Midway through watching Man on Fire last night I wanted to look something up about it so paused it and put a search into Google. One of the top results was its IMDb score which was a very impressive 7.7/10. Now the IMDb is a great resource but its rating system is susceptible to the whims of the masses and as a result, many films which don’t deserve them get high scores. On a related note, Star Trek into Darkness just yesterday crept into the IMDb Top 250, perfectly illustrating my point. For me Man on Fire is another example of this sort of overly hyped mass critical reception. While at its heart there is a great revenge story, it is surrounded my poor musical choices and cinematography which is so ill judged that it made concentrating on and enjoying the movie close to impossible.
Mexico City is one of the kidnapping capitals of the world and to protect his daughter (Dakota Fanning), businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) hires a bodyguard to protect her when she’s out of their home. The bodyguard is former Marine and covert-ops officer John Creasy (Denzel Washington), a man with a drink problem and issues connecting with other people. Unsurprisingly the child is kidnapped and in the ensuing fire fight, Creasy is seriously wounded. When on the mend, though still critically ill, Creasy takes it on himself to track down the girl’s kidnappers and on a revenge/killing spree gets closer and closer to ‘the voice’ a master kidnapper, responsible for the taking and murder of several children.