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Man on Fire is a 2004 US film based on the novel by A. J. Quinnell. The story follows Creasy, an ex-CIA operative who takes revenge on a gang that kidnapped the child he was hired to protect. The film was directed by Tony Scott and starred Denzel Washington as Creasy. On release, the film received mixed reviews but was a commercial success at the box office.

Plot

In Mexico Citymarker, criminal gangs are kidnapping rich people and their families for the lucrative ransom money. On the advice of his lawyer Jordan (Mickey Rourke), Mexican businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony), like other wealthy people, hires a bodyguard to protect his nine-year-old daughter Lupita "Pita" Ramos (Dakota Fanning), and to be able to renew the family's ransom insurance. The head of an executive security firm, Paul Rayburn (Christopher Walken) suggests that Ramos hire Rayburn's old CIA buddy John Creasy (Denzel Washington).

Ramos is impressed with Creasy's résumé, which includes a variety of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism activities. However, Creasy has since become uninterested in life. He is burned out from all the death and horror and has taken to alcoholism to ease the burden. Creasy is not interested in bodyguard work and even less with the youngster, but he needs a job. Creasy's initial impatience slowly fades as he finds himself opening up to the child. He replaces her parents in their absence, giving her advice and coaching her in her swimming lessons and competitions. He helps her overcome her fear of starting guns, turning it into an eagerness to move at the sound of one. Pita gives Creasy an emblem of St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, saying she bought it for him with her own money.

Shortly after delivering her to a piano audition, Creasy notices a suspicious vehicle driving past and a pair of police cars blocking off the surrounding street. As Pita emerges from the building and freezes, Creasy pulls out his gun and fires a shot into the air, similar to a starting gun, startling her to running away. During the ensuing gun battle, four of the attackers are fatally shot, including two corrupt police officers. The battle leaves Creasy seriously wounded and unconscious, allowing the surviving kidnappers to grab the child.

Shortly after the kidnapping, the leader of the kidnapping ring, known only as "The Voice," demands a dead drop ransom of ten million dollars in exchange for Pita. It is during this time that Creasy is made into a public spectacle by the police chief while unconscious in his hospital bed, claiming he has murdered two judicial police officers. The drop goes badly, the kidnappers are ambushed by a corrupt police gang called "La Hermandad", and the money is stolen. "The Voice" notifies Pita's parents that their child will not be returned.

Rayburn shows up at the hospital after hearing the news and aids in helping Creasy escape to a safe house to further recover from his injuries. Creasy does not make full recovery though, and as Rayburn notes, he won't last long with the shape he is in. Some days later he returns to Pita's home and promises her mother Lisa that he will kill everyone who was involved in, or profited from, the kidnapping. With Rayburn's help, Creasy buys a variety of guns, explosives, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Starting with a licence plate number, he uses the weaponry to kill a number of corrupt Mexican police officers and high-ranking law enforcement officials who were involved in the kidnapping. Creasy kidnaps and tortures several "La Hermandad" members, forcing them to reveal the names of the people involved in the kidnapping ring. Eventually, Creasy learns that Ramos and his lawyer Jordan Kalfus set up the kidnapping of his own daughter in order to get insurance money, as he was going bankrupt. Creasy finds Kalfus decapitated, and Creasy goes to see Ramos. Ramos then commits suicide with a gun provided by Creasy. Thanks to a newspaper article that reveals The Voice's identity as Daniel Sánchez, Creasy shows up at his apartment, and fights his way in. Although Creasy is wounded in the gunfire, he gains the upper hand, and captures Sánchez's brother and ex-wife. He then calls Sánchez, and, using a sawed-off shotgun, blows four of his brother's fingers off, threatening his life.

To save his brother, Sánchez reveals that Pita is alive, and offers to exchange her for his brother and Creasy. Creasy agrees, and travels with Lisa to a remote rural area to make the exchange. After Pita runs to her mother, Creasy is hustled into a car, which speeds off. As Creasy looks upon the Popocatépetlmarker volcano he succumbs to his wounds, dropping the emblem of St. Jude that Pita gave him as he does so. An epilogue reveals that Sánchez was killed during a police raid that same day, his location discovered by special operations police who were electronically following Creasy's movements and actions.

Cast

Actor Role
Denzel Washington John W. Creasy
Dakota Fanning Lupita Martin Ramos, "Pita"
Marc Anthony Samuel Ramos
Radha Mitchell Lisa Martin Ramos
Christopher Walken Paul Rayburn
Giancarlo Giannini Miguel Manzano
Rachel Ticotin Mariana Garcia Guerrero
Jesús Ochoa Victor Fuentes
Mickey Rourke Jordan Kalfus
Angelina Peláez Sister Anna
Roberto Sosa Daniel Rosas Sanchez a.k.a "The Voice"
Gero Camilo Aurelio Rosas Sanchez
Mario Zaragoza Jorge Ramirez


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