We’ve always thought that Christmas TV schedulers use the season of goodwill to carry out a petty vendetta against the public because of scheduling failings in the previous year. Why else would talent vacuum Gemma Collins be in so many programmes at this time of year? We feel especially sorry the lonely trapped at home with only the TV for company knowing they have to endure the enforced jollity of Gemma Collins guesting on various shows. It’s little wonder that suicides hit a high. Mercifully there are new releases on Boxing Day of which Playing with Fire is one and its title punningly plays on the work of forest firefighter John Cena and his small team all based in a forest fire station. We say firefighters but they call themselves ‘smoke jumpers’ who leap out of helicopters into the centre of the fire to fight the flames and appears to be a suicidally bonkers job and the sort of which we would watch a celebrity Christmas special if it was Gemma Collins making a 50 foot bungee jump if she was fitted with a 100 foot rope. Now THAT”S entertainment! However as Collins is something of an oxygen thief herself, then plonking her into a forest fire would immediately starve the flames of the air it needs. It’s in this capacity that Cena and co. rescue three children from a burning cabin in the forest only for them to have to look after them whilst they wait for their absent parents to turn up and collect them.
Cena is another WWF star who has turned his hand to films with not quite the success of Dwayne Johnson and her he plays the single, straight laced role of team leader holed up with his team consisting of John Leguizamo, a malaprop spouting chopper pilot, Keegan-Michael Key, a banter baiting firefighter and Tyler Mane, a silent giant who spends the entire film wandering around holding a chopper in his hand, something our Editor did throughout our Christmas party when he couldn’t find the toilets – see our instagram account (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). The four are put in charge of the 3 rescued kids with the cute little girl, the mischievous middle boy and the resentful teenager in charge who organizes the siblings attempts to flee the station house for reasons which are made clear as the film goes on when their parents fail to materialize.
Aimed squarely at kids there’s plenty of slapstick (although there’s one incredibly misjudged scene with the little girl and a nail gun) and there’s the inevitable life lessons to be learned as seems obligatory in such US family films. However much like the Kleenex tissues which are product placed throughout the film, Playing with Fire is ultimately disposable.
Here’s the Playing with Fire trailer…….