Playing With Fire

Directors think John Cena is a bargain The Rock, but what they’re really getting is an overpriced tree stump. He has the personality of dry, slightly burnt toast.

It’s not entirely Cena’s fault. Director Andy Fickman clearly has no vision and no funny bone. He’s not sure whether he’s making a satire or a slapstick comedy. I mean, he’s not making a satire. Satire implies a basic level of intellect. Parody might be closer to what I mean but he’s not even doing that because parody implies you’re being bad on purpose. And the purpose is generally comedy. But nothing here is funny. The attempts at humour are such dismal misfires they suck the oxygen out of the room so fast it’ll flip your eyelids inside out. True story.

The slapstick, such as it is, is an even bigger problem. Physical comedy is the lowest form of humour. There’s such a high risk of failure it should only be attempted by a master. There are no masters in Playing With Fire. They aren’t even comedy interns. Not even comedy fetuses (feti?). They’re just monkeys flinging shit.

John Cena has the range of a rock. I can’t really blame him for eagerly shoveling up Dwayne Johnson’s leftovers. Hell, he’s probably pretty grateful for Dave Bautista’s scraps. But Keegan-Michael Key, I’m disappointed in you. Jordan Peele’s out here making the world a better/scarier place with his incisive social commentary and you’re…tasting farts. While playing second fiddle to JOHN FUCKING CENA.

The script is should have been flushed, and not because it’s a dead goldfish. It’s probably the worst offender in this huge steaming pile of donkey excrement. The script is to subtlety what Donald Trump is to modesty. Yeah, this review ain’t subtle either.

John Cena plays a fire fighter who prefers to be called a smoke jumper. He’s got a dweeb haircut and a complete absence of personality. He and his colleagues-in-flames (Key, and John Leguizamo) save a trio of runaways and end up pulling babysitting duty in their firehouse while the kids do more damage than a pack of wild dingos.

We have 3 categories here at Assholes Watching Movies – Kick Ass, Half-Assed, and Sucks Ass – and until now, that’s been enough. But I’m petitioning to add a fourth one because Playing With Fire EATS ass.

Can’t stop won’t stop ranting.

11 thoughts on “Playing With Fire

  1. Brittani

    I couldn’t agree more with the opening sentence of this review. My son wanted to see this in theaters and I just couldn’t bring myself to take in. Peele needs to cast Key in something to stop this nonsense.


  2. Invisibly Me

    Eats Ass, that’s pretty much what I had expected from this. What I couldn’t understand though were all the oddly positive reviews for this one when it came out. I thought I was looking at the wrong film. Surely nothing that looks & sounds this bad can’t be that good. I trust you all as the voices of reason so my faith in reviews is restored. I’ll assume those positively rating this were high. Or had been watching a different film by mistake.
    Caz x


  3. Ant

    Can’t say that I’ve seen this particular crapfest but I do think Cena has a certain charm and likability. Now, having that translate to acting skill is something else all together so let’s hope he can hone his craft in the years to come. As for monkeys flinging shit, I have to say I’ve always envied the simian world for their social acceptance of a good doody toss.


  4. Pingback: Playing With Fire — ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES | Los Angeles feedback film festival

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