The film Man on Fire is somewhere—don’t ask me where—in my top three or four favorite action films. It is raw, brutal, violent, and redemptive. In that order. It was directed by Tony Scott in a schizophrenic style—cut up, jittery and anxious with a dampened monochromatic look that conceals the insanity behind a confused and disrupted vision.
It is the second of three stylistically related films by Tony Scott: the first is Spy Game (a terrific spy thriller) and the third, by far the weakest and really downright disappointing, was Domino. The stories are not connected, but Scott's choppy and jittery style are evident in each, and progressively get more so with each film until it breaksdown into a nearly unwatchable mess with Domino.
Man on Fire is based on a novel by A.J. Quinnell—a novel I’ve never read—and it rocks from the opening scene to the final.
If you haven’t seen it, do—and if you have, see it again.