Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Man on Fire(2004)
In Mexico City, a government operative/soldier of fortune who has pretty much given up on life, reluctantly agrees to take a job to protect a child whose parents are threatened by a wave of kidnappings. He eventually becomes close to the child and their relationship reawakens and rekindles his spirit. When she is abducted, his fiery rage is unleashed on those he feels responsible, and he stops at nothing to save her.
For more about Man on Fire and the Man on Fire Blu-ray release, see Man on Fire Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 23, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Giannini, Radha Mitchell, Marc Anthony
Director: Tony Scott
» See full cast & crew
Man on Fire Blu-ray Review
This feverish and violent thriller shines in Blu.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 23, 2008
Anyone who was involved, anybody who profited from it, anybody who opens their eyes at me, I'm going to kill 'em.
Ever since the famous "tear" scene in Glory that earned him a much-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Denzel Washington has become one of Hollywood's leading men, headlining numerous films including Malcolm X, Crimson Tide, Courage Under Fire, and Remember the Titans. Washington has recently taken the lead in several conventional action movie roles, but his part in Man on Fire marks an impressive tangent in the actor's career as he tackles a gritty, take no prisoners, alcoholic character with blood in his eyes and ice in his veins. Washington is certainly one of the most gifted actors of this generation and his ability is on full display here in a performance that builds on what he demonstrated in the vastly underrated Training Day. His performance in Man on Fire is as good as any in his career, revealing a new level of acting we've only seen glimpses of in the past. As the character of Rayburn, portrayed by Christopher Walken, might say, this is the performance where Washington "paint(s) his masterpiece."
As the film begins, the audience is told that there is one kidnapping for ransom every sixty minutes in Latin America. After one particularly high profile kidnapping case, wealthy families begin to hire bigger, stronger, and more experienced bodyguards to protect their children. Rayburn (Christopher Walken) is friends with a wealthy man named Samuel (Marc Anthony, Bringing Out the Dead) in Mexico City who is married to an American woman named Lisa (Radha Mitchell, Silent Hill). The couple have a daughter, Pita (Dakota Fanning, War of the Worlds) whose status as the young and beautiful daughter of wealthy parents makes her a particularly tempting target for kidnapers. Rayburn recommends to them as a new bodyguard a man named Creasy (Denzel Washington, Deja Vu), an ex-military man, now mired in alcoholism, with an impressive resumé nevertheless. Curiously, Samuel is accepting of Creasy's battle with alcohol and hires him. Although Pita admires Creasy and wishes to begin a friendship, Creasy demands that she leave him alone to do his job. The two bond nevertheless, and Pita finally becomes the target of a kidnapping attempt. The perpetrators are successful and leave Creasy for dead. He eventually recovers only to find Pita is presumably dead after a botched exchange, and he vows revenge on anyone and everyone involved with her kidnapping and death.
Man on Fire is a tough, uncompromising film with an incredible story, fine acting, great action, and excellent direction from veteran Tony Scott (Enemy of the State). He has created a gritty, rough, unforgiving, unrelenting, and bloody masterpiece in this film. His quirky and unconventional style of filmmaking lends itself well to copycats, of which there are plenty, but he's mastered the technique. It lends a hard edge to the more frenetic and dangerous sequences in his films, and it raises the palpable tension and fear where applicable. With Man on Fire, Scott takes his time setting up the characters and their relationships. This serves two purposes. First, this allows us to get to know both Creasy and Pita and allows them to form the bond needed to really drive the story along and make us believe that Creasy has the motivation to literally stop at nothing to punish the criminals behind her kidnapping. Second, waiting 45 minutes to present the first real action scene results in a more powerful impact and a sense of unexpected danger and urgency, especially with its ramped up violence and hyperactive style of shooting which add to the almost horror-like quality of the sequence.
This is a story that's very easy to lose oneself in. It's taut and at times frightening, showing audiences a side of the world few will ever experience in brutal and excruciating detail. As Creasy unravels the truth behind Pita's kidnapping, the film becomes a cornucopia of torture as Creasy will cut off fingers, blow up bodies, or shoot anyone who gets in his way or doesn't offer up enough information to satisfy him. One cannot blame him for his actions; he's dealing with what could best be described as the scum of the Earth. The bond he forms with Pita naturally leads a man such as him, with nothing to live for and nobody to love but her, to do whatever it takes to punish those responsible. Man on Fire is an excellent film that just might scare you more than any "true" horror film could ever hope to.
Man on Fire Blu-ray, Video Quality
Man on Fire has a very unique look to it. Although presented in 1080p, some viewers may be taken aback by some of the gritty and less than pristine looking photography used throughout the film. Rest assured, this 2.40:1 high definition image looks exactly as director Tony Scott intended. The film sometimes looks extremely grainy with overly saturated colors, giving it a gritty and dirty look and feel. Like with my review of 28 Days Later, I cannot fault an image for staying true to the source material, and this review is no exception. The look adds rather than detracts from the impact of the film, and the image as a whole on this release is phenomenal. Most of the film is shot in a traditional style, and when we don't see excessive grain or overly processed colors and photography, Man on Fire looks as good as any disc I've seen. Flesh tones are spot on, black levels are deep and natural, and the image sports a mostly naturalistic and lifelike clarity high in detail and sharpness. Some of the outdoor scenes are gorgeous as evidenced by the mesmerizing greens of the trees and foliage. A scene where Pita competes in an outdoor swimming match represents one of the most lifelike images I have seen on Blu-ray. This is a wonderful image from Fox, a studio whose name is becoming synonymous with fine Blu-ray transfers.
Man on Fire Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Man on Fire's DTS-HD MA audio track was impressive, but not quite as hard hitting as I expected. As one might expect, this soundtrack is pretty standard stuff until the action kicks in. Throughout the early part of the film, the movie is mostly dialogue driven with some subtle yet at times mesmerizing ambience emanating from the rear channels. Dialogue reproduction is accurate and distortion free, presented at an appropriate volume in comparison to the rest of the track. Music reproduction is also uniformly excellent with crisp highs, an impressive midrange, and deep lows. Sound sweeps all around the room with a pleasant and naturalistic flow, creating a perfect harmony of action, music, dialogue, and sound effects. When action sequences work their way into the film, the sound is powerful yet slightly restrained in comparison to some other Blu-ray discs with excellent and extremely hard hitting gunshots and explosions, such as 3:10 to Yuma and Mr. Brooks. Nevertheless, the action is engrossing and frightening and the good sound effects and excellent music add to the power and terror of each scene.
Man on Fire Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Fans of Man on Fire will have to hang onto their DVD copies if they want access to any special features. Fox has chosen to include only four theatricals trailers on this disc. 1080p previews for Man on Fire, The Sentinel, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Entrapment are the only extras available. A film as terrific as Man on Fire deserves better treatment than this.
Man on Fire Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Man on Fire is a relentless film of extreme violence and terror that is ultimately brought forth because of greed and hate but also because of love and compassion. It's not until Creasy finally finds a person with whom he can enjoy life that he finds a reason to live, and when that is taken away from him, he reverts to a nearly primitive state of consciousness where he becomes hellbent on retribution and blood. Tony Scott's direction is both masterful and brutal in its visual style. This is a well crafted film that may upset some viewers but is nevertheless a modern classic tale of revenge for all the right reasons. This Blu-ray disc is marvelous visually and very good audibly, but Fox has chosen to bypass the supplemental materials completely. Therefore, fans may be reluctant to upgrade, but the difference in quality is, to me, worth the price of the disc. Recommended.
Blu-ray bundles with Man on Fire (4 bundles)
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Man on Fire. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Man on Fire in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Man on Fire Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for Man on Fire Blu-ray yet.
Man on Fire Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Man on Fire Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Man on Fire Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.