Denzel Washington stars as former anti-insurgency agent John Creasy (a covert assassin trained quite possibly at the U.S. Army School of the Americas), who is wallowing in alcoholism. He drifts to Mexico on the heels of a wave of kidnappings for ransom, where a former associate (Christopher Walken) lines him up as a bodyguard to the daughter (Dakota Fanning) of an industrialist and his American wife. When the youngster is abducted and presumed dead, Creasy vows to kill and intermittently tortures all involved or profiting from the crime. Director Tony Scott slowly builds the setting and character elements of the story and singes them with the kind of edgy film work found in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores perros
and Fernando Meirelles’ City of God
, but he drowns the film in overwhelming, graphic mayhem.