Last night, I was privileged enough to see a sneak preview of Man On Fire starring Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning at the Irvine Spectrum. It’s the film where he is her bodyguard, but she still gets kidnapped and he gets shot, then he recovers and goes after the kidnappers. It’s everything I hope The Punisher is going to be with an intriguing premise and excellent action. Directed by Tony Scott (who gave Will Smith semi-legitimate stardom with Enemy of the State), the film takes place in Mexico, where Denzel is an ex-killer looking for forgiveness. Even though he has a drinking problem, he is hired on by the Balleto family to protect Lupita, the only child. Their relationship is tense at first, but Lupita wears down Creasy’s (Denzel) tough exterior and teaches him to live again. In exchange, he teaches her how to swim. Well she already knows how to swim, but she is slow getting off the blocks, so he trains her not to be afraid of the gunshot that they use to signal the start of the race. Now all this is great, until she gets kidnapped. Creasy is left for dead, but is helped by an ex-Interpol agent and an investigative reporter who help him wreak havoc on “La Hermandad”, a gang consisting of corrupt cops and altogether bad people. Denzel has some very creative torture sequences that are just fun to watch (not to say I’m a big fan of torture, but these people have kidnapped children for the past 6 days and it’s great to watch them get punished). The film kept me on the edge of my seat, trying to guess what was going on as Creasy works his way through the entire organization. Altogether, it was a phenomenal film, so go see it. Well, as soon as it comes out. Christopher Walken is a great supporting character as Creasy’s old partner, and the acting all around is superb. I really enjoyed this movie.