Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Movie Review – Fire With Fire (2012)

Say what you will about Bruce Willis, but I love seeing him onscreen. I’ve been a HUGE fan of his work for well over 25 years now, ever since I watched him weekly on MOONLIGHTING way back in 1985. Although he’s done some bombs (what actor hasn’t), I still find his portfolio of work beyond entertaining, and these little-known gems like FIRE WITH FIRE are no exception. This film is well done, has a great cast, and is definitely worth watching.

If you are not familiar with FIRE WITH FIRE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the LIonsgate press release:
After witnessing the brutal murders of a convenience store owner and his son, firefighter Jeremy Coleman barely escapes with his life. As he is forced to testify against a crime lord, he is placed in the witness protection program under the watch of the U.S. Marshals Service. As his new identity becomes compromised, Jeremy is forced to take an unexpected course of action in order to get his life back and save the lives of those he loves.

Ok, so I suppose I should mention that Bruce Willis only has a secondary role in this film. The main character is portrayed by Josh Duhamel, who I also enjoy watching, but whose filmography is not quite as lengthy as Willis’s. Both actors shine onscreen, as does co-star Rosario Dawson, but I have to admit that it is Vincent D’Onofrio who steals the show with his portrayal of the villain Neil Hagan. D’Onofrio’s character is a southern-bred white supremacist with sociopathic and psychotic tendencies; D’Onofrio does an amazing job with this role and haunts the audience throughout the film with this stoic iciness.

FIRE WITH FIRE is shot well and the plot is intriguing, engaging the audience and putting them right alongside Duhamel for the duration of his plight. I particularly like how plausible the plot actually seems; there’s no hyped up or amped up, stylized violence in here…the fight scenes are gritty, the emotions are focused, and the characters are realistic. In short, the events in this film could actually be real.

Surprisingly, there’s a nice bit of gore in here as well. In one particularly gruesome scene, Duhamel’s character interrogates a man by hammering a chisel into each of his fingers; this obviously results in cutting the appendages off, which in turn elicits a projectile-vomiting spew from Duhamel. I enjoyed this scene for its realism, but also for its graphic depiction of what that situation might actually look like.

My sole complaint about FIRE WITH FIRE is that the ending is a bit abrupt, and I would have liked to have seen it played out a bit more. The film is only 97 minutes long, so pushing it to two hours for the sake of fleshing out the ending more might have paid off. This isn’t enough to detract from the enjoyment of the film, but it is something that popped into my head as the credits started to roll.
Still, FIRE WITH FIRE is an entertaining thriller and a definite win for me. I recommend checking out; my wife watched it with me and she enjoyed it, so this might be a good date-night movie. Regardless of who you watch it with, give it a shot.

 via Matthew Scott Baker, 11.2.12


val said...

"Realism"? "Could actually happen"? I think the reviewer has been watching too much Criminal Minds! Surely not even in the US...

Regina Caschetto said...

I get so happy when Vincent gets great reviews & outshines everyone else in the film.

[Browse Amazon]


List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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