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Everyone Is Watching Denzel Washington’s Most Underrated Film On Netflix

by : Cameron Frew on : 21 Sep 2021 14:15
20th Century Studios

Denzel Washington’s most underrated movie has entered the charts on Netflix. ‘Revenge is a meal best served cold.’

He’s an Oscar-winning actor with a plethora of absolute bangers. Whether he’s breaking in a rookie on their Training Day, mowing down mobsters with hardware in The Equaliser, bringing a notorious American Gangster to life or dealing with the fallout of inverting a Flight, Washington is a force of nature.

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Tony Scott, the late legend behind True Romance and Top Gun, always honed his talents from their first collaboration on Crimson Tide, to their last on Unstoppable. Along the way, they came together for one of Washington’s best films.

Man on Fire. (20th Century Studios)20th Century Studios

2004’s Man on Fire stars Washington as John W. Creasy, a former CIA officer hired by a wealthy family in Mexico to protect their daughter, Pita (Dakota Fanning) amid a spate of brutal kidnappings.

While briefly overcoming his own demons, she’s taken – putting Creasy on a bloody collision course with the gang responsible. ‘I’m gonna kill ’em; anyone who was involved, anybody who profited from it, anybody who opens their eyes at me.’

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It grossed more than $130 million worldwide, and while it’s often regarded among viewers as a favourite, it wasn’t critically well-received. With a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s firmly, absurdly in the Rotten camp.

One critic described it as ‘an exercise in assaultive excess [that] nevertheless lingers for two and a half hours, like a drunken houseguest who won’t leave.’ Another wrote it was ‘shamelessly manipulative and sadistically violent… a new low for both Washington and Scott, and one of the nastier bits of business in quite some time.’

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Man on Fire is violent. It is over-the-top. It’s wildly shot with hand-cranked cameras, berserk editing and the spirit of a 70s revenge movie. It’s also incredibly emotional and exhilaratingly entertaining, breezing by over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime. If nothing else, Washington sticks a bomb up a man’s butt – now that’s cinema.

Man on Fire is available to stream on Netflix now – you won’t regret it. 

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Netflix