Man On Fire (2004)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA/United Kingdom, 2004.  Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, New Regency Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Epsilon Motion Pictures.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This film operates under the grave misapprehension that, once taken, anyone would want back. Somehow,  has given birth to the whitest child on Earth with , and they are devastated when she is kidnapped from under the nose of her tough-as-nails bodyguard (Denzel Washington). The girl’s father is a wealthy Mexico City industrialist who reacts to a recent spate of kidnappings of rich kids by hiring Washington, a burned-out CIA operative who has lost his will to live. He gets it back when the little moppet not only steals his heart but gives him a goal to reach towards after she is kidnapped. Washington performs his duties with the usual moral outrage that he displays in these films, but as with most of Tony Scott’s movies, it’s a lot of (annoying) flash covering pre-packaged, emotionally manipulative content. Fanning is a talented child actor, but the fact that we’re basically instructed to like her before she ever gets around to earning our sympathy is enough to make you want to spend the ransom money at the track.

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