Witness protection is generally a popular topic in crime dramas. Often times, it is a toss-up on whether or not it is done right. For example, “Madea’s Witness Protection” did everything wrong in accordance to the witness protection process. “Fire with Fire” mostly got it right, and added some action into the mix to spice things up a notch.
After a bloodbath at a local convenient store, firefighter Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel) miraculously escapes and is sent into the witness protection program while he awaits to testify against the man responsible for the bloodbath, David Hagan (Vincent D’Onofrio). While in witness protection, Jeremy falls in love with Talia Durhman (Rosario Dawson), an agent, and one of the few people that know of his true identity. When their safety is compromised, his identity is once again changed , and they are split apart. When Talia’s life is threatened, Jeremy escapes witness protection to personally kill David Hagan.
The man looking over the investigation is Mike Cella (Bruce Willis). Mike has a personal vendetta against David Hagan, but his involvement in this film is rather minimal throughout, which isn’t natural for a Bruce Willis role. For what the role was, Bruce fit it pretty well, but the lack in significance gave off the impression that maybe someone else could have pulled the character off just as well.
For those that are familiar with USA’s television series “In Plain Sight“, this film may remind you of the show if it were made into a major motion picture. Both the TV show and “Fire with Fire” depict a fairly accurate display of how witness protection really works, and in both instances the witness does something against U.S. Marshall’s orders. This is all fine, but the movie does falter in one specific and essential point, storytelling.
Just because this is done on a popular topic and has a few recognizable names to make a poster pretty doesn’t automatically mean the movie itself is good. Yes, the actors did their job well and fulfilled their roles, but their roles weren’t very memorable in the slightest. This was probably due to a less than memorable story in general. In the long run, it’s really something we have all seen before hundreds of time. It’s a vengeance and protection movie; doing everything you can to make sure someone else is safe. After that, there is a lot of fighting, shooting guns, and fire. All that will do is prevent the viewer from stopping the movie. It’s eye candy for the action-obsessed, but nothing more.
If you are looking for a great movie, then you will have to continue your search. Yes, it is pretty cool to see Bruce Willis in just about anything, but you are better off finding a movie with more substance to hold it together. “Fire with Fire” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Nov. 6!