Fire With Fire Review

Fighting fire with fire is generally not the most practical way of dealing with a blaze spiralling out of control, but for fire-fighter Jeremy Coleman played by Josh Duhamel there seemed to be no amount of water that could dose this particular inferno.

Following an intense day at work Jeremy decides to visit the local convenience store for a much needed drink.

Unbeknownst to him there are a few individuals who also plan on visiting the store with a thirst of their own, only this thirst is more of a thirst for blood rather than vintage Bourbon.

After witnessing the store Clerk and his son getting brutally murdered by evil Neo-Nazi ringleader Hagan played by Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy makes a daring dash for freedom and narrowly escapes with his life.

Police Detective Mike Cella played by Bruce Willis takes a keen interest in the case having been directly affected by Hagan’s past actions and the vile crime boss is duly arrested and revealed as the culprit by Jeremy in a Police line-up.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jeremy receives a call from Hagan out of the blue threatening him and his family if he testifies in the upcoming trial. Jeremy then realizes that either way him and his family will never be safe again and decides the only way out of the situation is to kill Hagan himself.

Yes, the scriptwriters went all out on this one.

Jeremy is subsequently put in the witness protection program where surrenders his name and career. The sting of losing his former life is eased by the Deputy Marshall assigned to his case, Talia Durham played by Rosario Dawson and soon enough a romance blossoms giving him some respite from the fear plaguing his every waking moment.

Their bubble of love is viciously popped by Hagan, who since being released from prison, sends his cronies to assassinate the two budding lovers.

After Talia is wounded he flees the witness protection program and travels to Long Beach where he teams up with one of Hagan’s rival gangs in order to amass the protection and firepower needed to bring the tyrant down and protect his newfound love.

I always take my hat off to those who struggle against adversity and overcome the odds, but after watching Jeremy’s fight for justice I have to say I left the cinema feeling a tad bit uninspired.

In a nutshell, Fire With Fire is your generic Hollywood tale of revenge with very little substance and even less artistic integrity.

Taking into account the amount of money, resources, time and effort that goes into making a film, you’d expect whatever’s created to match up to the scale of investment.

Alas, enlightening the population is the last of Hollywood’s priorities.

I’m starting to think there’s more to this than meets the eye, that Hollywood doubles as a money making machine as well as a testing ground for an actor’s artistic integrity.

If you choose to sacrifice good taste and your personal ideals for a big pay cheque, you run the risk of being laughed at and ridiculed by the genuine appreciators of the art form that is film.

Which is pretty much what’s happening right now.

There is another angle to this too.

I imagine actors who are so well established may sometimes feel bemused and disillusioned by mainstream folk’s lack of artistic imagination and appreciation when it comes to said performers more sophisticated and layered roles.

Especially considering their shallow blockbuster roles usually gets more attention and feedback from the masses.

Josh Duhamel is far from an established actor, so he has the right ignite his career in a cheesy Hollywood cliché, having said that, if his acting was a tad more emotive and engaging I’d have had more sympathy for him.

Sadly, it wasn’t so I didn’t.

There’s a time and a place for a tasteful action flick, but there’s never a time or a place for a dull, soulless and uninspiring film unless you take pleasure in sniggering at the terrible acting and storyline.

If that’s you, then Fire With Fire will have you in stitches.

Kareem Ghezawi

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March 2013
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