In a Mexico City wracked by a recent wave of kidnappings, ex-CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington) reluctantly accepts a job as a bodyguard for 9-year-old Lupita (Dakota Fanning), the daughter of wealthy businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony). Just as Creasy begins to develop a fondness for the young girl, a bloodthirsty gunman (Jesús Ochoa) kidnaps her. Now, Creasy must pick off a succession of corrupt cops and criminals to reach his ultimate object of vengeance.
The movie is based on the novel 1980 novel of the same name by A. J. Quinnell which was itself based on some real life incidents. The novel was already adapted into a 1987 movie Man on Fire. The movie tries to show Creasy as being a real person with the ending showing “John W. Creasy” and his lifetime dates which is not true.
There are a lot of very good scenes like the scene where Pita gets kidnapped or the scene where Creasy tortures the police officer who kidnaps Pita or the scene where he tortures Victor Fuentes. The scene where he has Daniel’s brother as hostage is very good too.
Denzel Washington was excellent as Creasy, a former CIA operative and bodyguard of Pita. Dakota Fanning was very good as Pita and looked very cute. Radha Mitchell was good as Lisa Ramos, Pita’s mother.
Christopher Walken was good as Paul, Creasy’s frined. Marc Anthony was good as Samuel Ramos, Pita’s father. Giancarlo Giannini was good as Miguel Manzano, director of the AFI. Mickey Rourke was good as Jordan Kalfus, Samuel Ramos’ lawyer. Rachel Ticotin was good as Mariana, a reporter.
Roberto Sosa was good as Daniel Sanchez aka “The Voice”. He was based on a real kidnapper, Daniel Arizmendi López. The rest of the cast was good too.
Tony Scott’s direction is very good. The relationship between the bodyguard and the little girl is very nicely established thereby justifying the revenge and torture that Creasy embarks upon. Cinematography by Paul Cameron is somewhat disturbing with too many fast changing images. Man on Fire is an excellent movie.