Playing With Fire (PG)



Comedy (2019)
96mins US

Starring: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Dennis Haysbert, Judy Greer
Director: Andy Fickman
Writer(s): Dan Ewen, Matt Lieberman
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Captain Jake Carson takes charge of a team of brave smokejumpers, who parachute into forest fires to tackle blazes from inside the inferno. A storm rages around the station and one of the nearby cabins catches fire. Jake and the team respond to the blaze and inside they discover three stricken siblings: Brynn, Will and little Zoey. As first responders, the smokejumpers become temporary guardians of the tykes until the weather improves.

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LondonNet Film Review
Playing With Fire (PG)

Tackling California wildfires is child's play compared with responsible parenting in director Andy Fickman's brash family-oriented comedy. Wilfully ignoring the safety warning in the title, Playing With Fire demonstrates a reckless disregard for the mental well-being of parents, who might expect a smattering of laughs from the film's convoluted Daddy Day Care set-up...

Playing With Fire. Copyright: 2019 Paramount Pictures Corporation. Caption: John Leguizamo as Rodrigo Torres, Finley Rose Slater as Zoey, John Cena as Captain Jake Carson, Keegan-Michael Key as Mark Rogers and Tyler Mane as Axe in Playing With Fire, directed by Andy Fickman. Photo: Doane Gregory. All Rights Reserved.Screenwriters Dan Ewen and Matt Lieberman hose down every clunky frame with syrupy sentiment and contrive scenes that slosh from crass and puerile (diarrhoea projecting into one character's face) to genuinely weird (a grown man staring into a young girl's eyes as he attempts to relieve himself). Presumably, these disjointed interludes were funnier on the page and explain why a fine ensemble cast inhabits the thinly written supporting roles. Keegan-Michael Key wrings out a few chuckles when his firefighter takes increasingly irritated issue with a teenager's unfiltered sarcasm but Judy Greer is shamefully squandered as an amphibian-fixated scientist. Her inert on-screen romance with muscular and sporadically shirtless leading man, John Cena, wouldn't spark to life if Fickman poured petrol on it.

Captain Jake Carson (Cena), son of decorated firefighter Big Dan Carson who perished in a blaze in Yosemite National Park, takes charge of an elite team of smokejumpers in Redding, California. His well-drilled squad parachutes into forest fires and tackles each emergency by staring unblinking into the eye of the inferno. Jake's colleagues include wisecracking second-in-command Mark Rogers (Key), Rodrigo Torres (John Leguizamo) and aptly named silent giant Axe (Tyler Mane). A storm rages around the fire station and a cabin catches light. Inside the collapsing structure, Jake and co discover three stricken siblings: Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand), Will (Christian Convery) and Zoey (Finley Rose Slater). As first responders, the smokejumpers become temporary guardians of the tykes until the weather improves. Brynn, Will and Zoey run amok, leaving destruction in their wake. "Kids are like fire. You can't control them. You've just got to contain them until they burn themselves out," calmly explains sassy field biologist Dr Amy Hicks (Greer), using terms Jake might understand. The smokejumpers and their pint-sized wards bond just as division commander Richards (Dennis Haysbert) makes a surprise inspection of the fire station ahead of his retirement.

Playing With Fire is a rare misstep for Cena, who enlivened Daddy's Home 2 and was a hoot in Blockers. His charisma and self-deprecating charm are extinguished in an action-packed opening, which is choreographed incongruously to Bruno Mars' dancefloor filler Uptown Funk. The uneven tone is glaringly evident in the final 20 minutes as tomfoolery is hurriedly cast aside to prize open characters' hearts to the possibility of love in its many glorious forms. Nothing sticks in the throat and chokes like an undeserved happy ending.

- Sam Cannon

Playing With Fire. Copyright: 2019 Paramount Pictures Corporation. Caption: John Leguizamo as Rodrigo Torres, Finley Rose Slater as Zoey, John Cena as Captain Jake Carson, Keegan-Michael Key as Mark Rogers and Tyler Mane as Axe in Playing With Fire, directed by Andy Fickman. Photo: Doane Gregory. All Rights Reserved.


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 7th February
To Thursday 13th February

- Aberdeen, Vue Aberdeen
- Altrincham, Vue Altrincham
- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Arklow, Arklow Omniplex
- Armagh, Armagh Omniplex
- Ashbourne, Vue Ashbourne
- Athlone, IMC Athlone
- Ballina, IMC Ballina
- Ballymena, IMC Ballymena
- Banbridge, Banbridge Omniplex
- Bangor, Bangor Omniplex
- Barrow-in-Furness, Vue Barrow
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Batley, Showcase Cinema De Lux Leeds
- Belfast, Dundonald Omniplex
- Belfast, Kennedy Centre Belfast Omniplex
- Bicester, Vue Bicester
- Birkenhead, Vue Birkenhead
- Birmingham, Vue Birmingham
- Blackburn, Vue Blackburn
- Bolton, The Light Cinema, Bolton
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Longwell Green
- Bundoran, Eclipse Cinemas Bundoran
- Bury, Vue Bury The Rock
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cambridge, Vue Cambridge
- Cardiff, Vue Cardiff
- Carlisle, Vue Carlisle
- Carlow, Carlow Omniplex
- Carlow, IMC Carlow
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen
- Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus Omniplex
- Clonmel, IMC Clonmel
- Cork, Cork Omniplex
- Craigavon, Craigavon Omniplex
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Darlington, Vue Darlington
- Derby, Derby QUAD
- Derby, Showcase Derby Foresters Park
- Doncaster, Vue Doncaster
- Downpatrick, Downpatrick Omniplex
- Dublin, Balbriggan Omniplex
- Dublin, Dublin Rathmines Omniplex
- Dublin, IMC Santry
- Dublin, IMC Tallaght
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Vue Dublin
- Dundalk, Dundalk Omniplex
- Dundalk, IMC Dundalk
- Dungannon, Dungannon Omniplex
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Exeter, Vue Exeter
- Farnborough, Vue Farnborough
- Galashiels, Pavilion
- Galway, Galway - Salthill Omniplex
- Galway, IMC Galway
- Gateshead, Vue Gateshead
- Glasgow, Showcase Cinema De Lux Glasgow
- Glasgow, Vue Glasgow Fort
- Gorey, Movies @ Gorey
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Greenhithe, Showcase Cinema De Lux Bluewater
- Halifax, Vue Halifax
- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
- Hartlepool, Vue Hartlepool
- Hull, Vue Hull Princes Quay
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
- Kilkenny, IMC Kilkenny Barrack Street
- Killyconigan, Monaghan Omniplex
- Lancaster, Vue Lancaster
- Larne, Larne Harbour Omniplex
- Leamington Spa, Vue Leamington Spa
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Leicester, Showcase Cinema De Lux Leicester
- Leicester, Vue Leicester
- Lifford, Eclipse Cinemas Lifford
- Limerick, Limerick Omniplex
- Limerick, Vue Limerick
- Lisburn, Lisburn Omniplex
- Liverpool, Showcase Cinema De Lux Liverpool
- Livingston, Vue Livingston
- Londonderry, Brunswick Moviebowl
- Londonderry, Derry Omniplex
- Longford, Longford Omniplex
- Manchester, Showcase Manchester
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Merthyr Tydfil, Vue Merthyr Tydfil
- Mullingar, IMC Mullingar
- Newbury, Vue Newbury
- Newcastle-under-Lyme, Vue Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Cineworld Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newry, Newry Omniplex
- Newtownards, IMC Newtownards
- Northampton, Vue Northampton
- Norwich, Vue Norwich
- Omagh, Omagh Omniplex
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Paignton, Vue Torbay
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Preston, Vue Preston
- Reading, Vue Reading
- Redditch, Vue Redditch
- Rhyl, Vue Rhyl
- Roscommon, Roscommon Omniplex
- Salford, Vue Manchester Lowry
- Scunthorpe, Vue Scunthorpe
- Shannon, Shannon Omniplex
- Sheffield, Vue Sheffield
- Sligo, Sligo Omniplex
- Southport, Vue Southport
- Stirling, Vue Stirling
- Stockport, The Light Cinema, Stockport
- Stroud, Vue Stroud
- Swansea, Vue Swansea
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thornton-Cleveleys, Vue Cleveleys
- Thurles, IMC Thurles
- Tralee, Tralee Omniplex
- Tullamore, IMC Tullamore
- Uckfield, Picturehouse Uckfield
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Wexford, Wexford Omniplex
- Worcester, Vue Worcester
- York, Vue York
From Friday 14th February
To Thursday 20th February

- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Queens Link
- Aberdeen, Cineworld Aberdeen - Union Square
- Aberdeen, Vue Aberdeen
- Aldershot, Cineworld Aldershot
- Andover, Odeon Andover
- Antrim, Antrim Omniplex
- Ashbourne, Vue Ashbourne
- Ashford, Cineworld Ashford
- Ashton-under-Lyne, Cineworld Ashton-under-Lyne
- Athlone, IMC Athlone
- Aylesbury, Odeon Aylesbury
- Ayr, Odeon Ayr
- Ballina, IMC Ballina
- Banbury, Odeon Banbury
- Basildon, Cineworld Basildon
- Basingstoke, Odeon Basingstoke
- Basingstoke, Vue Basingstoke Festival Place
- Bath, Odeon Bath
- Bedford, Cineworld Bedford
- Belfast, Odeon Belfast
- Birkenhead, Vue Birkenhead
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham
- Birmingham, Cineworld Birmingham NEC
- Birmingham, Odeon Birmingham New Street
- Birmingham, Odeon Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza
- Birmingham, Vue Birmingham
- Blackburn, Vue Blackburn
- Blackpool, Odeon Blackpool
- Boldon Colliery, Cineworld Boldon Tyne And Wear
- Bolton, Cineworld Bolton
- Bolton, Vue Bolton
- Bootle, Odeon Luxe Liverpool Switch Island
- Borehamwood, Reel Cinema Borehamwood
- Bournemouth, Odeon Bournemouth BH2
- Bracknell, Cineworld Bracknell
- Bracknell, Odeon Bracknell
- Bradford, Cineworld Bradford
- Bradford, Odeon Luxe Leeds-Bradford
- Braintree, Cineworld Braintree
- Bridgend, Odeon Bridgend
- Brighton, Cineworld Brighton
- Brighton, Odeon Brighton
- Bristol, Cineworld Bristol
- Bristol, Cineworld Yate
- Bristol, Odeon Bristol
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- Bristol, Vue Bristol Longwell Green
- Bromborough, Odeon Luxe Bromborough
- Bundoran, Eclipse Cinemas Bundoran
- Burnley, Reel Cinema Burnley
- Burton-on-Trent, Cineworld Burton Upon Trent
- Bury, Vue Bury The Rock
- Bury St Edmunds, Cineworld Bury St Edmunds
- Camberley, Vue Camberley
- Cambridge, Vue Cambridge
- Canterbury, Odeon Canterbury
- Cardiff, Cineworld Cardiff
- Cardiff, Odeon Cardiff
- Carlisle, Vue Carlisle
- Carlow, IMC Carlow
- Carmarthen, Vue Carmarthen
- Castleford, Cineworld Castleford
- Cavan Town, Odeon Cavan
- Chatham, Odeon Chatham
- Chelmsford, Odeon Chelmsford
- Cheltenham, Cineworld Cheltenham
- Chester, Cineworld Broughton
- Chesterfield, Cineworld Chesterfield
- Chichester, Cineworld Chichester
- Chippenham, Reel Cinema Chippenham
- Chorley, Reel Cinema Chorley
- Clonmel, IMC Clonmel
- Colchester, Odeon Colchester
- Coventry, Odeon Coventry
- Cramlington, Vue Cramlington
- Crawley, Cineworld Crawley
- Crewe, Odeon Crewe
- Cwmbran, Vue Cwmbran
- Darlington, Odeon Luxe Darlington
- Darlington, Vue Darlington
- Derby, Odeon Luxe Derby
- Didcot, Cineworld Didcot
- Doncaster, Vue Doncaster
- Dorchester, Odeon Dorchester
- Dover, Cineworld Dover
- Dublin, IMC Santry
- Dublin, IMC Tallaght
- Dublin, Movies @ Dundrum
- Dublin, Movies @ Swords
- Dublin, Odeon Blanchardstown
- Dublin, Odeon Charlestown
- Dublin, Odeon Coolock
- Dublin, Odeon Point Village
- Dudley, Odeon Dudley Merry Hill
- Dundee, Cineworld Dundee
- Dundee, Odeon Luxe Dundee
- Dunfermline, Odeon Dunfermline
- Dun Laoghaire, IMC Dun Laoghaire
- Durham, Odeon Luxe Durham
- Eastbourne, Cineworld Eastbourne At The Beacon
- East Didsbury, Cineworld Didsbury
- East Kilbride, Odeon Luxe East Kilbride
- Eastleigh, Vue Eastleigh
- Edinburgh, Cineworld Edinburgh
- Edinburgh, Odeon Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird
- Edinburgh, Odeon Luxe Edinburgh Wester Hailes
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
- Edinburgh, Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre
- Ellesmere Port, Vue Cheshire Oaks
- Ely, Cineworld Ely
- Epsom, Odeon Epsom
- Exeter, Odeon Exeter
- Falkirk, Cineworld Falkirk
- Fareham, Cineworld Whiteley
- Fareham, Reel Cinema Fareham
- Farnborough, Vue Farnborough
- Galashiels, Pavilion
- Galway, IMC Galway
- Gateshead, Odeon Metrocentre
- Gateshead, Vue Gateshead
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Parkhead
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Renfrew Street
- Glasgow, Cineworld Glasgow - Silverburn
- Glasgow, Odeon Luxe Glasgow Springfield Quay
- Glasgow, Showcase Cinema De Lux Glasgow
- Glasgow, Vue Glasgow Fort
- Gloucester, Cineworld Gloucester Quays
- Gorey, Movies @ Gorey
- Grays, Vue Thurrock
- Guildford, Odeon Guildford
- Halifax, Vue Halifax
- Hamilton, Vue Hamilton
- Harlow, Cineworld Harlow - Harvey Centre
- Harlow, Cineworld Harlow - Queensgate
- Harrogate, Odeon Harrogate
- Hartlepool, Vue Hartlepool
- Hastings, Odeon Hastings
- Hatfield, Odeon Hatfield
- Haverhill, Cineworld Haverhill
- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Hereford, Odeon Hereford
- High Wycombe, Cineworld High Wycombe
- Hinckley, Cineworld Hinckley
- Huddersfield, Odeon Huddersfield
- Hull, Cineworld Hull
- Hull, Odeon Luxe Hull
- Hull, Reel Cinema Hull
- Hull, Vue Hull Princes Quay
- Huntingdon, Cineworld Huntingdon
- Inverness, Vue Inverness
- Ipswich, Cineworld Ipswich
- Jersey, Cineworld Jersey
- Kettering, Odeon Kettering
- Kidderminster, Reel Cinema Kidderminster
- Kilkenny, IMC Kilkenny Barrack Street
- Kilmarnock, Odeon Kilmarnock
- Lancaster, Vue Lancaster
- Leamington Spa, Vue Leamington Spa
- Leeds, Cineworld Leeds - White Rose
- Leeds, Odeon Luxe Leeds Thorpe Park
- Leeds, Vue Leeds Kirkstall Road
- Leeds, Vue Leeds The Light
- Leicester, Odeon Luxe Leicester
- Leicester, Vue Leicester
- Leigh, Cineworld Leigh
- Lichfield, Lichfield Garrick
- Lifford, Eclipse Cinemas Lifford
- Limerick, Odeon Limerick
- Lincoln, Odeon Lincoln
- Liverpool, Cineworld Speke
- Liverpool, Odeon Liverpool ONE
- Livingston, Vue Livingston
- Llandudno, Cineworld Llandudno
- Llanelli, Odeon Llanelli
- Londonderry, Brunswick Moviebowl
- Loughborough, Cineworld Loughborough
- Loughborough, Odeon Loughborough
- Luton, Cineworld Luton
- Maidenhead, Odeon Luxe Maidenhead
- Maidstone, Odeon Maidstone
- Manchester, Odeon Manchester Great Northern
- Manchester, Odeon Trafford Centre
- Manchester, Vue Manchester Printworks
- Mansfield, Odeon Mansfield
- Merthyr Tydfil, Vue Merthyr Tydfil
- Middlesbrough, Cineworld Middlesbrough
- Milton Keynes, Cineworld Milton Keynes
- Milton Keynes, Odeon Milton Keynes Stadium
- Morecambe, Reel Cinema Morecambe
- Mullingar, IMC Mullingar
- Naas, Odeon Naas
- Newark, Odeon Newark
- Newbridge, Odeon Newbridge
- Newcastle-under-Lyme, Vue Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Newcastle upon Tyne, Cineworld Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Newport, Cineworld Isle Of Wight
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Friars Walk
- Newport, Cineworld Newport Spytty Road
- Northampton, Cineworld Northampton
- Northampton, Vue Northampton
- Northwich, Odeon Northwich
- Norwich, Odeon Norwich
- Norwich, Vue Norwich
- Nottingham, Cineworld Nottingham
- Nuneaton, Odeon Luxe Nuneaton
- Oldham, Odeon Oldham
- Orpington, Odeon Orpington
- Oxford, Odeon Oxford George Street
- Oxford, Vue Oxford
- Paignton, Vue Torbay
- Peebles, Eastgate Theatre
- Plymouth, Cineworld Plymouth
- Plymouth, Vue Plymouth
- Poole, Cineworld Poole
- Portlaoise, Odeon Portlaoise
- Portsmouth, Odeon Port Solent
- Portsmouth, Vue Portsmouth
- Port Talbot, Reel Cinema Port Talbot
- Preston, Odeon Preston
- Preston, Vue Preston
- Quinton Halesowen, Reel Cinema Quinton Halesowen
- Reading, Vue Reading
- Redditch, Vue Redditch
- Renfrew, Odeon Braehead
- Rhyl, Vue Rhyl
- Rochdale, Odeon Rochdale
- Rochester, Cineworld Rochester
- Rugby, Cineworld Rugby
- Ruislip, Cineworld South Ruislip
- Runcorn, Cineworld Runcorn
- Salford, Vue Manchester Lowry
- Salisbury, Odeon Salisbury
- Scunthorpe, Vue Scunthorpe
- Seaham, Cineworld Dalton Park
- Sheffield, Cineworld Sheffield
- Sheffield, Odeon Luxe Sheffield
- Shrewsbury, Cineworld Shrewsbury
- Solihull, Cineworld Solihull
- Southampton, Odeon Southampton
- Southend-on-Sea, Odeon Southend
- Southport, Vue Southport
- Stafford, Odeon Luxe Stafford
- Stevenage, Cineworld Stevenage
- St Helens, Cineworld St Helens
- Stillorgan, Odeon Stillorgan
- Stirling, Vue Stirling
- St. Neots, Cineworld St Neots
- Stockport, The Light Cinema, Stockport
- Stoke-on-Trent, Cineworld Stoke-on-Trent
- Stoke-on-Trent, Odeon Stoke
- Swadlincote, Odeon Swadlincote
- Swansea, Odeon Swansea
- Swansea, Vue Swansea
- Swindon, Cineworld Swindon Regent Circus
- Swindon, Cineworld Swindon Shaw Ridge
- Tamworth, Odeon Luxe Tamworth
- Taunton, Odeon Taunton
- Telford, Cineworld Telford
- Telford, Odeon Luxe Telford
- Thanet, Vue Westwood Cross
- Thornton-Cleveleys, Vue Cleveleys
- Thurles, IMC Thurles
- Trowbridge, Odeon Trowbridge
- Tunbridge Wells, Odeon Tunbridge Wells
- Wakefield, Cineworld Wakefield
- Wakefield, Reel Cinema Wakefield
- Wallsend, Odeon Silverlink
- Warrington, Cineworld Warrington
- Warrington, Odeon Luxe Warrington
- Waterford, Odeon Waterford
- Watford, Cineworld Watford
- Watford, Vue Watford
- Wembley, Cineworld Wembley
- West Bromwich, Odeon West Bromwich
- Weston-super-Mare, Cineworld Weston-Super-Mare
- Weston-super-Mare, Odeon Weston-Super-Mare
- Weymouth, Cineworld Weymouth
- Widnes, Reel Cinema Widnes
- Witney, Cineworld Witney
- Wolverhampton, Cineworld Wolverhampton
- Worcester, Odeon Worcester
- Wrexham, Odeon Wrexham
- Yeovil, Cineworld Yeovil
- York, Cineworld York
- York, Vue York


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