MovieChat Forums > Man on Fire (1987) Discussion > Hardly a perfect movie, still like it be...

Hardly a perfect movie, still like it better than the remake

If Scott hadn't completely lost his mind by the time he got to remake this film (a.k.a. his "overproduced everything beyond any salvation" 2000's phase) I probably wouldn't hate the remake as much as I do. Having that Fanning kid in the movie didn't help either. Also, the ending makes zero sense. Denzel was cool, though. Man on Fire remake The Video Game (aka Max Payne 3 which steals from the Scott in chunks) was ok, though.

Sure, the original is uglier, slower and somewhat dated (being set in Italy during its turbulent 80's) and the ending might seem to some as a cop-out, but Scott Glenn's and the girl's characters have good chemistry (maybe even a bit too good, in fact), the slow pacing gives characters time to develop, the locations work and the grittiness makes the whole thing look much more realistic and nightmarish or even noirish to an extent.

There's also subtle satire in the original (the rich parents who don't have time for their kid, until it's too late, the impotent police, the cold blooded kidnapper who has two kids, the failed antihero who comes up as the only solution to the anarchy of the broken social order).

Of course, being a huge fan of Glenn's and not minding the girl's acting helps.

It would've been great if Scott got to do this movie in the 80's (he was originally suppose to direct the original but got replaced) when he was still on the line that separates talented creative geniuses and madmen of overproduction.


This film isn't anyway near as good as the remake. From awful direction, to wasted talent, to bad editing. Scott Glenn's 'Creasy' isn't nearly as threatening as Denzel's version, which is really what makes the plot work. Joe Pesci's character played like a tough guy, gangster, mafioso, is a parody. Christopher Walken, playing the same character, supports the theme that Creasy is truly a man not to be reckoned with in this scene:
And noticeably the dialog just in that scene is much better written than anything in the entire 1987 version of the movie.
This movie is pretty much a failure which I blame entirely on the production team who obviously were amateurs.


Agreed with the OP! I prefer 1987 version over 2004...

Prostitute: What the *beep* are you doing?
Johnny: I'm gonna kill a bunch of people.


I agree with the OP but I like both movies still. The dr. is off his rocker. Probably never seen the movie either...


"There's also subtle satire in the original (the rich parents who don't have time for their kid, until it's too late"

This is in the source novel and in the 2004 adaptation too. In an early script of the '04 version, Creasy even suggests that both parents are deserving of punishment in a way (when it comes time for the dad to kill himself).