April 2004 was showered with vigilante revenge thrillers with Uma Thurman slicing and dicing as the Bride in director Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2, Thomas Jane preparing for war against the underworld as The Punisher, and now comes Denzel Washington blazing with fury as a Man on Fire.
Released on April 23, 2004, the film is based on a novel from A.J. Quinnell with Denzel as the boozing and world-weary John Creasy, a former CIA agent who comes down to Mexico at the behest of his friend Rayburn (Christopher Walken), who offers Creasy the job of bodyguarding nine-year-old Pita (Dakota Fanning), the daughter of businessman Samuel (Marc Anthony) and Lisa (Radha Mitchell) Ramos. At first, the strong and silent Creasy wanted to keep his distance from Pita, but gradually he becomes her Creasy bear, and starts to live again. But when Pita gets kidnapped by a brotherhood with corrupt cops on their payroll, Creasy sets out to do what he does best.
Man on Fire was reborn ten years later as The Equalizer. Based on the hit CBS spy/detective series that starred Edward Woodward from 1985 to 1989 (now a hit reboot with Queen Latifah on Sunday nights), the filmreunited Denzel with his Training Day director with Antoine Fuqua with the Oscar winner as Robert McCall, a former covert operative residing in Boston as an employee for Home Mart. It is the perfect job for McCall, who is very skilled at fixing people’s problems. When he meets Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young prostitute, McCall decides to become her knight in shining armor against Russian mobsters and corrupt cops. Released in the fall of 2014, The Equalizer spawned a sequel in the summer of 2018.