I'm a little embarrassed to admit that Mitzi and I watched this last night. It's mostly more of the same, with some nice Italian locations.

I don't know how much there is a genuine appetite for this sort of mayhem, or if it's just that we like seeing certain "stars," and producers like printing money so they just repackage the same stuff over and over again.

This is just Shane in Italy. Kind of a reverse on the "spaghetti western," I think.

If I had to guess, I think Man On Fire did well at the box office, but it wasn't the kind of movie that lent itself to becoming a franchise. It's sort of ambiguous, but I think it's pretty clear Creasy died in the end. I'm sure clever writers could work around that, but maybe there were IP issues elsewhere.

Anyway, The Equalizer was tailor-made for being a franchise, and it was almost an identical character. So... Denzel as McCall! "Two 'c's, two 'l's."

What made Man On Fire better than your average blood-soaked revenge flick was Creasy's tortured soul and a glimpse of redemption in the eyes of a little girl. (Dakota Fanning. Surprise!) "Do you think God will forgive us for what we've done?"

Moral injury. Something I've been thinking about more and more lately.

Antoine Fuqua tries to bring some of that angst to McCall in 3, but if feels like a veneer, and a very thin one at that.

Anyway, I enjoy watching Denzel Washington. The body count is absurd. The bad guys are really, really bad. And it's ultimately about as memorable, and enjoyable, as a McDonald's (One "c," one "l".) cheeseburger.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 08:34 Tuesday, 28 November 2023