Man On Fire

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Man on Fire

When I think of an American Hero I immediately think of someone who is strong, intelligent, handsome, and daring. Upon closer examination, many different qualities than these become apparent. Courage, honesty, bravery, selflessness, and the will to try are just a few of the overlooked qualities of an American Hero. The definition of heroism changes with the context and time. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines heroism as "heroic conduct especially as exhibited in fulfilling a high purpose or attaining a noble end; the qualities of a hero". Heroes of the past are not necessarily heroes of present time and vise versa.

Looking in this day and age, movie heroes are taking the law into their own hands, creating the anti-hero in the long run. Defined by wikipedia, the anti-hero is a villain or an outsider, but is nevertheless portrayed somewhat sympathetically. In particular, an anti-hero may have enough heroic qualities and intentions to align them with the heroes in the readers' mind ("Anti-hero"). A film that depicts the classic vigilante is Man on Fire by Tony Scott. The film takes on the idea of revenge with a blend of disturbingly sentimental seriousness and harsh reality.

John Creasy has the vigilante characteristics that drive him to be an anti-hero. Creasy, however well he hands down earthly consequences, believes devoutly in divine justice. This means that his own journey can't end with his violence unto others, and moreover, that his serial sacrifices for the white child so abused by every adult in sight—save for him—make him less admirable than frightening, a spectator of payback that extends far beyond his own experience or representative capacity (Fuchs).

John Creasy in Man on Fire is to present times as Blondie in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was to the past. Creasy seems to always be down, with not much to look forward to in life, until he opens up to Pita. Creasy is solid as always, and we can see how Pita brightens this troubled soul's days (Laforest).

There are several quotes throughout the movie that lean toward the vigilante side of heroism. " I'm gonna do what I do best, kill ‘em" "You're talking a bout a war, Creasy" "Exactly" "Forgiveness is between them and God, It's my job to arrange a meeting" "Creasy's art is death, he's about to paint his masterpiece" (Man on Fire).

The macho agony of the guilt-ridden hero is over-the-top and an invitation to gnash teeth and chew carpet.
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