Man on Fire -- Overcome Evil with Good

Denzel Washington stars in Man on Fire as John Creasy, a washed up military buff who lands a job as a little girl's bodyguard. The little girl's name is Lupita Ramos, or "Pita" (Dakota Fanning). One day, while dropping Pita off at her catholic elementary school, one of the nuns lectures Creasy, saying, "I wish your profession didn't have to exist." Then she starts to quote Romans 12:21, "Do not be overcome with evil..." except Creasy interrupts her and finishes the verse: "but overcome evil with good." Then he adds, "I'm the sheep that got lost, Madre."

So the question is, "How can we overcome evil with good?" Who is more on track, Creasy or the nun? The nun disagreed with Creasy's training as a killer, implying that he could only think of overcoming evil with more evil. But, despite the fact that Creasy's main skill is killing, we find out toward the end of the movie that he isn't cold or vindictive. Pita even nicknames him, "My Creasy Bear" (though she wouldn't have said this out loud...).

He does what he needs to do to find Pita, which involves a lot of explosions and shooting. But, toward the end of the movie, we discover that his motivation is straightforward, sacrificial love. At the very end of the movie in particular, he demonstrates the genuine quality of his heart by by sacrificing himself to save Pita.

Creasy's gratuitous utilization of guns and explosives threatens to distract us from the main weapon he uses to overcome evil, which is sacrificial love.


Nicely said...

I watched Man on Fire a year ago and it touched my heart. It moved me. We sometimes take for granted people around us - those who truly care - and more often than not, it's too late to give their love back to them because they're already gone.

I love Denzel Washington a lot.

joen05 said...

This was a great movie. Like Nice said, it really did touch the heart. It surprised me how well it was done, given the violence in it.

Jacstev said...

The film depends on the strength and believability of Creasy and Pita's bond. The audience needs to feel for Pita, and in conjunction, feel the pain Creasy experiences when he loses the one person he really loves. We understand the drive behind Creasy's every move.

Anonymous said...

This is trully a remarkable movie, like no other. Very touching - its is not about violence but actually about love and finding the Good after all the Bad that Creasy had gone through in the past.

Striking combination of action, religion and spiritual content, constantly present - I loved how in its own way each character tries to rescue its own soul - Creasy reading the Bible and Pita's father praying to la Virgen de Guadalupe.