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Man on Fire (2004)

 
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Man on Fire (2004) - 4/4/2012 4:00:45 AM   
Phubbs


Posts: 658
Joined: 3/4/2012
Based on a novel which I didn't know and actually a remake of an earlier film from 1987, pretty much the same deal accept its set in Italy as at the time there were many kidnappings there.

This time Scott sets the film in Mexico City for its high scores in kidnapping and the grounded Washington takes on the role as Creasy. First thing I have to mention is how good this film looks, the Scott brothers know how to make films look sweet and this is no exception. You really get a hot humid, sweaty, sticky feel for this setting, you can sense the tension and stress on 'Creasy's' shoulders merely from the weather that swirls around him.
Mexico City is a vibrant colourful place and Scott makes full use of this with his camera angles and uneasy sequences which he seems to almost blur when combined with the native soundtrack and fast movements of the action, everything feels uncomfortable as you wait for the inevitable to happen.

The only issue I had with the film is its really quite predictable even if you have never seen the first film or read the book, Washington is stoic and owns his role but you know what's gonna happen at every turn. The film is also a bit slow really as we see 'Creasy' gradually gain 'Lupita's' trust and friendship which is needed of course but basically the fun doesn't kick in until she is stolen away, until then your just watching filler as it were.

I think the film wants to be epic but doesn't really make it, the cast is certainly aimed at a thriller epic and the musical score really really wants you to feel the emotion as it builds towards the end but I personally just didn't feel it. I think Tony tries to nick his brothers idea from 'Gladiator' with the haunting score towards the end, the kind of 'Clannad' type sounds do seem rather familiar.

Its a solid film with good performances but not as stand out as you would hope for, quite bleak and dirty with a real gritty essence but ends up becoming a typical vengeance thriller, better than most but nothing grand.
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