Fire with Fire
Dull action revenge flick starring Bruce Willis and Josh Duhamel
Oh, Josh Duhamel – is there nothing you can do? In between contributing nothing much to each instalment of the Transformers series, he has popped up in low-to-middling romantic ventures like Safe Haven and New Year’s Eve. He even joined the cast of this year’s turkey Movie 43 (although admittedly, so did half of Hollywood, so we might let him off with that one). And yet in spite of bringing absolutely nothing to the table, he inexplicably keeps getting cast.
Duhamel delivers a featureless performance as macho fireman Jeremy, entered into witness protection after seeing white supremacist gangster David (Vincent D’Onofrio) commit a murder. Naturally, Jeremy falls in love with US Marshall Talia (Rosario Dawson), who’s looking after him – but when she gets injured by a hit squad out to kill him, he sets out to Get Revenge.
The Duhamel-shaped vacuum at the centre of the film distracts somewhat from a plot that’s crudely knitted together from other (better) movies: Jeremy’s job as a fire fighter leads the way for some heavily-telegraphed Backdraft action towards the end, and Bruce Willis pops up in an entirely inconsequential role to lend some Die Hard gravitas. Meanwhile, D’Onofrio’s swastika-tattooed uber-baddie is hammier than a butcher’s window, and henchman Vinnie Jones appears to have snuck onto the set while filming and refused to leave until someone gave him some lines.
Following A Good Day to Die Hard’s downgrading from an NC17 certificate in the US to a 12A over here, there’s some weight to the theory that the UK is a place where bad American movies go to die – or at least scrape together some extra change. Fire with Fire went straight to DVD in the States, but gets a limited cinema release here – what does that tell you?
Limited release from Fri 8 Mar.