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Fire With Fire


Stars: Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, Richard Schiff, Bonnie Summerville, Julian McMahon, Kevin Dunn

Director: David Barrett

Although truly average for the most part, this witness-protection thriller does have an exciting last reel as the title phrase comes home to roost.

Flamboyant firefighter Jeremy (Duhamel), determinedly single and loving his life and camaraderie with his friends, finds all of these things changing after he witnesses a mob killing at his local convenience store, as psycho nutcase Hagan (a drawlingly scene-stealing D'Onofrio) comes with two henchmen to enforce protection on the owner and his son, who are already paying said 'protection' to the local black Cripps crew.

Hagan threatens the Crippses by phone, underlining his threat by shooting the two owners. Jeremy escapes, hotly pursued by snarling Boyd (Jones), by the skin of his teeth. Hagan is arrested and chief cop Willis and DA Summerville relocate Jeremy in far away Louisiana while Hagan awaits trial.

Here, Jeremy falls for local cop Talia (Dawson) but, naturally, for the sake of the plot, his location is rumbled, Talia is wounded and Jeremy goes on the run, determined that the only way out of this mess is for him to wipe out Hagan and his formidable gang.

Taking Willis' comment 'You've been erased. You're a ghost. You don't exist' to heart, Jeremy, whom Talia has taught to shoot, puts his life on the line.

There are lulls here, there and everywhere in this potentially suspenseful story, with lots of shouting and bad supporting acting from minor heavies thrown in. Star performances are OK, although Willis seems to be operating in low gear on this one and can't bring the cutting edge to his role that it needs.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour (unspecified).
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Mar 2013