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Overall Rating
3.73

Awesome35.4%
Worth A Look: 30.43%
Average: 15.53%
Pretty Bad: 8.7%
Total Crap: 9.94%

8 reviews, 113 user ratings


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Man on Fire (2004)
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Dennis Swennumson

"Some children, like Dakota Fanning, just need to be kindnapped."
3 stars

“Man on Fire” is another vigilante-seeks-vengeance flick; a trend that has marked released dates all year long. There’s been excellence in the “Kill Bill” saga, disappointment with “The Punisher” and the surprisingly engaging remake of “Walking Tall.” Even though there are more movies in this genre than necessary, exemplified with four sequels to the Charles Bronson classic “Death Wish”, revenge movies have become so lasting because they consistently offer fleeting hours of guilty pleasure entertainment. “Man on Fire” has that absorbing quality for most of its overlong running time but is ultimately disposable high-octane action fare, destined to become a darling of weekend afternoon line-ups on cable.

The hero here is Creasy, a bodyguard with a tortured soul played by Denzel Washington, burdened with guilt from years of doing assassinations around the world for the government. The movie opens with a statistic about frequent kidnappings in Latin America, most of which seeming to originate from Mexico City. Creasy is hired as a precautionary measure to protect the young daughter, Pita, of a rich industrialist. Thankfully the girl is kidnapped- Dakota Fanning encompasses a cuteness that is vomit-inducing- and Creasy sets out to dismantle the network of criminals and corrupt cops responsible.

“Man on Fire” was directed by Tony Scott, who is identified for being the lesser-talented Scott brother to Ridley and consistently proves it with ho-hum thrillers like “Enemy of the State” and “Spy Game.” There is a lot to like in any given Tony Scott movie, but there’s always a flaw that cancels most of the quality out. Here Scott has saturated “Man on Fire” with way too much style, a visual overkill that can become unbearable and distracting. There are constant fast cuts, jump cuts and fast-to-slow motion montages that often are overwhelming. Scott even toys around with the subtitles, instead of leaving them at the bottom of the frame the lines can sometimes come from a character’s mouth like in a comic book. “Man on Fire” has a razor-thin plot and Tony Scott fails in attempting to mask it with overblown visual techniques.

The visual approach may bring about headaches and seizures that take the viewer out of the movie, but overall “Man on Fire” remains a rather absorbing proceeding. Credit largely goes to the screen presence of Denzel Washington, and it’s welcome to see Gero Camilo from “City of God” show up in a small but important role. But unfortunately “Man on Fire” wears too thin, it has a good stopping point but tacks on the loose-end explanation making the movie run at an unneccessary 146 minutes.

“Man on Fire” has a good cast, including the always-entertaining Christopher Walken and Mickey Rourke, an engaging story but bludgeons the audience too much with its high-powered style. It just doesn’t work out.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9269&reviewer=338
originally posted: 09/12/04 09:32:23
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell dull slow revenge thriller wildly overrated 1 stars
4/16/14 Charles Tatum A huge surprise. 5 stars
10/23/09 the dork knight decent enough thriller, though undercooked. Walken quotes make for required viewing 4 stars
7/09/09 Jeff Wilder One of the best recent action thrillers plus a superb performance by Denzel Washington. 4 stars
1/27/09 LYNDON DOWLING POWER HOUSE PERFORMANCE BY DENZEL. DAKOTA SHINES, GREAT SUPPORTING CAST. 5 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner The storyline is well made! 5 stars
5/21/08 PAUL SHORTT MEAN SPIRITED REVENGE THRILLER WITH A HERO WHO POSSESSES THE SENSIBILITY OF A CORNERED RAT 1 stars
3/08/08 Kaz Corner Brlliant entertainent 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies not my favorite Denzel movie, but ok. 3 stars
2/02/08 Chris Crappy movie, just the story itself combined with Tony Scotts directing make it unwatchable 1 stars
7/26/07 Shawna Blake thats my favorite movie, denzel is such a good actor 5 stars
12/14/06 R.W.Welch Has a certain aura but a shade artsy. Ending is a bit much. 3 stars
12/14/06 Creasy Bear do what you do best.....kill them all.... 5 stars
11/25/06 MP Bartley It's a migraine in celluloid film. 2 stars
7/09/06 Dan Loved it, much better then that piece of crap Kill Bill. 5 stars
6/05/06 Erika This Movie Absolutly Rocks Creasy is a great man!!! 5 stars
2/21/06 Agent Sands Above average action entertainment. 5 stars
1/10/06 Michael Fast, who done it, get them back 4 stars
10/08/05 Jonathon Holmes another option if the "Kill Bill" movies are out of stock at Blockbuster 4 stars
9/04/05 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Guess this had a big enough blast from the ass to keep EricDSnider from even reviewing it! 4 stars
8/22/05 Regina George didn't really survive the school bus accident Based on true story? Confusing end details on screen, but usual disclaimer. 4 stars
8/21/05 chris hagopian Very good, inspiring although a little cynical 5 stars
7/30/05 hoosier daddy Its about a killer redeemed by using evil tools for good. Deal with it. 5 stars
6/06/05 Helen Bradley Faced paced thriller is a 'death watch' style great acting all round 5 stars
5/03/05 J K Rowling great movie 4 stars
4/20/05 Indrid Cold This should have been fantastic, but somehow it becomes dreary and unsatisfying. 3 stars
3/31/05 Dan GREAT MOVIE! 5 stars
3/27/05 Jack Sommersby Well-acted but absurdly overlong and just plain absurd. 2 stars
3/09/05 Doremimi Great performances, but this movie is ugly simply for ugliness' sake, and WAY too long. 3 stars
3/06/05 axefell Revenge is a pure animalistic drive, you either feelin it or you ain't. I'm a sanguinous MF 5 stars
3/01/05 THY FURY I enjoyed very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Very violent and sadly very true. Not for the fait hearted viewer. 4 stars
1/22/05 Tjalda L. Schiel Badly filmed and edited brutality galore. Very dispiriting garbage. 1 stars
1/05/05 HotGirl LOVED IT! 5 stars
11/28/04 Pam Bailey To me Denzel once again proved that he has the stuff that makes a movie worth watching. 5 stars
11/10/04 Jin melodramatic, manipulative, and overlong bloodbath. 2 stars
11/03/04 John the girl is great - good performances/ script but really overdone in terms of MTVstyle 3 stars
10/26/04 Puspa Allamanda .............. 5 stars
10/16/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Guess this had a big enough blast from the ass to keep EricDSnider from even reviewing it! 4 stars
10/16/04 Regina George didn't really survive the school bus accident Based on true story? Confusing end details on screen, but usual disclaimer. 4 stars
10/13/04 Gracie This movie is one of the best movies I have seen all year...Amazing 5 stars
10/11/04 michaelb14 "What I do best, gonna kill 'em. Anyone who was involved, anyone who profited from it" 5 stars
10/09/04 ELI Too artsy fartsy. and I didn't like any of the characters 2 stars
10/09/04 LilyM Whenever I was drawn into the story, the camera tricks drew me right back out. 2 stars
9/28/04 ben Psycho Racist Flick 1 stars
9/27/04 ALBERT awesome 5 stars
9/22/04 Shams Huque Denzel & Dakota were both superb! 5 stars
9/22/04 Kathy I thought it was great and very emotional, Denzel was fantastic! 5 stars
9/17/04 Kyle Wellcome I really thought Denzel played his role well. It's a good film, and its worth a watch. 4 stars
9/16/04 ALDO good flick with decent twists....Revenge at its finest 4 stars
9/14/04 Dan Was great to see him get back those bastards for what they did to pita 5 stars
9/01/04 Tommy A must-watch 5 stars
8/08/04 Melissa Great movie...Denzel is awesome! Had my heart pumping the entire time. 5 stars
8/07/04 esquire damn fine flick. really enjoyed it. 5 stars
8/06/04 McGraw Flawed but fun. Editing is over-the-top but nothing awful. 4 stars
8/04/04 Nikolai Denzel president? Decorrupts Mexico while Bush Nukem can't nail one camel herder in 3 years 4 stars
8/03/04 qasim top flick! denzel at his best! 5 stars
7/29/04 TXN Good movie but the mtv-style editing can be FRIGGIN IRRITATING 4 stars
7/04/04 MorallySound Awesome thiller, great acting, amazing cinematography. Real good movie, 5 stars
7/02/04 denzel's mom my baby done good! worth the 8 dollars! 5 stars
6/08/04 jamal this movie was off the chain h tight as hell. Denzel was still great and a tight ass g 5 stars
6/08/04 James Kustes Not very good. Even though it was Denzel. 2 stars
6/01/04 bryna morris I thought the movie was great 5 stars
5/29/04 Parker fan-bloody-tastic, ignoring the music-video montages. 4 stars
5/23/04 S F what a load of crap 2 stars
5/23/04 vagile Denzel at his best. Great fun in a dark comic book kind of way. 4 stars
5/20/04 cpbjr DW was good. 3 stars
5/17/04 PAMELA VERY VERY GOOD EXCITING NERVE WRACKING 4 stars
5/12/04 Josh pretty good, needs less of 1st hour 4 stars
5/09/04 Michael Bailey A bit long, but some great acting...especially Denzel and the little girl! 4 stars
5/06/04 D Page Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning give great depth to thier characters. 5 stars
5/05/04 DIRTYMOVIEMAN When are the awards given out. Denzel should be up again. Great Movie !!! 5 stars
5/05/04 Christian Jones Denzel was...Denzel, and Dakota Fanning was...aboluely amazing! 5 stars
5/04/04 minnie B. Clark excellent movie 5 stars
5/03/04 edward jones fucking awesome 5 stars
5/03/04 Nellie Wife comes to grips with home finances but what a price 4 stars
5/03/04 Ajax Half star for Denzel, other half for Dakota, all else just sucks. 1 stars
5/03/04 Atanu Fanning looks like a 40 year old bitch playing at being a child. she's a monstrosity. 1 stars
5/02/04 Terry McGowen very well done,but does stretch believability at times 3 stars
5/01/04 Gobsmack Flawed, not nearly as good as it could have been, but worthwhile overall. 4 stars
5/01/04 g. kane a little lengthy but still very good 5 stars
4/30/04 thomas jeffrson best movie i ever seen 5 stars
4/29/04 Cheryl Miller It held my interest & released my anger 4 stars
4/28/04 Ms J Exciting movie after the first 30 minutes 5 stars
4/27/04 KingNeutron Subtitles were effective. Only problem: Where did the $$$ come from, to get stolen? 4 stars
4/27/04 Daniel Bennison this movie was poo even worse than looking at Nathan White nude 1 stars
4/27/04 malcolm "Creasy's art is death, and he's about to paint his masterpiece." 5 stars
4/26/04 oldtexan good flick 4 stars
4/26/04 Chris Thomson I agree that this film is two movies in one, but the two just double your fun! 4 stars
4/26/04 a movie watcher great movie good story 5 stars
4/26/04 Diane Langlois Great movie! Denzel is fabulous as always! 5 stars
4/26/04 Lord Jiggy "Forgiveness is between them and God. I just arrange the meeting." Just misses greatness. 5 stars
4/26/04 Markus andrews it was a powerfully uplifting rollercoaster 4 stars
4/26/04 Cakes Denzel was awsome. And little Dakota is an incredible little giant 4 stars
4/26/04 Michael sucked. sucked. sucked 1 stars
4/26/04 gyrene Outstanding performance by Denzel.Clever camera work.Subtitles work well.Way too short. 5 stars
4/25/04 Mary Johnson Loved it. Violent yes but still a great movie 5 stars
4/25/04 julietsierra great movie! Great performances. The cinemetography adds to the "on edge" mood. Fantastic!! 5 stars
4/25/04 Alex Higa Action, drama and unique executions.....GREAT MOVIE 5 stars
4/25/04 Alan Johnson Great Moive, two thumbs up 5 stars
4/25/04 Bev Good but way too long 4 stars
4/25/04 Annie Oakley fabulous movie, very moving, made me cry 5 stars
4/25/04 shery great movieb 5 stars
4/25/04 Meghan Awesome 5 stars
4/25/04 Atanu Dakota fanning with all her creepiness is a wrong choice as ever. read the damn book. 1 stars
4/25/04 Maria M GREAT MOVIE!!! Highly recommend it--Dakota is a jewelry--Denzel is a great artist 5 stars
4/24/04 Melissa Great movie! ne of the better one's I have seen this year 4 stars
4/24/04 Deanna Not enough Walken (but then is there ever enough?) It is a terrific movie. 5 stars
4/24/04 Terry H Intredpid, gritty Denzel, with his classic "O.K." 4 stars
4/24/04 Fred Wow! Great movie! Dakota Fanning is impressively convincing! 5 stars
4/24/04 Christina holy crap! That Dakota Fanning is amazing. Denzel is DA MAN. 5 stars
4/24/04 john yummy Tony Scott, Denzel tougher than 'Training Day'...nice Mexico scenes, action, acting 5 stars
4/23/04 Mike V Tony Scott is a Tool. 2 words: Stylized Subtitiles. Waste of Denzel. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-2004 (R)
  DVD: 24-May-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Aug-2004




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