January 25th: Average Redux


34. Man on Fire (Tony Scott, 2004)


You know what you’re getting with Tony Scott don’t you? Rapid cross-cutting, sumptuous colours, filtered, bleached and… well… anything goes really. I watched the original adaptation back on January 1st and was a little under-whelmed by the pacing and style of the film. Well Tony Scott is all about a rapid pace and an abundance of style. But that’s it – there’s not much else on the go here. The story is very much the same except it’s now set in Mexico City giving the film an extra sun-bleached feel and making available whole barrios of nasty lawless Hispanic chaps. Again, and I may start sounding like a broken record about this, the film is preoccupied with torture. As Denzel Washington’s grieving bodyguard starts killing his way up the criminal fraternity there is no action save for the repeated capture/torture/kill method also recently used in Taken. Abu Ghraib hasn’t a thing on Hollywood.


Overall the performances are believable and the story is relatively uninspired. The kidnapping aside there isn’t any real sense of tension generated by the plotting and what tension there is dissipates upon the sight of the unnervingly precocious Dakota Fanning. Honestly, she doesn’t look quite real. I’m certainly not quite sure why this is tracking at 7.6 on IMDB, it seems more in line with the 39% at Rotten Tomatoes.

3 thoughts on “January 25th: Average Redux”

  1. The billposter you used 😉

    I liked Man On Fire. I’ve been more surprised by episodes of Eastenders re: the plot. But Denzel and Dakota F. put in some good performances. That made it worth watching.

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