There are so many places we could go with puns on a title like Fire With Fire. But don't bother.
I attempted to erase the memory of the dull Broken City with this, but instead succeeded only in killing an entire evening. And when I got home, my wife had eaten the final slice of my simnel cake. Some nights are like that.
Fire With Fire opens with a cringeworthy scene that sets the expectation depressingly low. We are left in no uncertain terms that the film will be overacted from the outset, that it is scripted for morons, filled with pantomime villains and cheesier than my nephew's feet. Like Broken City, the screenplay is by a man (on this occasion Tom O'Connor) who has absolutely nothing else to his credit on IMDb.
I stumbled upon this, having been unaware of its existence. It arrived without fanfare, drowned by the other Bruce Willis vehicle, A Good Day to Die Hard, and will likely sink without trace but for pillocks like me who see it and then review it. I sincerely hope Willis is as embarrassed about his presence in it as he seems to be about the aforementioned Die Hard 5. I'm not actually sure what he did in Fire With Fire other than run around a bit and then try to hide from the camera when he realised how bad it is.
Fireman Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel, who previously 'delighted' in the execrable Movie 43), escapes a hold up in a convenience store by über villain Hagan (Vincent D'Onofrio). Seen as a major witness in a trial to rid the world of Hagan, Coleman is placed in the witness protection programme and whisked away to a far off state where he is allowed to keep his forename and does nothing to alter his appearance. He is placed in the care of US Marshall Talia (Rosario Dawson) who caters to his every need. Predictably.
And then the baddies come after him again. Predictably. Baddies which include Britain's greatest acting export, Vinnie Jones (who, mystifyingly, has 71 film and TV credits to his name compared to just 57 for Sir Kenneth Branagh. Explain that!). Yes, that's the level we're at here and it doesn't improve one iota.
In a moment of tenderness, Talia asks Coleman how he gets people out of fires and he delivers his next line ins such a way it might just as well have a great big flashing neon sign that states 'REMEMBER THIS LINE. I'LL SAY IT AGAIN AT THE END OF THE FILM WHEN I, PREDICTABLY, SAVE YOU FROM A FIRE.' The thing is, when we get there, he gets it wrong! And even the fire from which they escape looks like the cheap special effects (i.e. from a gas canister) on Casualty.
Oh, in case you didn't get the whole title thing, it has a double meaning: Coleman has to beat the baddies at their own manner (i.e. with guns) and he's a fireman and there's a fire. Geddit? Shall I explain it again just in case you didn't follow? Well, Coleman, you see, is And that's Fire With Fire.
Please, god, let there be another 10 star film out there for me soon.
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