Fire With Fire
2012 Running time: 97 Certificate: 15 Rating: 2
Fire With Fire KA

Synopsis

When firefighter Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel) sees Aryan gang boss Hagen (Vincent D'Onofrio) murder two innocents in a Long Beach store, detective Mike Cella (Bruce Willis) finally has the witness he needs to put the supremacist psycho away for good. But while Jeremy waits to testify under the Witness Protection of Rosario Dawson's US marshal in New Orleans, he receives a message that leaves him with no choice but to bypass the law and ensure Hagen gets the death sentence. Thrills and brutal spills for the Taken crowd.

Director

  • David Barrett

Cast

  • Josh Duhamel

  • Rosario Dawson

  • Bruce Willis

  • Vincent D'Onofrio

  • Vinnie Jones

Review

On the face of it, there's nothing particularly remarkable about this pulpy B-thriller. But actually there is.

It's nothing to do with the plot which sees Josh Duhamel's fireman Jeremy get his Taken on to slip out of witness protection and see lethal justice done to Vincent d'Onofrio's white power scumbag.

Nor is it that Duhamel makes much of an impact by stepping out of his comfort zone as a romcom rent-a-hunk. He may be first in the cast list, but if anyone asked you who was in it, you'd still struggle to name him ahead of bit-parters Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson and Vinnie 'I'm all right, Jackson' Jones.

True, there are times when Jeremy shows a little more depth than your average action hero, specifically when he's forced to commit acts of violence that literally make him sick. There are also interesting lessons in shooting and unprofessional conduct from Rosario Dawson's witness protector-cum-love interest.

But as a cop on the verge of closing his most personal case, Bruce Willis shows all the intensity and enthusiasm of a guy whose piles are playing up. And with the neo-Nazi angle played coy to the point of pointless, nobody will be talking about the characterisation either.

Despite his random use of slo-mo and the abandonment of his 'bullet vision' gimmick after one shootout (a wise move - it probably looked more exciting on paper), director David Barrett generates a suitably brutal atmosphere. With numerous counts of GBH, murder and arson.

Which, washed down with a couple of beers and a bag of Doritos, makes for a Friday night well wasted.

But dig out the record books because here's the remarkable thing: this movie credits a staggering 35 producers. Count 'em: 5 outright 'producers', 21 - that's twenty-one - 'executive producers', 3 'co-executive producers', 4 'co-producers', and 2 'associate producers'.

To put that in context, the credits only list 26 stunt people. And there are a lot of stunts.

So it's a miracle that what they've produced comes anywhere near watchable. Because with that many cooks, most broths don't spoil - they evaporate.

Elliott Noble

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