Man on Fire

Fantastic movie. Tony Scott’s direction, including his homages to Japanese film and the innovative (for Stateside) use of subtitles. Denzel and Chris Walken in the same film, wreaking absolute havoc. A driving soundtrack that’s appropriate at every turn.

But the really beautiful center of the movie, Creasy’s journey from despair to hope, from self-preservation to self-sacrifice, is what makes this movie worth watching on a completely different level. There’s a little of Creasy in all of us, right? We just want to make a living, get through what we have to get through and move on. We want relationships, but the pain they sometimes bring makes them inefficient for our way of life. We hoped once, but day after day, month after month, year after year of suffering of one kind or another have driven hope from us. Then life comes back, in Creasy’s case through the agency of a beautiful child.

Only to be snatched away again.

Life happens this way,often, a cycle of elation and desolation. And Creasy’s response–violence to those who’ve harmed him–is what we want too, whether the violence is physical or emotional or whatever. But bowing to that urge debases us, demeans us as human beings. Creasy reaches a point beyond the violence, beyond the evil he’s wrought, to reach a place of self-sacrifice, restoring joy to himself, but mostly to others.

It’s a powerful film. I recommend it.


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