I promised myself that I wouldn't see another movie that has 50 Cent in it (or anything that he produced through his Cheetah Vision film label) ever again. Of course, I had to to break that promise, so here we are with "Fire With Fire." Thankfully, Mr. Cent only has a cameo, and for a Grindstone Entertainment production, this is actually a watchable movie. It's not a good movie per say, but I'll take whatever improvements I can get at this point.
Josh Duhamel stars as Jeremy Coleman, a fireman who sees a store clerk and his son gunned down by David Hagan (Vincent D'Onofrio), who you know is evil because he has a swastika tattooed to his chest. After testifying against him, Coleman's girlfriend Talia (Rosario Dawson) is nearly killed by a hit-men, which finds him under witness protection thanks to the likes of Mike Calla (Bruce Willis, who looks like he'd rather be anywhere else than this.) However, Jeremy knows that this isn't enough, and that Hagan and his cronies won't stop until he and Talia are dead, so he decided to take actions into his own hands.
I'd be lying if I said that "Fire with Fire" is worth owning, or that it's a good movie. The movie has plenty of plot holes (we know that Calla lost an old partner to Hagan, but it's barely explored) and only some of the performances are worth a damn. Duhamel is a handsome face, and he tries, but he's just not that good of an actor. The plot is nothing special, but it's a shame that it doesn't do much with what could have a more fun premise in the vein of 80's vigilante movies.
That being said, some of the performances here are actually fun, with Onofrio stealing the show as a white supremacist douche with quite the criminal record, though his fake Southern accent is pretty amusing. It also manages to get some solid character actors such as Richard Schiff and Vinnie Jones showing up, which doesn't add any class, but it makes the proceedings more bearable. Best of all, it's actually a decently directed movie that gets away with some fun action scenes and inspired camera angles, and at 98 minutes, it moves at a reasonable clip and feels more like a time waster than it does a waste of time. Whether or not that sounds like a recommendation is up to you.
There's not a whole lot about this that's memorable in the least. However, it doesn't do anything offensively bad, and as a Netflix stream or Redbox rental, you could do a lot worse. It's at the very least an improvement for the folks at Grindstone Entertainment, so it actually gives me hope that someday, they'll be able to make a fun straight to video movie someday.