Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Playing with Fire: Young Kids Will Probably Love It

Movie Review: Playing with Fire (2019)
Version: Library borrow

In Playing with Fire, a group of fire divers swoop in to save the day at a fire-engulfed cabin. What they discover inside is a teen and her two young siblings huddled under cover waiting for their parents to return from dinner away. Fire safety code says the firefighters can't release children on their own, so they bring the threesome back to the station until the parents can pick them up -- the next morning. None of the crew are parents and find themselves unmatched against Brynn (Brianna Hildbrand), Zoey (Finley Rose Slater), and Will (Christian Convery), who turn out to be very wily orphans on the run from the Department of Protective Services. Awkwardly trying to match wits are Supe (John Cena), the leader of the station, Mark (Keegan-Michael Key), with a heart of gold, Rodrigo (John Leguizamo), the not too bright cook, and Axe (Tyler Mane), all brawn and no talk. The kids are clearly way ahead of them all the way.

Now, keep in mind this film was made by Nickelodeon so it's written with kid humor. Don't be surprised if you feel it lacks sophistication. Young kids, on the other hand, will probably be rolling on the floor with laughter. And appreciation for its pandering to their mindset. They know their audience! Where I found my first laugh and really began enjoying the film was about three-quarters of the way through -- and then it steamrolled to the end. Adults: be patient and give it a chance; watch it with your kids and enjoy them having fun through the first part of the film. I promise it gets better for you with the payoff towards the end. If you don't have young kids to watch Playing with Fire with, don't bother! You've been warned.

I won't pretend this film made my day (or evening). But if you have young kids and want to entertain them with an unoffensive film some afternoon or evening, Playing with Fire may be your answer.

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