Spontaneous Human Combustion

Watched Man on Fire for the first time this weekend. It was…mediocre. Denzel Washington is a fine actor and Dakota Fanning is a charming little girl, but the movie itself was weak. I was not convinced that Denzel was a man with a tortured past because of what I saw on screen so much as it was simply what he and Christopher Walken told me. I was reminded of that cross-talk moment in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, where they try to determine what has upset Hamlet and all they can really do is repeat to each other that he is upset. I wouldn’t have known that Denzel was a tortured soul seeking redemption if he hadn’t told me so in so many words.

Some other aspects of the movie were also troubling. It was quite violent; indeed, no punches were pulled. The ending was rather abrupt and unsatisfying to me. Marc Anthony’s character behaved rather inexplicably at times. Oh, and for Denzel’s character, Creasy? Two words: Kevlar. Vest. Would have saved you a lot of time and trouble, neighbor.

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