Last year, Tony Scott tragically committed suicide, aged 68. I was quite upset about this. Whilst he was never as famous as his brother Ridley, I’ve always said that Tony was the better director. Sure, Ridley made Alien, Gladiator, and Blade Runner, all of which are legendary films. However, in my opinion, none of them even come close to Tony’s True Romance, penned by Quentin Tarantino, which I personally believe to be one of the greatest films of all time and nothing Ridley has done could compare. But Tony was more famous for action/fun films, known for the likes of Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop 2, The Last Boy Scout, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State and his last film, Unstoppable. Here, I’m going to talk about my second favourite of his films, Man on Fire.
The film is sensationally gritty; in a similar to Taken, just like you’d want it to be. Some scenes include violence that is actually rather satisfying, and Denzel Washington is just the right man to pull it off. I enjoyed Washington in Scott’s other films such as The Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstoppable, but here is where he truly shines. He plays a broken man, who contemplates killing himself several times in the beginning of the film. Christopher Walken is his usual self. The two low points of the cast are Mickey Rourke, who plays the lawyer of Pita’s parents, and Dakota Fanning. Rourke is almost cringe worthy, his hair being the least of it, and Fanning is her usual screaming self who becomes irritating after a while. Saying that, the chemistry between her and Washington is great, and it becomes a genuinely believable friendship.
Overall, Man on Fire is a great action film that excites and thrills with its grittiness and likeable hero. Watch Friday 17th March on Film4 at 22:55 (UK only) and let us know what you thought in the comments below!