In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.
A wave of kidnappings has swept through Mexico, feeding a growing sense of panic among its wealthier citizens, especially parents. In one six-day period, there were twenty-four abductions, leading many to hire bodyguards for their children. Into this world enters John Creasy, a burned-out ex-CIA operative/assassin, who has given up on life. Creasy's friend Rayburn brings him to Mexico City to be a bodyguard to nine-year-old Pita Ramos, daughter of industrialist Samuel Ramos and his wife Lisa. Creasy is not interested in being a bodyguard, especially to a youngster, but for lack of something better to do, he accepts the assignment. Creasy barely tolerates the precocious child and her pestering questions about him and his life. But slowly, she chips away at his seemingly impenetrable exterior, his defenses drop, and he opens up to her. Creasy's new-found purpose in life is shattered when Pita is kidnapped. Despite being seriously wounded during the kidnapping, he vows to kill anyone involved in or profiting from the kidnapping. And no one can stop him.
Paitence when watching this movie. Just wait a little bit. Wait for characters to develop, wait for the connection between Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington. Paitence is all that's require for the first bit of this movie. After that it's time for all hell to break loose. Man On Fire is my feel good movie of the year. Why? Well, that's a pretty easy question to answer: because everything Washington's character does to the bad guys just feel so right. From the C4 incident to the rough interrogations, everything Washington does is merciless as should be. The killings are done in a very artistic fashion, the plot twists will open your eyes, and when this beast of a movie ends the only thing that's going to be quivering on your lips is: "Oh, hell yeah!" To be completely honest this is a must-see. There is no reason you shouldn't get off your computer this very second to go and rent this masterpiece. The entire plot is very well written, the interrogations make it so you don't miss a word said, and the ending will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside and yet at the same time, it will bring a tear to your eye. Go rent or buy this, now. I'm not asking you I'm telling you. This movie will not disappoint, and after it's all over you'll realize why it's the feel good movie of the year.
Denzel Washington is a good tough actor, but he just couldn't hold it together, Dakota Fanning was so annoying too me as she is in many of her movies (example: war of the worlds, hide n' seek, charlettes web, etc...) and the movie is so slow that i was bored waiting for something big too happen it was just one guy getting killed after another as Denzel searched for Dakota and it was so easily predictable, and the way Dakota's parents are so protective having too get her a bodyguard just reminds me how i loathe rich people and there snobby shrewdness, i felt like i was watching a movie about two rich people forcing one man to give up everything he hed to get back there snobby, bratty, little demon uugh! so i gave it a 3/10 just because of Denzels performance
This is a time-tested movie con, but rarely has it been deployed so contemptibly.
Some viewers complain that this is a plot hole, but there is a likely explanation that is implied in the movie, though not outright stated. 'The Voice' said "I'm a business man. A dead girl is worth nothing. She is alive.". This means he lead the family to believe she was dead so they wouldn't try to get her back. As The Voice's nephew was killed in the ambushed exchange, it's likely he wanted a form of revenge. He considers himself a businessman, so killing Pita wouldn't gain him any profit. So The Voice likely would have sold Pita. Either as slave labour or in to child trafficking.
The dvd special features with commentary by Lucas Foster, Brian Helgeland, and Dakota Fanning this issue comes up in discussion and they state that the original idea was to increase the ransom amount but it never made it into the film due to time. Creasy needed Aurelio as insurance to Pita's safety. It is made clear at the beginning of the film that 75% of the victims do not survive, and those that do will likely have body parts mutilated even if the ransoms are paid (the victim shown during the opening titles had his ear cut off before La Hermandad released him). So the circumstances for the final trade were: (1) Creasy in exchange for Pita, and (2) Aurelio in exchange for Pita being returned unharmed and all in one piece.
La Hermandad could not harm Pita in retribution for Creasy buckshooting Aurelio's hand off because Creasy had already done so before The Voice revealed to him that Pita was still alive. If The Voice did proceed to harm Pita, then Creasy would've done even more to Aurelio as well, and it would've been a lose-lose situtation for both men.
Creasy is willing, in the end, to sacrifice himself for the sake of Pita. Creasy undergoes a transformation early in the film; in the beginning he was an alcoholic loner who even attempts suicide but the round misfires. Pita manages to rouse feelings of compassion in Creasy and he develops a friendship with her, giving him a new found sense of life. When Pita is kidnapped and believed to be killed that is taken from him, and being a man with nothing to lose he is prepared to burn down the world till justice is served.
Upon the revelation that she is alive, Creasy must decide how valuable she is to him. Throughout the film, he shows he is prepared to do whatever is necessary for her (in getting justice), and for Creasy, to give up his own life for her is the ultimate sacrifice. Creasy would have likely never have done that for anyone in the past, and being a killer sees himself beyond redemption (if you recall his talk with Christopher Walken's character) and his sacrificing himself for Pita is his act of redemption and absolution. He was also critically wounded, and he probably didn't see himself making it past the day alive anyway, so he was more than happy to trade places with Pita, who was at the beginning of her life. November 12, 2017: Deleted the QA "Is Mexico City Really Like That?" because it was an opinion piece written in the first person. FAQ pages are compiled by many contributors; they are not the places for editorials and personal opinions. There is no 'I' on a FAQ page.
November 14, 2017: Re-worded and tightened up "Why did "The Voice" lead Pita's family to believe she was dead?" slightly. a5c7b9f00b
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