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(Review originally written at 13 March 2005)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story is your average revenge action story. Any moment you would expect Steven Seagal or Chuck Norris to walk on screen. But "Man on Fire" is made with so much profession that it takes the movie to an incredibly high level. Tony Scott's directing and Denzel Washingtons performance make this movie one of the best action movies of the past couple of years and perhaps the most underrated movie of 2004.

I never really have been a big fan of Tony Scott. Sure he made the masterpiece and most underrated movie in movie history (in my opinion) "True Romance" but his much praised other movies like "Top Gun", "The Last Boy Scout", "Crimson Tide" and "Enemy of the State" always left me quite cold. "Spy Game" already was a better movie but also wasn't 'quite it'. It now seems that "Spy Game" was just a dress rehearsal for "Man on Fire". Everything that was still missing in "Spy Game" to make it a great movie is present in "Man on Fire".

Denzel Washington truly is on fire. He is perfectly cast and he is not afraid to show that he has gotten older. It honestly is an Oscar worthy performance. Christopher Walken of course always is phenomenal and his role in this movie is truly good.

The action in the movie is shocking and very straight forward. There is no mercy for anyone and all the bad guys die but not before they have all suffered in a terrible way. This movie is not suitable for just everyone! Also you must be able to stand the typically Christian Wagner movie editing.

Because of the very high level of professionalism you're tend to forgive the tiny flaws that are in the movie. I'm even willing to forgive the 'Hollywood' ending this time because of it.

"Man on Fire" is a real tough movie with hard action and violence. Therefor it is not suitable to everyone but fans of the genre will most certainly not be disappointed. An underrated 2004 movie and a must see but like I said before, it's not a movie for everyone.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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