Fire with Fire is a B-movie revenge thriller that reworks every possible cliché of the genre.
The film’s production is aware of this; and David Barrett’s direction wears this proudly. Barrett, a former stuntman who worked in a multitude of movies, has a knack for keeping things moving at a fast pace and, in fact, the audience is propelled forward with break-neck speed.
Josh Duhamel plays Jeremy Coleman, a fireman who ends up a witness to a hate crime. He manages to survive and is convinced to become the prime witness with a gang of Aryan thugs led by Hagan (Vincent D’Onofrio). So he is entered into the Witness Protection Programme.
Hagan is also the same man who had once murdered the partner of Detective Cella (Bruce Willis). Thus Jeremy is moved from California to Louisiana and here he comes into contact with Talia (Rosario Dawson), his federal supervisor.
That is when Jeremy learns that Hagan and the gang are finding his friends and killing them off. With his back to the wall, Jeremy opts to go back to California and take matters into his hands.
Here he ends up joining forces with Lamar (50 Cent), another gang leader, as revenge and vigilantism become the order of the day.
The film has good production values and a polished air to it, and the action sequences are old school. In fact, Fire With Fire has more in common with the Die Hard sequels in its approach and thrust than with any other film.
Fire with Fire sports a list of almost 35 producers, loves its guns and their use.
D’Onofrio, complete with body art and neo-Nazi posturing, stands out of the cast. Duhamel is sympathetic as usual and offers a good screen persona. Willis continues in Die Hard mode more through his presence than anything else, as he is kept on a tighter leash.
Sporting a glossy look in the style of Man on Fire (2004), Fire With Fire may not be reinventing the wheel but it does sport a cast that goes beyond its budget and also manages to look good. The film sports a relentless quality that fans of the genre will find enjoyable.