Fire With Fire

Those rules mostly involve murder
"Revenge has its own set of rules."

Hey everyone, welcome to Monday's Tagline! Today I'll be exploring the nature of revenge as it relates to B action movies on Netflix, in the aptly named Fire with Fire, aptly named because that word applies to virtually everything that happens in this movie. Josh Duhamel is firefighter Jeremy Coleman, who is present when a Neo-Nazi gang leader named David Hagen (Vincent D'Onofrio coming around from the cop side of the desk after a long stint on Law & Order: Criminal Intent) opens fire on the store owner and his son. Jeremy is present and escapes the gunfire of Hagen's cronies, and so is tapped by the authorities to testify against Hagen. This of course puts Jeremy right back in the line of fire (okay I'm done I swear). Also a bunch of shit gets set on actual fire (now I'm done). Heading up the case against Hagen is Detective Mike Cella, a veteran cop whose partner (and his partner's family) were both murdered when they previously attempted to take Hagen down. During his time in protective custody, Jeremy begins a secret relationship with Talia Durham (Rosario Dawson) one of the agents protecting him. Naturally things do not go smoothly, and Jeremy finds himself in a difficult position when Hagen starts attacking his friends even while he is in custody. Deciding he has no other options, Jeremy decides to take matters into his own hands, and kill Hagen before he can kill him and everyone he cares about.

Always buy guns from Fiddy Cent.
Sound familiar? Probably, considering that the plot is about as by the numbers as a coloring book. The movies gimmick is the whole "he's a firefighter thing" which doesn't do much to dress up the fact that this plot is not exactly novel. Jeremy we learn was sort of a delinquent growing up, and he's a fire fighter, so we know he's tough, and we see Talia teaching him how to shoot, so at least we have plausible explanation for why he doesn't just die at the beginning of the movie. While it isn't anything beyond the 'regular guy gets involved over his head with crime stuff' story, it doesn't do a terrible job in terms of execution (har har get it). Jeremy doesn't quite do anything that seems totally outside the limits of human ability (aside from getting the holy hell beat out of him repeatedly) and he has what I thought were fairly realistic reactions to having to get really grisly when 'negotiating' with criminals to try and find Hagen (in particular there is one scene where he is trying to coerce information out of a guy that is pretty graphic in a fairly believable way).

Paid me just enough to be on screen. That's it.
Bruce Willis is a fairly major character in the movie, but mostly doesn't get his hands dirty in this film (except for one scene where he beats up a white supremacist that was pretty funny). I sort of feel like he agreed to do this movie because he had nothing better to do some afternoon or something, because his performance is very vague in it. That's understandable given that this film was released straight to DVD, and I don't mean to say his performance was bad just not the sort of intense character he typically plays. We're told that he really wants to catch this guy, but for the most part he seems only half interested, as if he, just like the audience, knows exactly how this whole thing will play out (not good for the bad guys).

I always carry liquor bottles into burning buildings.
This film also features a guest appearance by 50 Cent, playing a gun dealing gang leader, who seems less eager to murder Jeremy than everyone around him, which is cool I guess. I would've liked it better if he got in on the action and maybe the whole G-Unit was on screen and they went to get some diamonds or something in a bullet proof Escalade, (I'd watch that movie) but we can't get everything we want in life. As diverting background noise, Fire with Fire passes with flying colors, but anything more than that... well save your DVD money for $5 copies of the crow at Wal-Mart (seriously they have some good deals on decent movies all the time!)

That's it for today, join me again on Thursday, and in the mean time I'm going to try to get out to see Oblivion.

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