Movie Review: Playing with Fire (2019)

Synopsis: Superintendent Jake Carson, the commanding officer of a group of smoke jumpers, hopes to honor his deceased father by becoming division commander. When a news helicopter records him rescuing three children from a burning cabin, that promotion seems to be in the bag. However, he and his crew must first take care of the trouble-making kids for a weekend.

Who's in it? The movie stars John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, and Tyler Mane.

Review: My wife wanted to see this movie after coming across the trailer for it some time ago and, since we had time to watch a film last night, I decided to watch it with her. It ended up being a cute albeit somewhat predictable choice.

I still prefer John Cena in action movies rather than  comedies but did think he did an OK job as Jake Carson by bringing just the right amount of serious tough guy to the character while still mixing in a bit of comedy as well. The character I liked most, however, was Axe (Mane), who managed to pull off the scary part while still being believable when the movie revealed he had a gentle side. Having the character played by an actor who once starred as Michal Myers was a nice touch.

As I said before, the movie is predictable and, ultimately, there isn't anything in it that hasn't been done in a dozen other family films. So, when watching this, don't expect any real surprises. In fact, don't be surprised if you are able to guess what is going to happen next.

Probably my only real complaint about the movie, however, is the middle child, Will (Christian Convery). I felt like he was a little too much of a trouble maker, doing things that seemed to be designed to force the plot along. In all honesty, I'm not even sure the character was needed since the main story seemed to focus much more on the oldest sister, Brynn (Hildebrand) and the baby sister, Zoey (Finley Rose Slater). Will just seemed like one child too many.

Final Opinion: It's an OK movie and does have some funny moments but there isn't much that sets this film apart from any other family film, including the standard poop joke and room filled with bubbles. I didn't hate it but would stop short of saying it was one of my favorites.

My Grade: C


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