Yojimbo's Movie Review of Man on Fire (2004)

Rating of

Man on Fire (2004)

"Man On Fire" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 03/30/12

Burned out ex serviceman Denzel Washington takes a job protecting young Dakota Fanning in Mexico City: kidnap capital of the world. Denzel of course grows to love his tiny charge, finding new meaning in life yadda yadda until...gasp! She's KIDNAPPED!! (I know! I never saw that one coming either!!) Yes, this workmanlike plot combined with the hugely predictable twists and garish colour filters all make this look like a big screen version of CSI: Miami, one of my least favourite TV shows of all time. But I must admit, the earlier scenes as Den and Dakota get to know each other work quite nicely and have a genuine warmth about them. The pacing is also pretty good considering its length and watching Denzel go bad-ass is always fun. But once again, Tony bloody Scott is his own worst enemy and ruins any possibility of drama or emotional connection with his trademark wandering focus, twitchy chronology and all round visual clap trap. There's quite a good film lurking in here, but I found myself grumbling "OH FOR F**K'S SAKE! JUST GET ON WITH IT!" every time something important happened because of Scott's inability to stop f**king around. One day, a shrewd producer will hopefully employ a bad tempered, starving Rottweiler to keep his ass out of the editing suite. Or even better, release an interactive DVD of his films. "IF YOU WISH TO TURN OFF TONY'S VISUAL BULLSHIT, PRESS THE RED BUTTON NOW."

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