”Play with fire and you’ll get burned” is what I felt was appropriate way of describing the feeling after finishing Playing With Fire. The sort-of-a-family comedy starring recognizable names like John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer is perhaps the most mark-missing feature of the year. It’s choppy, incomprehensible and lacking from all sides as it never uses the chance to teach kids (or the parents) anything, instead time is wasted on the worst possible slapstick comedy.
Man, it’s disheartening that the first scene is firefighters doing their job and while there is obviously over the top sexy postures coming left and right, there still was a jumping point for a movie somewhere. In the scene Cena’s character Jake rescues three kids from a house so therefore we have a family drama on our hands. Cena uses all his charm to better the film as much as he can even surrounded by a dumpster fire. Imagine if the script had taken the profession of firefighters seriously and had went on to teach the kids about bravery, responsibility and commitment to save lives even when the heat is on. Too bad that the plot turns them into idiots and cowards. At the very least they could’ve shown some actual heroism and firefighting after the first scene considering the title.
The soundtrack is all filler and no killer as it offers nothing more than a chance for a goofy dance which lasts 20 insufferable seconds. It’s hard to catch anything interesting on the screen as the editing lacks smoothness and things just bounce around in each cut that it makes you wonder if there are any takes longer than five seconds. Script’s ”humor” treats everyone like a moron, opting only for poop and falling down jokes and even those aren’t built up to (and those are the easiest kind of jokes to build up to). Greer plays Amy who is a doctor of something to do with environment(?) and as you can tell from that this apparently smart woman is reduced to an one-dimensional plot device that offers zero depth, with no characteristics of her own. The whole movie is void of any entertainment value, usefulness to kids/parents and technical uniquity. Romantic and family developments are rushed and make no sense considering the time we spend with the people.
Smileys: John Cena has charm I guess
Frowneys: Screenplay, editing, soundtrack, character work, humor, not suitable for kids or adults
These kind of scripts should be shredded at the lobby so they never get to the producers or studio heads.