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This thriller leaves Netflix soon: Denzel Washington in one of his best roles

This thriller leaves Netflix soon: Denzel Washington in one of his best roles

In 2004, the late Tony Scott reunited with Denzel Washington in Man on Fire. The star plays John Craze, a disillusioned, even depressed, ex-CIA officer hired to protect a little girl, Lupita Ramos, played by then-9-year-old Dakota Fanning. Although the character of Creasy is fictional, it was inspired by real-life kidnappings that went public.

The screenplay of the film is adapted from the novel The Fireman by Philip Nicholson (under the pseudonym AJ Quinnell, published in 1980). This book features John Creasy, a fictional character who was also the protagonist of four of the author’s other novels.

The truth behind the fiction

But what is less well known is that the story of Man on Fire is influenced by two famous kidnappings. The first is the eldest son of a Singaporean businessman who was kidnapped by the Triads. The latter, fearing that his other children would also be targeted, refused to pay the ransom, and his son followed suit.

The second case is that of John Paul Getty III, the oil magnate J. The famous kidnapping of Paul Getty’s grandson in Rome in 1973 by criminals associated with the ‘Ndrangheta (Calabrian Mafia). Young Getty was held captive for five months, during which he lost an ear, before his grandfather agreed to pay a ransom.

Denzel Washington, always on top

It’s almost become a habit, but Denzel Washington’s performance as Crayce was once again praised for its emotional depth and intensity. The film is also rated 3.9 out of 5 on AlloCiné. John Creasy begins the film as a broken man suffering from alcoholism and struggling with suicidal tendencies. But he finds a new reason to live thanks to the relationship he develops with Lupita.

It’s this dynamic between Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning that brings a disturbing dimension to the story. Man Fire is no longer just a revenge thriller, but a very beautiful study of redemption, but above all the friendship and extremely strong bond that forms between this wounded man and a little girl.

This film cements the bond between Denzel Washington and Tony Scott, who had already collaborated on films like USS Alabama and later teamed up for Déjà Vu and The Unstoppable.

Man on Fire is available until July 14 on Netflix.

Source: Allocine

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