The gulf between a decent film and a great film really can be in the minor details. Fire With Fire is a straight-to-DVD B-movie that’s finding its way into UK theatres but it’s not without merit.
The story of good guy fireman Jeremy Cole (Duhamel) who unexpectedly crosses paths with a violent gangster, after agreeing to testify against the crime he’s sent away under witness protection. Only when Cole falls in love with his guarding officer and the mobster tracks him down and puts their life at risk, must go on a rampage on his own to save what’s most important to him.
Though it’s not without its flaws, and they’re significant and scattered throughout, I quite enjoyed some elements of Fire With Fire. The performances are excitable (in a good way) and 50 Cent’s cameo is kept to a bare minimum, while moments of real tension and honest grit find their way in too. But director David Barrett nearly undoes it all by showing almost no self-restraint.
Where an action scene only needed a small-medium explosion, Fire With Fire turns it up to 11, and where a sub-plot would be best left simmering on the side, Barrett treats every detail with a widespread over-dramatisation, and audience engagement duly suffers.
If action B-movies are your thing then this is just about worth searching out, but if you’re after more cultured works of film, then I probably wouldn’t bother, even if you are a fan of the genre.