🎥🍣 Movie Sushi — Man On Fire

AdGridley
7 min readNov 22, 2020

There’s one kidnapping every 60 minutes in Latin America and 70% of the victims don’t survive.

At a barbeque, Paul Raymond suggests his friend John Creasy becomes a bodyguard for Samuel Ramos for some easy money. Soon, Samuel is impressed with Creasy’s military record, even though Creasy says he drinks, which can slow his reactions. Samuel lets this slide since Creasy’s not asking for much pay.

At Samuel’s mansion, Creasy meets wife Lisa, another American, and daughter Pita, who introduces herself in Spanish. She shows Creasy to his room, breezily introducing Bruno the gardener and Maria the cook along the way. Pita later thinks Creasy is sad about something and she names her favourite stuffed toy Creasy Bear.

Out of practice and under the influence, Creasy clumsily revisits his gun skills. Still drinking whiskey, Creasy has a map and is planning a route to Pita’s school. In the car, Pita asks Creasy lots of questions. He says only time will tell if being black will help when being a bodyguard in Mexico. Pita then demonstrates her extensive knowledge of kidnappings in the country.

That afternoon, Pita asks Creasy if he was happy as a schoolboy, then she asks him about the scarring on his hands. He tells her he doesn’t appreciate all the questions. At a busy intersection, she shocks him by getting out of the car and then sitting in the back.

Lisa stops at Creasy’s room. He’s just hidden the Jack Daniels, but she spots the Bible. Creasy reiterates to Lisa that he’s not being paid to be Pita’s friend. She says she’ll be joining them in the car the next morning.

That night, Creasy listens to melancholic music and drinks whiskey. He’s trying to escape the demons he created when he was in the military. He gets extremely worked up and shoots himself in the head, but the gun misfires. Outside in the rain, he calls Paul about the misfiring. Paul suggests it must be a bad primer. Pita watches Creasy quietly from a window. He keeps the lucky bullet safely in a matchbox.

In the morning, the car of three people is silent. A suspicious car follows them and both Creasy and Pita go to write down the numberplate. Then, Creasy watches Pita swim a race. They agree she should be faster off the blocks. She has a big swim meet in three weeks’ time.

Pita’s parents go to Detroit for a while. Creasy applies military techniques to Pita’s training. He teaches her how to react to the gunshot. She’s told encouraging, hyped-up slogans such as “the sound of the gunshot sets me free”. She soon swims a new personal best. I’m tough, she says. You’re either trained or you’re untrained. Which are you? Trained, she shouts. At the swimming competition, she wins her race. Celebrating with Creasy and Paul, Pita gives Creasy a St Jude necklace — patron saint of lost causes — bought with her own money.

Pita tells her dad that she prefers swimming to piano playing — but he puts his foot down. Creasy then suggests that Pita belch all the way through her lessons so she’ll be thrown out of the class. Before the class, Pita picks a small flower from the pavement and hands it to Creasy. He waits outside the lesson.

After the lesson, a police car appears, as does the suspicious car from earlier. Creasy recognises the threat and fires his gun into the air so Pita will run. There follows a gunfight. Pita is snatched and Creasy is badly wounded.

In his hospital bed, Creasy’s being charged with the murder of two cops and the kidnapping of Pita Martin Ramos. Reporter, Maria, asks why two off duty cops were in uniform in a patrol car at the scene. Her boss, Miguel, then calls the dead policemen corrupt and other reporters agree. Creasy regains consciousness and learns that he managed to shoot four men during the snatch. Creasy asks about Pita — but it’s been two days and no word.

The ransom stands at $10m. Specific instructions for the drop are given to Jordan Kalfus, the lawyer, who then passes them on to Pita’s dad, Samuel. Tragically, the drop is hijacked when an official who shouldn’t have been there opens fire. This ruins everything, resulting in the kidnapper’s nephew getting killed. The kidnappers then tell Lisa it’s too late to save her daughter.

Back at Creasy’s bedside, Paul tells Creasy Pita’s dead. Miguel then tells Creasy the cops he shot were members of a powerful brotherhood called La Hermandad. Creasy is now fired up for revenge. At the crime scene, Maria introduces herself to Creasy. She wants him to help her expose the members of La Hermandad once and for all. In the car, Creasy requests numerous different weapons from Paul, who agrees to get them for him.

Creasy finds Pita’s notebook in Pita’s room and Lisa joins him. He vows to kill anyone involved with the killing of Pita. Now Creasy’s weapons have arrived, he’s ready for action. He has the partial numberplate of the suspicious car and asks Maria to check it out for him.

Creasy finds their address and waits there for the car’s owners to return home. He bursts in to the car and, at gunpoint, he tapes a man’s hands to the steering wheel. He snips off the man’s fingers one-by-one until he’s told what he wants to know. Someone called The Voice tells the man what to do and also there’s a shady group called The Guardians. Creasy is told to go to a specific nightclub for more clues. Creasy then lights the man a cigarette, shoots him in the head and rolls the car off a cliff. When Miguel later finds the burnt-out car, he notices the numberplate and knows Creasy is somehow involved.

Creasy dons a headscarf and gains access to the club. The well-armed Creasy fights his way through doors and asks everyone if they’ve seen Pita — showing them a photo. Then, a man Creasy’s gagged at gunpoint says the whole operation is run by cell phone. They withdraw $200 from a bank account every two weeks using a simple cash card. Further to this, Creasy learns that a crooked, high-ranking cop called Fuentes was at the drop and stole the $10m cash.

Outside, Creasy calls Maria saying he’s rescued a separate young girl and that she’s safe. Maria immediately knows who this is. Creasy wants to know who’s putting money into this mystery bank account for the serial kidnappers. To Creasy, it doesn’t matter that Fuentes lives in a judicial compound and is better protected than the president of Mexico. Creasy is coming for him anyway.

Creasy holes up across the street from where Fuentes will be with a rocket propelled grenade launcher ready to destroy the man’s official motorcade. He then captures Fuentes and takes him to the site of the ill-fated drop. Creasy wakes Fuentes, who confesses to being president of La Hermandad. Creasy explains in detail how he’s inserted a powerful bomb in the corrupt official’s rectum. This bomb will be triggered remotely. Creasy learns that there was no cash where the money should’ve been — the bags were full of paper. Fuentes ultimately surrenders the name Jordan Kalfus, Samuel Ramos’ family lawyer. With only ten seconds to go on the timer, Creasy leaves. Fuentes explodes.

At Jordan Kalfus’ house, the man’s dead, floating in the pool. Creasy finds some bank statements and calls Maria to decipher the codes. Creasy then visits Lisa and Samuel. He goes into the darkened shrine room filled with candles. Samuel confesses that he killed lawyer Jordan because Pita wasn’t supposed to die. He only took part in the kidnapping to make some money. Creasy leaves Samuel alone in the house with a gun with which to kill himself. As Creasy leaves the house, there’s a single gunshot.

Maria finds the location of The Voice. She publishes a photo of The Voice in the paper the next day, no matter that her life has been threatened if she did so.

Creasy goes to the address he has for The Voice. He gets shot in the chest, but still chases The Voice’s brother. After having been driven at, Creasy has the brother by the scruff of his neck. The neighbours all seem pleased — none of them leaping to his defence. The Voice’s lady identifies The Voice from his photo saying his real name’s Daniel. Turns out they usually page Daniel, who then calls back from a cell phone. Creasy makes her page him in the usual way.

Daniel calls and Creasy explains that he has his whole family hostage. Daniel asks how much Creasy wants for their safe return. Creasy puts The Voice’s brother on the phone and then blows off the man’s hand. Creasy says that he doesn’t want money, he only wants Daniel.

Daniel calls back saying a life for a life, adding that Pita’s still alive. When Daniel calls again with proof of life — that Pita’s bear is called Creasy Bear — Creasy is overjoyed but still focussed.

Creasy must now exchange Daniel’s brother for Pita. Sadly, the police lose track of the car. But, Creasy arranges for Lisa to be at the spot as backup. She’s instructed to shoot Daniel’s brother if anything goes wrong. Having been shot in the stomach earlier, Creasy walks with some difficulty to the swap. Pita screams with pleasure when she runs up to him. She then runs eagerly to her mom, Lisa, who hugs her fondly. Creasy is then hustled off by Daniel and his thugs.

Starring Denzel Washington. Christopher Walken. Dakota Fanning. Rated 18. Dir Tony Scott. Released in the UK 2004. Runtime 2hrs 26mins

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AdGridley

Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)