->'''Lisa Ramos:''' "What are you gonna do?"\\
'''John Creasey:''' What I do best. I'm gonna kill 'em. Anyone that was involved. Anybody who profited from it. Anybody who opens their eyes at me.

''Man On Fire'' is a 2004 film directed by TonyScott and starring DenzelWashington. It is based on A.J. Quinnel's ''Man on Fire'' novel, which was already adapted into film in 1987.

In Mexico City, criminal gangs have been kidnapping rich people and their families for the ransom money. On the advice of his lawyer, Mexican businessman Samuel Ramos, like other wealthy people, hires a bodyguard to protect his nine-year-old daughter Lupita "Pita" Ramos (DakotaFanning), and to be able to renew the family's ransom insurance. The head of an executive security firm, Paul Rayburn (ChristopherWalken) suggests that Ramos hire Rayburn's old CIA buddy [[RetiredBadass John Creasy]] (Denzel Washington).

However, Creasy has since become uninterested in life. [[ShellShockedSenior He is burned out from all the death and horror]] [[DrowningMySorrows and has taken to alcoholism to ease the burden]]. Creasy is not interested in bodyguard work and even less with the youngster, but he needs a job. [[GrumpyBear Creasy's initial impatience]] slowly fades as he finds himself opening up to the child.

Then Lupita gets kidnapped.

Her ransom does not go as planned.

[[FromBadToWorse And everything goes to hell]].

!!This film provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: [[spoiler:Lupita's dad, Samuel Ramos (Ettore Balletto in the novel) who arranged for his daughter to get kidnapped so that he scam insurance money. Justified in his mind since he ''thought'' there'd be no harm to Lupita, but still crosses the MoralEventHorizon.]]
* AssShove: Creasy's trick with the C4.
* AmoralAttorney: [[spoiler:Jordan Kalfus, Samuel Ramos' lawyer, stole the ransom money before its delivery to the kidnappers. Ramos kills him for this when he finds out.]]
* AntiHero: John Creasy.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: Creasy and Sister Anna, the Headmistress of Pita's school.
* TheAtoner: Creasy arguably. Lampshaded when he asks "Do you think God'll forgive us for what we've done?".
* BadAss: Creasy through and through.
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Miguel Manzano, the only effective police officer willing to help Creasy, is basically [[KavorkaMan a pervert]]. He's also [[spoiler:the one who eventually kills the BigBad in the epilogue]].
* BeardOfSorrow: Creasy starts out the film with a beard.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: One of the reasons why Creasy loves Pita. And the reason why he's [[{{Understatement}} angry]] when they hurt her.
-->'''Rayburn''': She showed him it was [[IJustWantToBeNormal OK to live again]].
** And later on.
-->'''Pita''': I love you, Creasy. And you love me too, don't you?
-->'''Creasy''': Yes, I do. With all my heart, Pita. [[spoiler:Go]].
* BittersweetEnding: The movie: [[spoiler: After Creasy [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge hunts down and kills]] everyone who profited from Pita's kidnapping save for the BigBad, he finds out that Pita is alive. Creasy knowingly trades his life for hers, and shares a [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming heartbreaking]] moment with her before she is reunited with her mother. Creasy dies soon after, though so does the BigBad responsible for Pita's kidnapping, as well as many others.]]
* BilingualDialogue: ''Lots''. Paired off with those nifty, dynamic subs that ''fly in'' the direction of the person saying them. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] since Creasy himself ''can'' speak Spanish and mostly upper class and police Creasy deals with, so most people will at least ''understand'' English.
* BloodInTheWater: We keep seeing flashback-like scenes of Creasy jumping into a pool, blood coming out of his wounds. He's doing so to sterilize his still-unhealed wounds. It's also to remind us that he's slowly bleeding to death.
* BungledSuicide: Creasy tries to commit suicide by pistol, [[spoiler: but the bullet he used turns out to be defective. Subverted though, as Ramos was able to use the bullet to commit suicide.]]
* CheerfulChild: Lupita
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Bullet]]: [[spoiler:The bullet that stopped Creasy's suicide is later used by Ramos to commit suicide.]]
* ColdBloodedTorture: "I will take your family apart, piece by piece. Do you hear me? PIECE BY PIECE!"
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Creasy, who officially "dies" in the book but is revealed to have faked his death, and gone on to have other adventures.]]
* {{Determinator}}: The reason the movie is named as such. It's so bad/good that Interpol doesn't even want to interfere with him.
* DirtyCop: The Mexico City police is full of them. The kidnappers outright ''hire'' off-duty cops to assist in Pita's kidnapping.
* [[DoesHeHaveABrother Does She Have A Sister]]: Said by Creasy after being introduced to his friend Rayburn's wife. He's not serious though.
* [[EarnYourHappyEnding Earn Your]] BittersweetEnding:
** The novel. [[spoiler: Pinta Balletto, the novel's little girl character, was raped and killed, but Creasy made sure every one that profited from her tragic end paid for it. He regains some semblance of humanity and ends up with a love interest, too.]]
** The movie has one too. [[spoiler: Because of Creasy's slaughter of the entire organization, he is able to trade his life for Pita's and she is able to go home mentally scarred, but alive. But she has lost her friend and protector and her family has fallen apart. But Creasy is at least able to rest knowing that she is safe and the people who hurt her are dead.]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: 'The Voice', the mastermind behind the kidnapping scheme, turns out to be [[spoiler:a divorced man with a family he deeply cares about. He's shown with some of his children, while Creasy specifically gets him to release Pita by threatening to cut up his family and starts with his brother.]]
* {{Fingore}}:
** The main character tortures a corrupt Mexican policeman by removing his fingers one by one and cauterizing the wound with a cigar lighter.
** In the climax, he's talking on the phone with the guy he's after, and holding the guy's brother hostage. When the guy tries to buy him off, the protagonist holds the phone up so the brother can talk and blows his fingers off with a shotgun.
* GenkiGirl: Lupita, and adorably so.
* GrumpyBear: Creasy. It's even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Lupita.
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Creasy dies at the end, but he accomplishes all his objectives by taking out almost all of the kidnapping organization and even saving Pita's life. His death is also a "screw you!" to the bad guys, since he dies before the Voice (the brains behind the operation) can get his hands on him. The Voice himself is killed by Detective Manzano on the same day.]]
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique:
** "Okay, [[{{Fingore}} I'm gonna cut your fingers until you talk]], and using... ''[[HealItWithFire this]]'' to stop the bleeding"
** "Last wish? [[WhyAmITicking I wish...you had...more time]]."
* JustFollowingOrders: Attempted to be used by the leader of the secret [[SouthOfTheBorder Mexican]] fraternity of [[DirtyCop Dirty Cops]] (being more specific, he says he's "just a professional" and that the [[spoiler: apparent]] death of [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth Lupita Ramos]] was just a snafu). [[BerserkButton To say that this pisses off]] [[PapaWolf John]] [[RetiredBadass Creasy]] (who says he's heard this excuse from everybody else he's [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique interrogated so far]] and is sick and tired of it), is a ''massive'' {{Understatement}}.
* LeaveBehindAPistol: [[spoiler:Creasy does this with a slight variation: the bullet in the gun is the one that misfired earlier when he tried to kill himself, and he explains that "a bullet always knows" if it ''should'' be fired, implying that if the target shouldn't die, he won't. ''This'' time, it works.]]
* LegionOfLostSouls: Creasy apparently trained in jungle warfare with the French Foreign Legion, according to his resume.
* LockAndLoadMontage: A variation. We see Creasy ''buy'' the guns alongside other pieces of equipment (like additional cell phones presumably for calling without being traced), [[ChekhovsArmory most of which get used at some point afterwards in the movie]]. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Set to Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made"]].
* MutilationInterrogation: John Creasy does this several times in the movie to people involved in the kidnapping ring.
** He tapes a guy's hands to the steering wheel. He cuts off the man's fingers one by one, ''slowly'', and then cauterizes the wound with the car's cigarette lighter immediately. Then [[OneLastSmoke he gives the guy a smoke]] and pushes the car off a cliff (though at that point the guy was just glad it was over).
** He blows off a man's fingers with a shotgun.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Creasy enters a nice elderly couple's apartment to attack a motorcade from above with a RPG launcher. That particular kind of RPG has a (relatively) very small backblast, but using it in that small room would still have ruined Gramma & Grampa's day. Based on the rest of the movie, Creasy probably would have survived the ensuing fire.
* NoodleIncident: The large, ugly scar on the back of Creasy's hand goes unexplained, even when Pita pointedly asks about it.
* NothingPersonal: The people involved with Pita's kidnapping that Creasy tracks down all insist that it was not personal, but just business. Eventually Creasy just gets sick of this response, warning the last person that uses it.
* NotSoStoic:
** Kidnappers act all tough, relying on fear tactics to achieve their goals, but once they, or their loved ones, are at the hands of Creasy, they're reduced to a quivering mass of flesh.
** Creasy is a depressed, stoic professional early in the movie, but Pita eventually softens his heart. After she is kidnapped he goes through TranquilFury mode the rest of the film.
* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:This is how Jordan Kalfus dies. Creasy finds his decapitated corpse floating in his pool, with a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]] lying nearby.]]
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: Subverted. "Do you think God'll forgive us for what we've done?" "No." Which is an interesting take on the concept. If he's already irredeemable, there's no reason to have any moral compunction left.
--> "Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting."
* PragmaticAdaptation: The original novel is ''[[{{Squick}} worse]]'' than the film.
* PapaWolf: Goes straight from ShellShockedSenior into OneManArmy with OmniscientMoralityLicense. And it is '''''awesome'''''.
-->'''Rayburn''': And they're gonna wish they never touched a hair on her head.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: What Creasy does to the kidnappers.
* PreMortemOneLiner:
** After interrogating a CorruptCop by [[{{Fingore}} slicing his fingers off]] [[HealItWithFire and cauterizing them with the car lighter]]:
-->''See you in the next life... I can guarentee you won't be [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge lonely.]]''
** ''[[SubvertedTrope Indirectly]]'' while inside an elderly couple's home, using the vantage point to strike at the [[CorruptCop Police Chief's]] motorcade with a [[StuffBlowingUp RPG]]:
-->'''Elderly Man [[BilingualDialogue (In Spanish)]]''': ''In the church, they say to forgive...''
-->'''Creasy [[BilingualDialogue (Interrupting in English)]]''': ''Forgiveness is between them and God. [[OmniscientMoralityLicense It's my job to arrange the meeting]]''
** After interrogating the police chief and putting [[AssShove a C4 bomb up his ass]], he asks for a last wish:
-->''[[WhyAmITicking I wish...you had...more time!]]''
** After finding out that [[spoiler: the father was in cahoots with the kidnapping to [[InsuranceFraud cash in on the abduction insurance:]] ]]
-->''[[LeaveBehindAPistol (Hands him a pistol and a dud bullet)]] You know what they say...a bullet doesn't lie...It didn't work for me, maybe it'll work for you...''[[spoiler: [[DrivenToSuicide It works]]]]
* ProfessionalKiller: Creasy
-->'''Rayburn''': ''A man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasy's art is death. He's about to paint his masterpiece.''
* RetiredMonster: Creasy knows he is. He's not happy about it to say the least, but has little trouble making everyone else unhappy about it when motivated. See title.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Holy shit. [[spoiler: He takes out a secret society of corrupt policemen, the kidnapping organization that took Lupita, and HER OWN DAD (although that was more of an assisted suicide)]].
* SemperFi: According to a glance at his resume early on in the movie, Creasy led Force Reconnaissance platoons in combat. The only U.S. military unit generally referred to as "Force Reconnaissance" belongs to the U.S. Marine Corps. Closer examination indicates that he was trained in Quantico, among other places.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Creasy. [[spoiler:He was actually DrivenToSuicide but the gun didn't fire when he pulled the trigger.]]
* SoundtrackDissonance: Happens a lot throughout the film, especially jarring to hear Mickey, by Toni Basil while a man has body parts cut off.
* SparedByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Pita. Her counterpart in the book on which the film is based accidentally dies when her kidnapping is botched.]]
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Pita. [[spoiler: She survives though]].
-->'''Pita''':''Dear God, I do not ask for health or wealth. People ask you so often that you can't have any left. Give me, God, what else you have. Give me what no-one else asks for. Amen. ''
* TranquilFury: In the wake of Pita's abduction, Creasy's RoaringRampageOfRevenge contains elements of this as he calmly tortures and kills the various members of La Hermandad in turn. It's only when he's talking to the Voice over the phone does he finally lose his composure and threatens the Voice's family, [[spoiler: as he's been shot again, and knows that he's running out of time]].
* TruthInTelevision:
** Mexico City has a really high kidnapping rate per capita and this is with 95% of 'em going unreported to the authorities. The fact that the Mexican police are known for being [[DirtyCop corrupt]] doesn't help.
** Same goes for Creasy's torture techniques. Kidnappers often do this to their victims and [[FingerInTheMail send the lopped off ears/fingers to their relatives]], along with the warning that they should hurry up and recover what's left of 'em.
** There's a point where Creasy is practicing his draw, and he draws his gun close to the body before pushing it out. This is actually a technique used by bodyguards and in close-quarter combat.
* UnflinchingWalk: Creasy does one of these after [[spoiler:he blows up the police chief.]]