Jeremy Coleman (Josh Duhamel) is a fire-fighter in a particularly rough neighbourhood, just doing his shopping in a local store when it gets held up by some Aryans, including big bad guy David Hagan (Vincent D'Onofrio) and one his henchmen (Vinnie Jones), who go on to kill the store owner and his son. As the only witness to the crime, Coleman is put under witness protection by Detective Cella (Bruce Willis) and Agent Durham (Rosario Dawson), the latter of which he promptly falls in love with. But Hagan isn't going to allow Coleman to testify against him, sending a hitman (Nip/Tuck's Julian McMahon) after him to take him out. Realising that running and hiding isn't working out, Coleman decides he's going to have to take matters into his own hands…


Everything is nicely set up for Coleman to use his fireman skills to kill the bad guys, but unfortunately this potentially exciting Backdraft-redux never comes to light. Instead there's just a lot of punching and kicking and shooting and running, and none of it in a particularly fun way. Fire With Fire is exactly the kind of movie you'd find hovering near the bottom shelf of your local video store, starring the likes of Steven Seagal or Wesley Snipes. How it is that they managed to round up such an impressive cast as this is mind-boggling, and that's not to mention the blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances from the likes of 50 Cent and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (B.A. from The A-Team movie).


Everything is so stodgily directed, with not a single pulse-raising action sequence to be found among the muddled shoot-outs and the bargain basement Towering Inferno climax. Duhamel is fine as the lead, but everyone else either over-acts or they've mentally checked out from their surroundings. There is the tiniest amount of enjoyment to be had by just losing yourself to its overwhelming awfulness, to it's so-bad-its-good quality, but then when you think about how much a movie like this must have cost to make, you'll just get mad all over again.