I remember flying to USA eight years ago and while enjoying the in flight entertainment I stumbled onto a film that went on to be one of my favourite action films. Period.

The film starred two incredible actors, one a recent Academy award winner in Denzel Washington and the other, eight year old Dakota Fanning who was a relatively unknown at that time.

I remember thinking at the time, who paired these two together? They must have been a genius!

Well the genius in question happens to be the Great director who helped to launch Tom Cruise onto the world stage, when he placed him in the iconic 1980’s film, Top Gun. Tony Scott, the director, and younger (strangely less celebrated) brother of Ridley ‘Alien/Blade Runner/Prometheus’ Ridley.

News reports stated that Tony jumped to his death on Monday from a Bridge in L.A having been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer however his wife has stated this wasn't the case without informing us of the reason....

Tony was a legend and thanks to the link that was kindly sourced by @lafamiliarfilm I will also give you the chance to hear for yourself the reasons behind the making of the film.

Man On Fire is the story is about a man called John Creasey, a man who is an ex-killing machine soldier who decides to visit his friend who is also an ex-killing machine played by Hollywood great Christopher Walken.  Walken’s character is now living in Mexico City, the kidnap capital of the world. The link below is the promo to the film which is worth watching. In the promo Dakota explains that 24 kidnappings took place in six days.

Tony had the idea of making this film in the 1980’s where at the time the kidnapping capital of the world was Italy.


While Creasey is in Mexico he takes a job living with the family of Dakota and also becoming her Bodyguard.

Creasey is very distant from the onset but Dakota grows on him. The relationship between the two characters reminds me of the relationship between Jean Reno and the Natalie Portman characters in the film Leon (another great film people but I digress).

In the film Creasey is in turmoil and attempts suicide however the gun jams. Creasey makes a call to Walken straight after the attempt and asks if there's any forgiveness from GOD for men such as themselves to which Walken replies "No!".

In the link below narrated by the Director Tony Scott, he explains the suicide scene which I thought was interesting considering this is ultimately how he himself leaves the stage...

Tony Scott commentary

After this Creasey bonds with Dakota who gives him a bear and names it "Creaseybear" which physically moves him.

One day Dakota is being attacked, Creasey tells her to run to safety while he draws the fire fight towards himself which results in him getting repeatedly shot. As he falls, Dakota sees that he's hurt, runs back to help and gets kidnapped and he's lead to believe she's been killed.

While Creasey is recovering in hospital, he vows to avenge her death and there's an interesting statement when Christopher Walken explains to a policeman that "Creasey is an artist and his art is death!"

When Creasey is on his mission he meets one of those involved in the action against the only thing that gave his life meaning. The man knows he's gonna die and asks for forgiveness to which Creasey replies "forgiveness is between man and GOD. My job is to arrange the meeting!".

I have to say, what sets this film apart from other violent revenge out there is, just like the main character in the film Leon he has a heart and while he saw himself as a lost soul before, he sees that in perusing the perpetrators he has the hope of redemption.

As a sign of respect to the memory of Tony, go get this film on DVD now then consider other films that he's done such as ‘Crimson Tide’ or ‘True Romance’ to watch this weekend because the alternative is going to the cinema and watching The Three Stooges!

Nuff said......

ZeN Journalist
Twitter: @gmanzen
"what's the 411?"
Soon there was www.ZeN411.co.uk
you know it makes sense........

Article by @gmanzen / 24th August 2012


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REVIEW: Man On Fire