Fire with Fire
Christoffer Ohlson reviews the latest Bruce Willis film to hit the big screen, (yes, yet another one!) but is left feeling decidedly lukewarm…
The low down: Fire fighter Jeremy becomes witness to a gang double homicide and put into a witness protection program. Since the protection isn’t good enough he is forced to take matters into his own hands…
The review: Wherever Josh Duhamel goes there are usually camouflage suits, 50-caliber guns and gigantic alien robots from outer space involved. Add a certain Bruce Willis to the cast and you really expect things to literally blow out of proportion pretty quick. Rather surprisingly, that’s not the case here. The beginning of this story is as a television pilot, and then the pace really takes a plunge…
The fact that the bad-ass Aryan gang leader is played by Vincent d’Onofrio with an arrogance worthy of Jack Nicholson doesn’t help keep up the tempo. There are some violent scenes with the predictably unpredictable Vinnie Jones, but Willis is hardly even a supporting actor and his character never even picks up his gun, nor throw the usual one-liners around him. Did Willis just happen to walk by the set, and had thirty minutes to spare between shooting G.I. Joe and picking up the kids at Demi’s? I start to wonder: Who is this man and what has he done with the real Bruce Willis?
Rosario Dawson’s character, the federal marshal assigned to protecting our hero, comes off like a poorly performing professional, having a really bad day at work all through the movie. She even has to be rescued as the bad guys finally go down, and up, in flames.
There is too much room for dull and tedious dialogue in-between the action, which makes this cast of one-key only actors the wrong choice. The plot twists and turns, trying to decide on which genre to choose, before finally settling on action. Or possibly a romantic drama… Will the real Fire with Fire please stand up?
The best: Travelling with fired bullets into their targets is a very nice special effect and the violence is low-key realistic.
The worst: The hero ascends too quickly, from all-American fire fighter to Machiavellian master of torture in just minutes. Bruce Willis blends very well into the background.
The Verdict: Unless you are an arsonist in the making or have an abnormal urge to see Josh Duhamel naked in a shower, I’m afraid this is not hot enough to start sizzling.
Celluloid inspiration: Goodfellas + Collateral Damage = Fire with Fire