Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

My Letterboxd review of Man on Fire

Reblogged from my Letterboxd list:

I wish Tony Scott had made this back in the mid 1980s when he was originally supposed to do it before money issues got in the way, because by the time he got around to it nearly two decades later, his work had become subsumed by Style with a capital S.

Sure, he was always a stylist – we wouldn’t remember films like The Hunger or Top Gun nearly as much if they didn’t look as modish as they do – but Man on Fire plays like he was trying to outdo Michael Bay in all of his key, horrible aspects: tiresome length (at 2 1/2 hours it’s an hour too long), ADD editing and effects (so much jittery zooming and shaky cam, random Final Cut Pro filters and ‘unique’ subtitle placement), and teal-and-orange colour timing so atrociously fucked-up that even full daylight scenes are swathed in shadow.

If not for those issues it might be recommended (even if it is at heart a jingoistic apologia for US government-sanctioned torture) as, among other things, a great example of Dakota Fanning as a good actor. Just nine years old then, she outclasses nearly everyone around her (except for Chris Walken, of course; he’s always the exception) without coming over all stage-school bratty, and it’s a performance worth seeing to get what people ever saw in her in the first place, as she seems to have lost it as she’s grown up.