Man on Fire
April 23, 2004
On the Big Board
||"Look at me, look at me!" "Yes, Tony Scott, we see you."
This movie is a remake of the 1987 film that starred Scott Glenn, Joe Pesci, and Danny Aiello. It is based on the novel by A.J. Quinnell, who loves to write mercenary-type books. There are rumors floating around that Quinnell, whose real name is unknown, is writing these from personal experience. Supposedly the character of Creasy, portrayed by Glenn in 1987 and Denzel Washington in this remake, is actually Quinnell.
Denzel Washington plays Creasy, a bitter, broken former U.S. Marine/soldier of fortune who reluctantly agrees to move to Mexico City to take a bodyguard job for a wealthy family that has been receiving kidnapping threats. His hard facade is broken a bit as he starts to become close to their 10-year-old daughter, Pinta (the ubiquitous Dakota Fanning--last seen in every movie requiring a cute young girl in the last few years). As he befriends the child, his spirit is brought back to life.
Despite Creasy's best efforts, Pinta does indeed fall victim to abductors. As a result, the bodyguard's rage is like a consuming flame against the responsible parties, and he will stop at nothing to save her.
Radha Mitchell, feisty star of the BOP favorite "things that go bump in the night" movie Pitch Black, continues her attempts to break into the Hollywood mainstream, this time as the mother of the kidnapped girl. Latin singing sensation and rumored J.Lo rebound man, Marc Anthony plays the girl's father. We don't know exactly what role Mickey Rourke is playing, but we going to go out on a limb and say it's probably some kind of skanky, unsavory character.
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On an unusual note, director Tony Scott was supposed to helm the original 1987 movie, but because it would have been only his second film, the studio didn’t take a chance. Instead, he was signed on to direct a little film you might’ve heard of – Top Gun. The studio's lack of confidence might have just done wonders for Scott's career.
The script was adapted by the talented Brian Helgeland, whose previous credits include the excellent noir L.A. Confidential and last year's highly praised Mystic River. (Kim Hollis and Marty Doskins/BOP)
Comparison films for Man on Fire
|Enemy of The State
|Bone Collector, The