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January 6, 2013
Fire With Fire Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
31/8/2012 (USA)2/1/2013Village RoadshowDavid Barrett
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Josh Duhamel

THE MOVIE
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Fire With Fire stars Bruce Willis.

Admittedly I'd never heard of this film, Fire with Fire prior to seeing it on Village Roadshow's release schedule, but with Bruce Willis' name as top billing it immediately grabbed my interest. The reason I hadn't heard of the film - it never made it to cinemas in Australia, and is direct to Blu-Ray. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a film to avoid, we've seen some real gems that bypassed theatrical release here. So what's this film about then?

After witnessing the brutal murders of a convenience store owner and his son; firefighter, Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel) nearly escapes with his life. As he is forced to testify against the crime lord, Hagan, he is placed in the witness protection program under the watch of the U.S. Marshalls. As his new identity becomes compromised Jeremy is forced to take an unexpected course of action in order to get is life back and save the lives of those he loves.

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Josh Duhamel is a solid actor, but this isn't a standout film for him.
The first thing that impressed about this film is the impressive cast. Josh Duhamel (Transformers and TV series Las Vegas is a decent leading man and despite our thoughts on this film deserves to star in many more films, Bruce Willis (The Expendables 2, Die Hard) plays a cop as well as he always does, Rosario Dawson (Sin City) is a capable as ever while 50 Cent, Julian McMahon and Vinnie Jones were cast exactly in the roles they should be (that being gang leader, assassin and thug).

What didn't sell me however was Vincent D'Onofrio as the main bad guy David Hagan. He simply doesn't pull off the white supremacist as, for instance, Edward Norton did so brilliantly in American History X - which rather amusingly (for me) is referenced in a section of this film only minutes after writing down notes about Vincent's character not being a patch on Edward's.

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50 Cent only has a cameo in this film.
Sadly, as a film, Fire With Fire is nothing special, and it barely reaches ordinary. The plot is predictable, the pacing a bit off and it just lacks "entertainment". In fact, I have three things that all directors can take from this film...

    1. Bruce Willis is an action star - so if your film has action, make sure he's a part of it.
    2. When someone gets blown out of a window by an explosion several stories up, they won't fall directly down alongside the building, but arc outwards and land some meters away from said building.
    3. When you set up films with a love interest, and friends being critically injured - tell us what happens after the conclusion of the main story arc - it gives s a bit more closure.

Fire With Fire really is quite an average film, and it's clear to see why the film skipped Australian cinemas. Unless you're a big fan of any of the actors in this film it's probably one worth skipping, or perhaps a rental at best. A disappointing release given the solid cast.

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Detail impresses even in darker scenes.
VIDEO
Rarely does a Blu-Ray release from a major studio fail to impress visually these days, and Fire With Fire is another very solid release from Village Roadshow. The transfer is in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. According to the PS3 we reviewed the disc on the video bitrate often hovered above 25Mbps, and even pushed above 35Mbps in the busier scenes. Fine detail is superb, and even in darker scenes the detail levels remain consistently high. It's not reference quality, there are some softer scenes, and some extremely minor issues, but you won’t be disappointed.

AUDIO
Not to be outdone the audio on the Fire With Fire Blu-Ray impresses with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track that provides clear dialogue, cracking effects and gorgeous music. The Blu-Ray contains a single English subtitle track which will get the job done if you have the need for subtitles.

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Fire With Fire - not a great film sadly.
EXTRAS
Prior to getting to the main menu on this disc you will be presented with trailers for Lawless (2:26) and End of Watch (2:21). Sadly there are absolutely no other extras on this disc.

OVERALL
Fire With Fire is an average action-thriller at best with a much predictability as any other film. The transfer is good, but the lack of any extras at all disappoints in this day and age.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
5/10
THE VIDEO
8/10
THE AUDIO
7/10
THE EXTRAS
0/10
OVERALL
5/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.