Playing With Fire Review

Playing With Fire

It seems like a rite of passage for pro wrestlers to act in a family comedy at some point in their Hollywood careers. For Hulk Hogan, that was Mr. Nanny. For The Rock, that was The Game Plan and Tooth Fairy. John Cena hasn’t had an opportunity to be in a live-action family comedy where he’s the star. John Cena will finally get his opportunity with Playing With Fire. But is the film any good?

Well, since the aforementioned films were decent (at best), it’s not a total shocker that this film is decent too. Regardless, the families are still going to love it.

Playing With Fire follows Jake Carson and his fellow smokejumpers who must take care of three rambunctious kids after saving them in a fire.

Playing With Fire - John Leguizamo, John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, and Tyler Mane

Playing With Fire is a fun comedy that’s primarily aimed at children. Sure, the film does have plenty of jokes that adults can enjoy but this family film is aimed mostly at children. Most of the gags and jokes are of the juvenile variety. Yes, this includes fart and poop jokes too. Because, why not?

However, Playing With Fire has a weird retro feel to it. The film just feels like the feel-good family comedies from the 90s. 90s films where the main character has a massive change in character at the end of the film. Something like Beethoven, for example. In other words, they might not necessarily be great films but kids will love them regardless.

Also, because this is a children’s film, the story is very bland and predictable. It’s not terribly difficult to figure out how the film is going to go and how the characters are going to develop throughout the film. After all, if you’ve seen one family film then you’ve seen them all. That’s just the nature of the genre.

Like any family film, Playing With Fire features a lot of hilarious and over-the-top characters that bring a lot of entertainment to the film. The film is full of stereotypical characters too. As a result, you can basically categorize the characters into separate groups. Groups like the love birds, the comic reliefs, and the kids. They serve a purpose and that’s their only purpose.

Playing With Fire - Keegan-Michael Key, Finley Rose Slater, and John Cena

And the cast serves their purpose really well. The chemistry between the cast is palpable. John Cena is his usual stone-faced self but he’s one of the few muscle-bound actors who aren’t afraid to show their sensitive side. He shows why he’s just a big old teddy bear on screen. Be that as it may, the serious acting side still needs a bit more polish but he has great comedic timing.

The real standouts though are the film’s comic reliefs. Keegan-Michael Key and John Leguizamo bring so many laughs to the film. Of course, Key gets the most laughs since he has as much screen time as John Cena. However, Leguizamo provides similar laughs with his massively oblivious character.

Overall, Playing With Fire is a fun film that’s fun for the whole family. However, the film isn’t exactly perfect. There are issues with the run-of-the-mill storyline and the predictability of it all. But that’s the nature of the beast, and frankly, families won’t really care. They’ll be busy having a good time to care about any of the nitpicking issues.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1505 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.