Go: Dvd: Denzel Wings It as Avenging Angel

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), February 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

Go: Dvd: Denzel Wings It as Avenging Angel


Byline: MICHAEL WOOD and DAMON SMITH

TO RENT

MAN ON FIRE (18). Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington plays an avenging angel in this dark thriller.

Boozed-up former CIA agent John Creasy gets a job as a bodyguard to the nine-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning) of a business tycoon in Mexico City, where, we're told, a kidnapping takes place every 60 minutes.

They strike up an unlikely friendship, which is interrupted when the girl is - surprise, surprise - kidnapped.

When the ransom exchange is botched - with tragic results - Creasy vows to seek out and destroy anyone involved. In doing so, he uncovers a murky conspiracy of police officers.

An adaptation of a 1987 film starring Scott Glenn and Joe Pesci, Crimson Tide director Tony Scott's film is explosive, violent, edgy and, until the finale, well plotted.

And, without giving too much away, the big twist at the end doesn't really hold up under close scrutiny. 3 STARS Michael Wood

THE GRUDGE (15). American exchange student Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is studying social work in Japan, where she has relocated with her boyfriend.

When a nurse fails to turn up for work one morning, the nursing home manager asks Karen to cover and visit the home of an elderly American woman on the nurse's rounds.

Arriving at a pretty house on the edge of the city, Karen is horrified to discover the elderly patient confined to her bed in a state of terrified shock.

Then Karen discovers a young boy trapped in a closet, who holds the key to a terrifying force from another world, which has the house in its grasp.

Working with a largely Japanese crew, director Takashi Shimizu keeps a tight rein on this remake of his cult horror Ju-On: The Grudge, sustaining the tension well and conjuring some nice shocks.

The guttural growl of the vengeful spirit, crackling on the soundtrack, still makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. …

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