviews: A study on feature selection & classification algorithms.” 2016 International Conference on Microelectronics, Computing and Communications (MicroCom). IEEE, 2016.

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