Playing with Fire Review – A Rollicking, Laugh out Loud, Uproarious Good Time

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Playing with Fire, from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Media and Walden Media, brings to the screen a comedic drama that has the toughest smoke-jumpers totally unprepared for the toughest assignment they will ever face that of babysitters.

Directed by Andy Fickman, Playing with Fire stars John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Tyler Mane, Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery, Finley Rose Slater, Dennis Haybert and Judy Greer.

The film opens in the middle of an out-of-control forest fire, with roads cut off and impassable, an elite group of smoke-jumpers, firefighters who repel from helicopters into the middle of the fire, become courageous superheroes prepared to go to battle. Today was no different the crews were able to contain the fire and, in the process, save countless lives.


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Back at the station, for our crew lead by Superintendent Jake Carson, played by Jake Carson, are listening to the interview of Division Commander Richards, played by Dennis Haysbert, who announces on the air he is retiring, and he has been tasked with choosing his replacement.

Just then a coup in the station house and half the team decides to join Richards team leaving Jake’s station down with just three faithful team members his every ready assistant played by Keegan-Michael Key and back-up pilot, cook, played by John Leguizamo and Axe, played by Tyler Mane,

A cabin fire springs our ever-ready smoke-jumpers into action, down half a crew, the remainder accustomed to back-up status, are now called into action. Isolating the consuming cabin fire, and with no time to spare Superintendent Jake Carson drops into the fire performing a search and rescue mission, he finds three kids, hiding.

With minutes to spar and the fire breaching the roof and the structure weakening they all three are pulled to safety. With everyone safe, and our man Jake, unprepared for children, a fierce storm and the Safe Haven Law, the kids are secure and the smoke-jumpers sure they can handle any situation.


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The three rescued children, Brynn, the oldest, played by Brianna Hildebrand, watches over Will, played by Christian Convery, and Zoey, played by Finley Rose Slater immediately begin to test the boundaries of our super tough, ready to fight even the most intense fire, smoke-jumpers.

Adding three children to the mix brings out the child within as the station, a man cave, is far from baby proofed, with big red firetrucks, equipment, power hoses, flares, and as three curious kids, who with a natural curiosity raise the roof, tame the dog, and run circles around these ready for action, elite, ooh-rah warriors.

With Jake and the kids, each hiding a back story, the film brings in Dr. Amy Hicks, the only female in a 100mile radius, played by Judy Greer, as the love interest for Superintendent Jake, who can barely handle a half a dinner, as we find out, and she more comfortable studying the natural habitat of the Anaxyrus americanus, or the American toad.

The two are thrown together by circumstances and with as he admits to himself the children could be, could be, more than he can handle, he reaches out to Dr. Hicks for assistance. And while all this is going on Commander Richards has agreed to met on Monday at the station which needs to be in tip top shape.


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This is where the film moves into a laugh out loud wild second act. Some of the scenes are hysterical, not simply mild laughs, but laughing until tears, as the kids fill a void each of the men realize is missing in their lives, and the kids decide its time to confess.

The comedic talents of the cast really shine as the men are reduced to incompetence in the child-caring and diaper changing duties. With any film, they hit the inverted arch as the kids reduce them to rubble and suddenly every paternal skill, they never knew they had takes over and they become tea party attending, dodge ball playing, My Little Pony loving, mannies.


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Playing with Fire, one of the funniest comedic drama’s since Arnold went to kindergarten that will have kids and parent rolling with laughter, opens Friday, November 8, 2019. See it and enjoy the out of control antics.

 

Articles covered by copyright. © Image courtesy of Paramount.

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