The Movie Waffler New Release Review - PLAYING WITH FIRE | The Movie Waffler

Sponsor

New Release Review - PLAYING WITH FIRE

playing with fire review
Firefighters are charged with looking after the kids they rescued for a weekend.

Review by Ben Peyton

Directed by: Andy Fickman

Starring: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildeband, Christian Convery, Finlay Rose Slater, Judy Greer, Tyler Mane, Dennis Haysbert

playing with fire poster



John Cena’s no-nonsense, by the book, emotionally stunted smokejumper (specially trained firefighters who provide an initial-attack response on wildland fires by parachuting into remote and rugged terrain - thanks, Wikipedia), Jake Carson, rescues three children from a burning building. Along with his eccentric crew, he needs to look after them for the weekend before their parents arrive to take them home.

playing with fire review

However, all is not as it seems with the youngsters while the ill-prepared heroes struggle to adapt to parenthood. Throw in a potential promotion depending on the results of a surprise inspection by the retiring district boss (Dennis Haysbert) and the beginnings of an awkward romance with the local doctor (Judy Greer), and Carson’s ordered world is turned upside-down in chaotic and explosive (beware the poop gag) fashion.

[ READ MORE: New Release Review - Jojo Rabbit ]

Will the children be able to rekindle the dying embers of the hapless Chief’s cooling heart? Of course they will! We know from the off how it will end, but it’s the journey to get there that matters and Playing with Fire is funny, surprisingly moving and never pretends to be anything other than an amusing, frivolous family movie.

playing with fire review

Cena skippers the film, and his crew of smokejumpers, with natural charm. It’s a terrific showcase for his comedic skills. Ably backing him up are his three amigos, Mark (Keegan-Michael Key), Rodrigo (John Leguizamo) and Axe (Tyler Mane). All have their own quirks and, together, their banter and gentle teasing is one of many highlights.

[ READ MORE: New Release Review - Amanda ]

The kids are a likeable bunch even if Brynn’s (Briana Hildebrand) sarcastic teenager is too cocksure and Zoey (Finlay Rose Slater) seems a little old to not be toilet-trained, while the excellent Greer isn’t given enough to do and becomes the children’s surrogate mother a little too quickly and easily. Some of the slapstick humour won’t be for everyone, but the shenanigans are all harmless and in these occasionally dark times, sometimes all you need is to watch a WWE star struggling to change a nappy.

playing with fire review

For children of all ages, Playing with Fire is so full of heart that it’s almost impossible not to get caught up in the irresistible warmth of it.

Playing with Fire is in UK/ROI cinemas December 26th.




2019 movie reviews