Man on Fire

Man on Fire. This is the beginning of my Denzel Washington self-education program, as I’ve seen embarrassingly few of his movies, and they were all a long time ago. A guilt-ridden drunk on a revenge mission. Young Dakota Fanning is impossible not to like. And her on-screen friendship with Denzel is fantastic. I really liked the lively, kind of spazzy directing. A rush of colors and cuts, zooms in and out, accelerating and coming to a halt, and how that ties in with characterization and mood. I like the work with the occasional subtitles, too. Interesting that the bullet and the St. Jude medallion come along with sobriety (like AA tokens). Also note the recurring theme of “I’m just a professional” or “I’m just doing my job.” It’s not enough. Cf. Taken, of course.

There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained.