Man on Fire Reviews
A coldly violent revenge drama that tarts up scenes of wanton sadism with lush art direction, and a spiritual story that invokes serious struggle and prayer for atmosphere rather than content.
[Scott's] fondness for intrusive, fake-stylish camera tricks -- jump cuts, speeded-up montages, abrupt changes in light, color saturation and focal depth -- has overwhelmed whatever story sense he once possessed.
Despite a red-hot performance by Washington as the antiheroic, self-annihilating title character, the film as a whole, while possessing a kind of vicious beauty, feels as cold and as embalmed as a corpse.
Tony Scott's Man on Fire employs superb craftsmanship and a powerful Denzel Washington performance in an attempt to elevate genre material above its natural level, but it fails.
Suffice it to say nothing about this pumped-up, hyperthyroidal Tony Scott revenge flick makes sense, but it takes two hours to kill off as many people and demolish as many vehicles as Charles Bronson used to do in 30 minutes.