Netflix Instant Theater: ‘Fire With Fire’

Welcome to our new weekly feature, Netflix Instant Theater, in which Vince, myself and some very special guests will select a Netflix Instant movie to watch and review for you each week. Kind of like Awesome Movies on Netflix Instant, but sometimes not as awesome. This week, I’m kicking it off with a spectacular tale of action, love, revenge, racism and Bruce Willis being paid money to look old and mean in…

Fire With Fire (2012)

Starring: Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, 50 Cent, Rampage Jackson, Vinnie Jones, and that guy from Nip/Tuck who played Dr. Doom in those awful Fantastic Four movies

The Basic Plot Summary: When firefighter Jeremy Coleman (Duhamel), who ain’t too hard on the eyes, witnesses the brutal murder of a gas station owner and his son, he is forced into the witness protection program so he can help take down the notorious Aryan gangster, Hagan (D’Onofrio), responsible for the kills. However, the law dogs underestimate the reach of Hagan and his crew, as they gun down Jeremy’s girlfriend, U.S. Deputy Marshal Talia (Dawson), so Jeremy purchases some guns from the Crips and vows to take Hagan down himself.

The Only Three Things You Really Need To Know:

  1. 50 Cent produced this film, so if you’re wondering why he and Rampage Jackson are shoe-horned into such an incredibly unimportant scene, that’s why. However, that scene is probably my favorite thing about Fire With Fire.
  2. Bruce Willis is now paid to appear in movies in which he mumbles several lines, punches someone and goes home. Some may argue that he has done that his entire career, but this time it’s extra special.
  3. I believe that Josh Duhamel may be a Manchurian Candidate actor, in that he has been brainwashed – possibly by Michael Bay – to just show up and take awful scripts super seriously. Because bless his heart, Duhamel tries to make you think he’s a firefighter named Jeremy.

Preposterous Plot Point 1: Everything is going great for Jeremy Coleman, as he’s a swinging bachelor and beloved by everyone. But that all falls apart because he just so happens to be in a gas station right as the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood shows up to declare that he wants that particular gas station because he likes the location. That’s it – a gas station. And because the guy won’t give him the gas station, he kills him and his son. Fortunately, Jeremy is a firefighter, so he can escape from buildings with great ease.

Preposterous Plot Point 2: Now that Hagan is hot on Jeremy’s trail – the police lineup scene was some of D’Onofrio’s finest work – the U.S. Marshals have him in custody, and they’ve put him in deputy marshal Talia’s capable hands. Literally. Because they’re boning. That’s how irresistible Jeremy is, not even his professional law enforcement handler can say no to him, even though she’d be fired and possibly arrested for the chain of events her affair leads to.

Preposterous Plot Point 3: Talia really digs Jeremy, so she teaches him how to shoot a gun, just like any woman would do for her man. This is important to remember, because Jeremy has never shot a gun before and he’s about to go on a rampage.

Preposterous Plot Point 4: Dr. Doom and his assassin partner have no problem taking down a deputy U.S. Marshal, but that firefighter with no combat training is just too slippery. Anyway, Talia’s in the hospital with a gunshot wound now, so Jeremy has nothing left to lose. CLICK CLICK BOOM!

Preposterous Plot Point 5: Jeremy needs a gun that can’t be traced so he finds Rampage Jackson because black people always have guns with the serial numbers scratched off. Rampage doesn’t like that assumption so he tells Jeremy to put his mouth on the curb. “You know, like American History X!” Thanks for clearing that up, Rampage. Anyway, 50 Cent sells Jeremy the Glock – “Because that’s what I learned how to shoot with” – and they’re BFF now because they all hate Hagan.

Preposterous Plot Point 6: For a guy who only learned how to shoot a gun 20 minutes ago, he sure has no problem taking down all of these trained assassins. The Aryan Brotherhood just doesn’t have the membership it once boasted.

Preposterous Plot Point 7: I’m willing to bet that Bruce Willis read the screenplay and was like, “Well yeah, I guess my character, who has been chasing Hagan for years, could team up with Jeremy and help him take him down, but wouldn’t it just be easier if I didn’t do that?” Anyway, he punches one person and then heads to the bank.

Without spoiling the entire movie and the intense climactic ending for you, it’s safe to say that writer Tom O’Connor wanted something grandiose and action-packed for his first screenplay, while stuntman-turned-director David Barrett (Blue Bloods, Castle, The Mentalist) also wanted to kick in our faces with his film debut. What they accomplished was a film that, if someone on the street asked me, I would describe as… a straight-to-DVD movie produced by 50 Cent.

Final Grade: 2 Fire Dogs out of 4